By design we want the fairytale. Flowers, Adoration, Chocolates, Chivalry, Gifts & the elaborate pursuit
If we know what we desire, why is it that so many women married and single do not receive it? Often finding ourselves in unsatisfying relationships. We attempt to pressure, coerce, and manipulate the man in our lives to become who we think he should be.
Author and psychologist H. Norman Wright says, “So often, what a father gives to his daughter affects her expectations toward the men in her life. Similarly, what a father withholds from his daughter can also affect her expectations toward other men.” What type of father did you have?
Absent or Present? Passive or Involved? Attentive or Aloof? Abusive or Affectionate? Adoring or Demeaning?
Whether we want to admit it or not, daddy laid the foundation for our present relationships or lack thereof. We learned what we should expect from him. I did.
When I started dating, my expectations for how a man should treat me were pretty low. I was so happy to get male attention I accepted any and all types, whether they were well meaning or not. Most were not.
I was a girl who had not been cherished, desperately seeking affirmation from males at all cost. I paid a price. The payment was my self esteem, dignity, and self respect. Since daddy didn’t tell me my worth, I didn’t know it.
What I thought was love, wasn’t love at all. Love desires to give and not get, wait and not rush, and sacrifice rather than indulge. Love looks, sounds and feels like God. And even though I had been in the church my entire life, I struggled to comprehend God’s love. This was in part, a byproduct of growing up without the love and affirmation of my biological father.
Several months ago I was impacted by this reality while sitting in a women’s small group. The discussion leader asked us to describe a positive experience in our childhood. The first woman recounted a memory of her dad like it had just happened.
After returning from a back to school shopping trip her father wanted to see what she bought. “Try them on,” he said, referring to the clothes she had purchased. For 30 minutes she modeled several different outfits. “I felt so valued and loved,” she said.
Her words made a beeline for my soul, serving as a reminder that my experience was not the same. I sat in my chair, silently attempting to lick my wounds when there was yet another story of an adoring father and then another. With each example it was as if someone poured alcohol on the open sores of my heart.
I felt isolated, alone, and left out. I wasn’t in the club of women who had grown up with their dad. I didn’t know what it was like to be daddy’s little girl: doted on, adored and cherished by my father.
In that moment, though the reflections were difficult to hear, I felt comforted by the truth of God’s word. He cherished me and you before we were conceived. Our very existence is His idea.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13
God’s love is extravagant: thinking of us when we aren’t thinking of Him and pursuing us when we would rather be pursued by someone else. Whether our longing to be cherished stems from our childhood or is a present day ache, we can rest in the fact that we are already adored by God.
He is pouring out passionate over the top love for any woman that wants it. This radical love compelled Him to send His only son to die on a cross for all mankind. Because of this tremendous sacrifice we can know God as Father. Regardless of the type of dad we grew up with, we can be Daddy’s little girl: doted on, loved and cherished, through a relationship with God.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” – Jeremiah 31:3
We must shift our focus from the man in our lives meeting our needs to God. Men were not designed to perpetually cherish us. They are human and will eventually fail. God on the contrary, is able to give us the desires of our hearts, as we delight in Him. (Psalm 37: 4)
So when you find yourself longing to be cherished, allow God’s love and adoration to be enough, because it is.