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There’s something written deep in the heart of a boy that longs for and needs his father’s approval. And resentment is likely to distort our strength without it. But ultimately this is an approval we must receive from God himself.

Little boys tend to idolize their father and seek to mimic him in every way. This is not generally the case with a young man seeking to find his own way in the world, though the desire to be seen and blessed by his father can remain just as strong.

As we age, this longing for approval is usually experienced as a wish to do right by our fathers and the hope to make them proud of the choices we made. Whether we take over the family business or do something completely different, there’s still a sense of wanting to honor the sacrifices our dad made while also embodying the many lessons he taught us.

And, perhaps like Esau, we too become distraught whenever we don’t receive the desired blessing from our dad. This might lead some to neglect their own calling in life to pursue whatever would make dad happy. And others might then attempt to deny their need for this approval, but wonder why they feel like they can never measure up and why their identity always seems so tied to their next achievement.

To be sure, even the best of dads let us down. And we set ourselves up for consistent disappointment when we expect our earthly fathers to meet all our needs for approval. God is the Father we ultimately want to do right by as we embody his truth and goodness in our daily lives.

In the end, it’s good to want to please your dad. But this desire simply puts you on the right track of wanting to please God as Father, and receive from him the blessing of approval that truly satisfies your soul.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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