In The Silent Epidemic, I hit you with the statistics of fatherlessness and why it is such a grave epidemic. However, those of us who made it through the battle and did not end up in jail or falling to one of the many other traps still have the battle scars. Rejection is the defining characteristic of the fatherless generation.
When dad's leave or fail to be a role model and mentor in a child's life, children feel rejected. We feel that maybe it was our fault? Maybe dad doesn't love me? Maybe I don't measure up to dad's standards?
"Fatherlessness creates an appetite in the soul that demands fulfillment. Over time, the unmet needs created by Dad’s absence turn into something that author Robert McGee calls “father hunger.”
"To live with father hunger is to live with the sadness of what will never be. Perhaps the worst thing about this rejection is living with the knowledge that someone has chose to turn his back on you. Someone has chosen to leave you. Someone has determined your value and decided you are not worth having around—or that he would be better off someplace else, without you."
If we take a look around at men today, you'll see we are searching. Climbing ladders of success, chasing bottles of alcohol, searching for happiness in the arms of women. We are still 10 years old, playing little league and looking to the stands to see if Dad is watching.
I know I'm not alone when I say that each time I meet a goal, get a promotion and climb the next rung of success, deep down in my subconscious I'm wondering if my Dad would approve? Even though my own father died before I was born, I still hope that he is smiling down in heaven and he is proud of me.
One of the greatest joys in my life was when I finally knew that my father-in-law respected me and was confident in me as the husband of his daughter.
This is the same effect we have on our own children.
In the final post, we are going to look at some ways to heal ourselves and to create a paradigm shift in our children in order to not leave this same imprint upon their lives.