Many dads are decent and basically say the right things. Why then do their wives secretly resent them? Why does the daughter feel he has failed her, and why is there a distance between her and him? Why is the son angry and rebellious?
And if the kids are conformists, seemingly doing all the right things, why do they go on to lives that end in disease and suffering? Why indeed.
The problem is that dad, although saying the right things, does not say them strongly enough. Most dads are wimps. They do the will of their wife and their boss. They tow the
party line, and they uphold the status quo. Those dads who speak up strongly usually do so angrily, and the anger, being a failure, taints their message.
Other dads do honor what is right and do recognize what is right, but they stand silently by because of some feeling of inferiority or guilt. Such a dad fails to speak up because he does not feel qualified to do so. Or he fails to speak up because he is or was involved in the very thing he should speak up about. In order to understand how dads fail and what the result is for their family, we will discuss the subject in detail.
From the outset, let me state the bottom line.
Dad stands in for God in the eyes of the child. This is dad’s role: he must represent what is right clearly and unmistakably. He cannot have any vices and he must have outgrown or be in the process of outgrowing any need for worldly approval and support. He must see clearly what is right and not doubt it. He must speak honestly and firmly about what is right without vacillation. He must also be able to express what is right without anger—anger itself being a failing.
The man of faith does not need anger to support himself or what he is saying. His invisible support comes from a bond with his Creator within.
He must also live what is right. He cannot lecture about drugs while holding a marijuana cigarette in his hand. Dad can only do these things if he has faith, wisdom, longsuffering, kindness, firmness, honor, and courage. Any doubt on his part, any vacillation, any selfish indulgence, and he fails. And when he fails, the whole family suffers.
It is simply impossible for a dad to have the super strength and faith to withstand the subtle pressures of the world without an inner bond with his Creator. He must have the kind of relationship that Moses, David, the prophets, or Jesus had with the Father. If he looks to the church, to his wife, to his company, to medicine, to the doctor, to the government, or anyone for support, his roots will go out into the world and he will fail.
That is why so many so-called good Christians, who go to church and say all the right things, often ultimately fail and cause their families to secretly or openly suffer. Their so called faith is emotional and is based on words, study, and other people. It is worldly in other words. All their churchianity saves them from is the Truth: that they have not yet found an inner bond with the Creator. They are Christian, but not Christian enough.
For the time being, let’s put aside discussion of the violent, abusive, drunken, drug taking or womanizing man. He is obviously wrong and cannot possibly do any good. Let’s also put aside discussion about the angry, self righteous dad who forces religion on his family. He is also obviously wrong.
Let’s also put aside discussion of the hypocritical dad—who puts on an act for others but who is secretly wrong. This person is also obviously wrong (at least to the perceptive observer).
About the above, I would say that there is not much hope for them, unless they realize in the Light of Truth that they are wrong and become truly sorry. Unfortunately, this is rare, because most people do not want to admit they are wrong. Even when they do, it is only to save their pride, put on a show for others, and prevent the loss of perks or privileges. However, I will say that the dad who has a keen sense of justice and who is angry over injustice has a chance of recovering if he can see that it is anger and resentment that made him wrong.
But let's talk about the average dad, who is basically decent. If he is angry, he must learn to give up anger; and he must learn to stand for what is right, not with anger, but with resolve and patient endurance.
The decent but wimpy dad must learn to give up the support of his wife, friends and other worldly affiliations. He must stand for what is right, instead of standing silently by with secret hostility and resentment. And he must stand up alone if necessary. He must only look to God for approval. But he must search his soul, and if he is still secretly resentful, he must first let go of the resentment. Otherwise, anything he says will be tainted with that resentment.
Before proceeding, let me say that as the child of a failing dad, your only hope of recovering from your problems is to forgive your parents, especially your dad. Otherwise, your lack of forgiveness keeps you tied to his wrong, and makes you an extension of that wrong. You will be destined to become like your dad or to continue hating and serving men like your dad all your life. Or, as a lady, you will be compelled to keep finding men just like your dad, who you will judge and resent. And this judgment will keep alive the wrong in you.
Your continuing unforgiveness will block you from recovery and your continued emotionality will result in relationship, health, and financial problems.
Update: the above excerpt is from an article I wrote a couple years ago, called the Power of Uncompromising Truth. Everyone thinks that mother is the most important person in the family, but it is actually dad. Even in his absence. Most kids today suffer from too much mom and not enough dad.
Father stands in for God in the eyes of the child. When father fails, it is as if God had failed the child. At a very deep level, the child is wounded. Dads who are drunks, drug addicts, ambitious achievers, or womanizers are obviously wrong. But the importance of dad is such that even the half way decent dad--the one who goes to work every day and watches TV at home every night--is not wise enough or strong enough to deal with the power of the world to corrupt and tempt the children into doubting truth and virtue.
The weak but affable dad is likable enough. But being likable is not enough. Even saying the right things is not enough. The man must search for the strength, patience, wisdom, and virtue he cannot find in the world. He must look within, and he must not look to his wife to be his support.
Let's face it, all dads have failed their families. But wait! This is no excuse to resent him or hate him. If you resent your father, a wall is put up between you and the Creator. You remain tied to the error operating in your dad, and your unforgiveness blocks finding God's forgiveness.
Realize that perhaps you never really knew your real dad. What you saw was the error operating through him. And it got into him because he resented his failing parents.
Therefore, forgive your dad by dropping your grudge and judgment against him. You will then be free to find and express love from within. And you will be free to be a good mom or dad yourself.