Daddy Do You Love Me?
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: ESV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the ESV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
I was just surviving—present, but feeling absent. Distant. I struggled to feel. Or maybe it just hurt too much to feel. It had been a hard couple of days (well maybe months). I was very low. My wife looked on in desperation.
I had learned to give up feeling. Just live. Make the best of my circumstances. And here I was again. Over the last several years (especially thanks to my wife) I had tried to get in touch with my feelings.
It was another rainy day. It felt like it had been raining for weeks. Not just literally, but in my own life as well. My wife said I should listen to a message on anxiety, and trust it to God. On the way to work, I began listening to the message. Nothing seemed to connect. It felt like I was even resisting some of what the speaker was saying.
The speaker then began reiterating how much God loves us. He longs for us to come and talk with him as a daddy. To give our hurts to Him. He wants to help us. This matched up perfectly with my longing. A daddy—it’s what I wanted.
My mouth opened, but the words stopped. Da… I couldn’t say it. I wanted to say Daddy. But it felt stuck. The tears began pouring down. The feelings surfaced. I was overwhelmed. Again.
Images of my dad, Images of God. Can I call him my daddy? I could say God, or Father, or even Dad, but not Daddy. I couldn’t feel that … it hurt. I felt anger welling up inside. Which dad was I angry at? Daddy, do you love me?
I have heard that father wounds are some of the deepest, most painful wounds many of carry in our hearts. And, from my own experience, I believe they are the ones that hurt the most.
This experience that I just wrote about happened on the one year anniversary of my father’s death. I was not close to my Dad growing up. It was a strained relationship. I sensed there was a desire from both of us to be closer, but neither of us knew how. I felt that in myself especially as I got older in my late teens and early twenties.
Looking back, I have more grace for my Dad, because I realize my Dad carried his own experiences in his own life as well. He had a father as well. He was carrying some losses in his own journey of life.
The father to child relationship is so crucial in the family setting and is so commonly missed in our world today. Fathers are missing, distant, caught up in work, carried away by unhealthy relationships, drug abuse, or their buddies. They don’t know how to relate to their children because of their own experiences.
Again, I was low, in my mid-thirties. I was struggling. I wrestled with acceptance for a lot of my life. Believing that I was not good enough. Longing for affirmation. Wanting to know that I was loved. That I was needed. That I was worth something. I wanted to believe these same things about God. Does God really love me?
God brought an image to my mind—a little child coloring a picture. The picture was nothing pretty. Crayons scribbled all over the page. Nothing neat about it. The child was smiling, delighted with their work.
The child brings his picture to his daddy. The daddy smiles, and picks the boy up and hugs him. He hold him close and whispers, “It’s Beautiful.”
I wept again. I was the little boy. God was my daddy. He loves me.
God has been trying to help me understand that, yet I struggle out of my own experiences to believe that I am loved and accepted.
As a teenage boy I fell into pornography. I was curious. But the curiosity became more than a decade of addiction to fill the longings of my life. It was my feeling filler.
I learned somehow not to feel. Not to process emotion. Life is just life. Things happen. Just take whatever comes. But inside I hurt. There was emptiness. There was longing.
I pushed away from dad. I actually blamed him for not protecting me. Where was he? Loss.
Many of us experience hurts from our parents. Our culture, individual personalities, experiences, and many other things can affect the way we deal with that loss. Most of us are not even fully mentally aware of the loss we are experiencing and our reactions to it.
The more complete and safe a child feels in the home, the less likely a child or teen will desire and look for something or someone to fulfill that longing outside of the home.
Look at the drugs, sex, sports, the earbuds that pound the music—things to find meaning or fill that void in your life. Dress cool, look attractive—we crave to fit in. We want to be loved.
The girl finds the guy who seems to care deeply about her, so she clings to him. But he himself is longing for someone to love him and fill the void in his own life.
The boy finds the girl who gives him attention and may even throw her body at him in revealing or physical ways. But she has not experienced the love her daddy failed to give her.
For me it was hard. I had a nice Christian family. Parents who loved the Lord and desired God. But my parents weren’t perfect. Sorry to say, none of us are.
My parents taught us good values and instilled in us a belief system that I hang onto today. We were involved in church and other activities. We did things together as a family. We went camping, and took trips. We had lots of fun together.
But, for me, there was something missing. Relationship. Personal. Deep. Heart to Heart. I felt missed. I learned to earn my acceptance by my lifestyle, my behavior. I was a good boy. I was well-behaved. I was looked up to. I was the Sunday School teacher, the youth president, leading church activities.
I gained my acceptance. But in the emotional longings of my heart, something was missing. Inside I longed for something more. Deeper. I don’t think I even really understood what it was myself. I cut off feeling. Close relationships were elusive. There must be an answer.
I finally found what I was searching for in God! No activity, no drug, no relationship—including my wife—could fulfill the longing in my heart for God.
You and I were created by God and for God. He created us for intimacy with Him. We were created in His image.
God loves you and I so much. I am only beginning to grasp in a small way what that really looks like. God loves you and I more than we could ever imagine. He loved us enough to die on a cross for us. He said He is the “Father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5).
I want you to experience that too. God longs for you to come to Him. He has given each one of us the choice—to love Him, or to push Him away. He does not force.
His arms are open wide. He wants to hug you and hold you close. Let go of whatever you are trying to fill those longings with.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
God can do that for you! Don’t give up! Don’t be ok with the void fillers that have become a part of your life. Jesus said, I came that they may have life! And have it abundantly! Find a pastor or person who you can share your heart with. Pour your longings and desires out to God. He longs to be close to you.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Let him be your daddy!