The Power of a Father Figure
By Jackie Beauchene
I googled the question, “Why do I need male attention?” The number of girls and women who have commented on this topic are astounding. It came up with 33,000,000 results! Affirmation is much like a drug, and it is not only apparent in women, but teens as well. They feel like there is something wrong with them and are losing control in seeking out a way to fill that void.
Some commentaries reflect that these women need more self esteem. I beg to differ. As much as they should have self esteem, on its own it can become an accelerator and actually create more of a problem.
In my research I have found that a woman can be in a happy marriage for years and still have this problem. Her husband can compliment her, love her unconditionally, and she can still struggle with this. Even with girlfriends to laugh with her, cry with her, and listen to her deepest, darkest secrets, it only satisfies for a while. The obsession returns and leaves her feeling empty, broken, confused and often depressed.
There are some very blessed women who have had some kind of father figure growing up. This father figure required nothing from her except to be a part of her life. He was there when she needed him, provided a shoulder to cry on, and held her in his arms requiring nothing in return.
Sometimes the void is filled later. We may meet a man who is grounded enough to love with a brotherly type of love and reject a flirtation, however hurtful this may be. I believe it feels good because this is the kind of unconditional love that we women are looking for. We have a need to connect emotionally, having nothing to do with our looks or actions.
In order to heal my own need for a father figure I found that first I needed to better understand my Father in heaven. I needed to realize that His love had nothing to do with what I could offer. His love would never depart no matter what I had done. God sees our potential and His grace helps us to strive to be the person He sees us as.
What we really long for is completion, to close up old wounds and be held by a Savior. I now can see that there are many men in my life that help to fill that void in me for a Father figure. It is because I have felt the love of God and that was enough. Do I still struggle? Yes I do, but with my new-found perspective, I am able to put those struggles in their place.
I have a daughter who will be nine years old and I am able to see what a godly Father figure looks like through my husband’s relationship with her. This has also helped to bring healing to me. I applaud the father figures in this world, and when I see one, I feel as if I have had a glimpse of heaven.
Perhaps you have struggled with this, or perhaps you have been blessed enough to have a Father figure in your life. I would love to hear your story. You can write to me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie is a passionate observationalist and friendly advice-giver, wife of the assistant pastor of Tabernacles of Grace Chapel in Danielson Conn., women’s ministry leader and mom of seven.