Father hunger.

A couple of months ago I ran across a short video called ‘Father-hunger’.

The video is really neat.  Doug Wilson is urging dads to take their roles a little more seriously.  All across America there are little girls growing up with absent fathers and the needs that are supposed to be met by their dads are being unmet.  As a result they have this phantom appetite that leads them to seek satisfaction in other places.

I totally get that.  Since my dad died I’ve become more and more aware of that gnawing hunger inside of me.

Turns out I have father hunger, (cue sad music.)  You’ll get your invite for my pity party in the mail. Promise.

However, the other day I was watching Felicity.  (I know that most good blog posts don’t include that sentence, but go with me here).

The show starts out with Felicity throwing her college plans away to follow a boy across the country.  He doesn’t even remember her name.  Ouch.

Felicity has father hunger.  Which is weird, because the first frame of the show is her dad going nuts as she graduates from college.  He is involved in her life.  Sure, he’s not perfect, but he’s present and supportive.

That got me thinking: have I ever met someone without this ‘father hunger’?  Have I ever met a girl who was fully secure?

I have a friend whose dad told her every day how proud he was of her for her personality.  Neat.  Except that now, when anyone thinks her personality isn’t shining, she panics.  The constant affirmation of her dad convinced her that her personality was what made her special.

I know girls whose dad told them they were beautiful every day and they are now obsessed with their looks.   I know girls whose dad never affirmed their beauty and now…they’re obsessed with their looks.

At the end of the day, there doesn’t really seem to be any pattern.  Pretty much every girl I know is insecure whether they had a perfect dad or an absent dad.

Disclaimer: I’m not discounting father hunger.  I see how my life has been affected by my relationship with my dad.  I have very real sin patterns that have been shaped by my past.  But at the end of the day, we’re all
broken, we’re all insecure and we’re all sinners.

I think dads should love their daughters. I think they should tell them they love them.  I think they should do their best to help their girls find their security in Christ alone – not in their looks, or intelligence, or grades or abilities.

I’m not letting dads off the hook.  It is no small calling to be entrusted with the raising and stewardship of a child’s heart.

But I also think we should stop talking about dads like they can be Jesus for their little girls.  That’s a lot of pressure on a father’s shoulders. Dads cannot save their daughters from insecurity.  Cause we only got one Savior.  And His name is Jesus.

Maybe the reason that every father – no matter how great – falls short of filling our Father hunger is because that appetite was designed to make us long for a Heavenly Father.

The God-shaped hole in our hearts is too big to be filled by a fallen creation.  And that’s a good thing.

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