There’s something about the holidays that brings our daddy issues to the surface. We all have them. Some of our daddy issues aren’t bad and some are really rough. Maybe you have a few. Seems like Thanksgiving and Christmas exacerbates the struggles that play out in the back our minds. It might be that you had an absent father or don’t even know them at all. Some dads are alcoholics or womanizers. Maybe your dad lived a double-life and it turns out he isn’t the man you thought he was. Some dads served our country and came home with less of their bodies and their minds. There are the perfectionist dads whose kids feel like they don’t live up. Maybe it’s not your dad but your father-in-law who never liked you or a step-dad that never treated you like his own. You maybe have a great dad but the father of your children is the problem.
Not all dads are bad – so many are amazing! Sometimes our daddy-issue is that we have or had a wonderful dad and now we are separated by death or physical distance. Is your daddy issue that you see your father is aging and it’s hard to watch him slow down? Maybe you can’t bear the thought of a Christmas without him.
What I love about God’s word is that He shows examples of all these types of fathers and then some. Isaac played favorites with his boys which resulted in nations and faiths being at war still to this day. Laban promised his son-in-law a beautiful daughter of his and a substantial inheritance but duped Jacob for years and years. Solomon wasn’t a great dad which caused many of his sons to turn from God – he also had zero control in the lust department. King Saul hated his son’s best friend and tried everything to end David’s God-ordained future with mental abuse and physical threats. David was an adulterer and planned a murder-for-hire which resulted in his infant son’s death. We could go on for pages and pages.
The point is that God was very careful to include all of these examples in the Bible so that we might see ourselves within the pages of this holy book. God wants us to know we are not alone. The reason we celebrate Christmas is that Jesus came and redeemed every one of the stories previously mentioned as well as yours and mine. We don’t celebrate a Savior who is not acquainted with family dysfunction but One who knows it all too well.
Many Americans love the Norman Rockwell Christmas depictions. There are jolly Santas whispering to rosy-cheeked kids or families gathered around bountiful tables. Somehow, this is what we believe our Christmases should look like but when you’ve got daddy issues it’s just not so. The beauty of Christmas are not the perfect dads sitting in front of the fire with a pipe and child on his lap, the beauty of Christmas is a perfect Heavenly Father who sent His one and only son to save the world. That’s it. It doesn’t mean that even if you already believe in Him that this life will be perfect but that the perfect life is certain to come. It means that God desires that none perish and that He wants all to be with Him one day in Heaven. That is Christmas.
If you are entering this Christmas season with trepidation because of your own daddy issues, know that Jesus gets it. He hung on a cross for three hours, separated from His dad. He knows how it feels to be lonely, forgotten, misunderstood, abused and let down. He went there for you, He went there for your dad and the generations that came before and after. Get to know your Heavenly Father this Christmas so that you can be at peace with your earthly father.