(Photo by Jess Sanchez)
Daddy’s Little Princess
By Selma Komisky
“Because you are his sons/daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
– Galatians 4:6 (NIV)
I sat and read the story A Little Princess, By Francis Hodgson Burnett. It’s a classic story of a little girl named Sara Crewe. Her daddy has given her everything and one day her fairytale comes to an end as her daddy dies and the little princess is left an orphan and servant girl with no money and no one to take care of her. Yet in those difficult circumstances, the little girl learns that she can still be a princess in the midst of her trials and triumphs in the end because of the love of her father.
Sara Crewe is like every little girl. In our heart is the desire to be a princess and the desire to be loved and accepted by our father – a love that enables us to flourish as women. It is seen everyday. How many times in passing, have you seen little girls prancing around in their oversized princess garb walking proudly holding their daddy hand. It’s so precious to watch their interaction from afar as they exchange smiles, laughter, cuddles, and conversation. You can see the love the daddy demonstrates as he swoops up his daughter in his strong arms, holds her close, and gently kisses her cheek as she caresses his face looks deep into his eyes. You can see the pleasure of the daddy delighting in his time with his “little princess” and her response is sheer joy.
This picture is an analogy that depicts how our Abba Father (Jesus) loves us. “Abba” is an Aramaic word for Daddy/Father and it is this word Paul uses in the Greek in Galatians to display this point: the importance of a father’s love. It is this love that heart of many young girls and women long for.
In a girl’s life, a father is the first example of a man and plays a special role in a girl’s healthy development and shaping of her future. The validation and approval a dad gives to his daughter is extremely vital. A dad’s response to his daughter is either instrumental molding her self image or tearing her down destructively. He must show his daughter from the beginning that he loves her by hugging her, affirming her, listening to her, paying her a compliment, etc. or she will search for it somewhere else.
A godly earthy father is the picture of Jesus. He is loving, approachable, and also a spiritual leader. His goal is to have God’s attributes and modeling Christ’s character. Additionally, He is also able to provide for her needs and protect her to make her feel safe. Numerous studies report women who had a close and caring relationship with their dads and received assurance, enjoyment, and approval from them during childhood suffer less from eating disorders and depression and developed a strong sense of positive self esteem and personal identity.
But maybe you weren’t as fortunate to grow up in a home with a godly Father and thus reap the negative repercussions of a bad father/daughter relationship.
Here are some examples of these types of relationships and the negative effects they have:
Girls That Lost Their Father:
Deal with post traumatic stress, repressed grief, depression, unhealthy fear of losing someone, a constant need to always search for the perfect mate to rescue them, and shyness.
Girls with Divorced Dads:
Experience feelings of abandonment, anxiety, rebelliousness, insecurity, trust issues with men, anger, jealousy, guilt, fearfulness, depression, and promiscuous behavior.
Girls with Deadbeat Dads:
Feel betrayed, angry, disappointed, rejected, deal with trust issues, hate men, are insecure, promiscuous, uncertain, and struggle with eating disorders.
Girls with Workaholic Dads:
Are left feeling a loss of intimacy, feel invisible, distant from their father, unimportant because their Dad’s job comes first, disappointed, angry, have low self-esteem, are insecure and depressed.
Girls with Abusive Dads:
Experience feelings of negativity, struggle with self worth, anger issues, post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, shame, promiscuity (possibly resulting in prostitution/trafficking), lesbianism or men haters, and addiction to substances like alcohol and drugs, and possible cutting or suicide.
Girls with Controlling/Dominating Dads:
Undergo defiance/rebelliousness, resentment, guilt, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, feeling trapped, anger, and hatred.
Girls with Passive Dads:
Experience feelings that their dads don’t care, that they are unimportant or not valued, and wrestle with insecurity, anger, emotional wounds, longing to be affirmed and loved, promiscuity, and poor self image.
Yet, Colossians 3:21 in the Amplified version says, “Fathers do not provoke or irritate or fret your children – do not be hard on them or harass them; lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated; do not break their spirit.” God’s heart for you was to never experience this type of treatment or pain and even if your dad has failed you in some way, God wants you to know He will not.
If you have experienced any type of these scenarios, healing is needed. Not only for your earthly relationship with your dad but also for your relationship with your Heavenly Father.
Girls and young women often associate their experience with their earthly father to God. In order to gain a correct perspective and experience healing, surrendering past wounds and pain must occur. Letting go of those negative experiences by forgiving your father is essential so God can free you, heal you, and make you whole again. Getting help through counseling or finding a trusted friend, family member, or mentor to help you unpack your past is critical to healing and also therapeutic along with Bible reading, prayer, and fellowship. In the end, Jesus will be able to turn around for good what the devil meant for evil in your life.
If you never felt loved or a sense of belonging with your earthly father, know that your needs can be met through your Heavenly Father (Jesus Christ) and you can be confidant of His nurturing love relationship. Remember we are his child. The Bible assures us of these truths especially in Psalm 68:5 where God says that He will be a “Father to the Fatherless.” So if you are longing for a father, Jesus is ready and willing to step in as the ultimate Dad who will love you like no one has loved you before.
You can begin to take steps in cultivating your relationship with your Heavenly Father by knowing these truths and then prayerfully began seeking restoration with your earthly father if restoration is possible. If not, write your earthly Dad a letter letting him know your feelings. Forgive him and surrender the letter to God by burying it. In this way, healing can also occur and you will be able to move on as a healthy person knowing you did what was right unto to the Lord.
Here are some truths to know about Jesus your Heavenly Father:
He Says You’re Special
“Remember that the Lord rescued you to become his people and special possession; that is what you are today.”
– Deuteronomy 4:20 (NLT)
He is our Heavenly Father
“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us.”
– Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
He Values Us
“How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand…”
– Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV)
He is Aware of Our needs
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
– Isaiah 65:24 (NIV)
He Never Leaves Us
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life; neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8: 38-39 (NIV)
“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
– Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
He Provides For Us
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
– Matthew 6:26 (NIV)
He Protects Us
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”
– Psalm 23:1 (NKJV)
He Leads Us
“…He leads me beside the still waters.”
– Psalm 23: 2 (NKJV)
He Comforts Us
“… The Father of compassion and The God of all Comfort.”
– 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV)
He Doesn’t Condemn Us
“So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
– Romans 8:1 (LVG)
He Wants to Spend Time with Us
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
He is Faithful to Us
“For the word of the Lord is right and true, He is faithful in all He does.”
– Psalm 33:4 (NIV)
He Frees Us
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
– Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
“He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.”
– Psalm 103:4 (NLT)
He Cares For Us
“Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.”
– 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
He Loves Us
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
– John 3:16 (NKJV)
“…I have loved you with an everlasting love…”
– Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)