Friday, February 25, 2011

Mind dump (thoughts on living without a father)

I have a midterm paper to write, and therefore all I can think to write about is slightly irrelevant to what I need to write.

Here's what's on my mind.

Growing up without a consistent father figure.

I know there's been a huge push by Obama to address the "fatherlessness" in the U.S. I love that he's put a collation together and put effort into supporting those with creative ideas for providing more mentors in youth's lives. I have, however, noticed that mentoring often addresses the needs of same sex relationships. Young boys without fathers, and girls without mothers. Perhaps I'm missing some amazing programs aimed at children living without a consistent opposite sex parental figure.

Last year I read Donald Miller's Father Fiction, and I found it to be one of the most validating books in my journey through life without a father figure. It spoke to my insecurities, and my skewed expectations towards men. I am thankful for his efforts in training more mentors in the church to care about youth in a meaningful way. Yet, I feel that girls without fathers, and maybe boys without mothers miss out.

These thoughts have always been in the back of my mind (for the past two years or so), however a conversation with a group of girls this weekend, brought it back to the forefront. I spent two hours chatting with three teenage girls who, for some reason or another, did not have their father in their life. We talked about the awkwardness of our mother's dating, and our fears in future relationships, as well as the little voice in the back of our head that said, we weren't good enough for our father. Spoken or not, it's there, and it's painful. That voice follows us everywhere we go. Even into our relationship with God.

I don't have answers for what I'm musing about. There are no easy answers for these kind of things, but it's something worth thinking about.

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