Father Figures Figure Into Who We Date And Marry
October 14, 2018 Dating

Sobering Thought
What kind of father did you/do you have? Are you aware that who he is and your relationship with him figures heavily into the men you date and the one you eventually marry? It’s a sobering thought that many of us never address. They say every woman marries her father. Did you?

Romantic Relationships
This post came about because of a Bible study I’m a part of at my church. In the study, Be Transformed; Discovering Biblical Solutions to Life’s Problems by Scope Ministries International, there’s an entire lesson on Getting to Know Our Heavenly Father in light of our earthly father. The relationship we have with our earthly father can impact the relationship we have with our heavenly father and also our romantic relationships. Below are examples from the lesson of the types of earthly fathers we encounter:

Authoritarian: Is more concerned with compliance than a relationship. He insists on things being done his way. He’s not interested in his children’s opinions, desires, or goals. He desires no real intimacy with his children; only obedience. Having this view of God usually motivates people to rebel instead of obey.

Abusive: Deliberately inflicts pain on his children, hurting them emotionally, mentally, physically, and or sexually. This type of relationship destroys his children’s sense of worth and robs them of their natural ability to trust. They see themselves as someone to be used rather than valued in relationships. This view usually destroys people’s ability to trust God and relate emotionally to Him.

Distant/Passive: Expresses little affection. He may be a good provider but interacts very little with his children. He rarely shows emotion or says, “I love you.” He doesn’t share in his children’s joy or pain. This kind of father can cause people to view God as distant and uninvolved in their daily lives.

Accusing: Is critical and judges every failure. He thinks this will motivate his children to do better and to try harder. He rarely gives encouragement or affirms them. This kind of father can cause people to view their heavenly Father as an angry judge who is never satisfied with them.

Absent: Is one who is absent because of death, divorce, work, or disinterest. Unlike the passive father who is there but never communicates, the absent father is just not there. His children feel abandoned and neglected not only by their earthly father but by God as well.


Root Our Identity
When we know what our Heavenly Father says about us, how he feels about us, and we root our identity in it, we avoid choosing the wrong person. Here’s more from the book about the possible consequences of an emotionally or physically absent father.

Consequences for a woman:

  • Rejects appearance and femininity.
  • She craves attention and affection, especially from men, or resents men so much that she wants no male attention.
  • Perceives rejection in everything and needs constant reassurance of love.
  • She may be attracted to older men; she may marry an older man and then experience sexual dysfunction because she has difficulty “sleeping with dad.” (Could this contribute to sexless marriages?)
  • Primarily, she has difficulty trusting God.

Consequences for a man:

  • The lack of a male role model causes him to seek other sources of information. He may look to his mother, which may result in some effeminate traits. He may look to the world, which may result in a “macho” form of masculinity.
  • Craves male attention and affection, which may lead to a “tough guy” personality or which may be eroticized and lead to homosexuality.
  • Attracted to dominant women; may marry a dominant woman and establish a passive role in this relationship. (P.S. I’ve seen this repeatedly in many of the men around me.)
  • Maybe especially sensitive to rejection from male authority figures.
  • Feels threatened by other men; he compares himself to others and feels that he does not measure up.
  • Primarily, he has difficulty trusting God.

Wrong Man
We’ve all heard the saying “Daddy issues,” which describes a woman who has unresolved issues with her earthly father. She’s usually rejected by him in one way or another and goes looking for what she didn’t get from him in romantic relationships. And this is why a right relationship with our Heavenly Father is so important. He’s the only one who can fill that void.

Something to think about…

What say you? Looking at the descriptions above, what kind of father did you/do you have? How does/did that relationship figure into your dating choices? Did you marry your father? Are you currently dating your father? 

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

P.S. Come back next week to find out what kind of father I have and how that figures into my dating choices. 

"13" Comments
  1. I am so thankful I have a godly man as a father. One who supported me and loved me throughout my childhood and still today! It is very sobering to think many people do not have that kind of relationship with their father, though, so I thank you for talking about this! Enjoyed being your neighbor on #TeaAndWord today. 🙂

  2. I never really thought about how my relationship with my earthly father might have impacted what I think about God or my husband. I don’t think I married dad. But I also think you are missing some types of dads. What about the ones that are active in their kids lives, who are supportive etc?

    • @Kathleen,

      You are right. Those types of Dads are not included in this post because the post is about what happens when we don’t have a supportive dad.

      Many of us never think about how the relationship with our earthly dad affects the relationship with our Heavenly dad. If the relationship with our earthly dad is not positive it could be the same with our Heavenly dad.
      Yvonne Chase recently posted…Who Pays On A Date Is NOT A Complicated QuestionMy Profile

  3. Yup!
    I knew this as a single woman, and was fairly certain that God had other plans for me besides marriage. Imagine my surprise when He brought as a gift to me the guy whom I am certain is the one-and-only-person-on-the-planet that I could marry!
    When God redeems, He stops at nothing!

  4. My relationship with my dad was complicated, but I have always felt it was better to have that, than to not have a relationship at all. We loved one another, but it was far from perfect. I got married in my late 20s, and I think it gave me time in my 20s to work through some of my “daddy issues.” Other than a love for the countryside and the space it offers, my husband and my dad have little in common.

  5. @Traci,

    It’s great you got a chance to work out some of your “Daddy issues” before marriage.
    Yvonne Chase recently posted…No One Really Wants To Be Single For A LifetimeMy Profile

  6. I used to be on staff with Scope Ministries. When Jim Craddock taught this section I was shocked to see how I’d made God into the image of my father!

  7. HI, Yvonne – i remember hearing this concept in my 20’s for the first time and I thought how sad for those who didn’t have a good father. I can see how they could get confused. As Michele said, redemption stops at nothing. I’m grateful for my darling dad who is now perfect in Glory – great post.

  8. Very interesting thoughts about our dads. There is a correlation between our relationship with our earthly dad and our heavenly Father. Blessings!

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  10. Yeah! Exactly and I totally agree with your thoughts. Thanks for sharing such stuff here with us.

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