404 Daddy Issues: 3 Foundations of a Father

Daddy Issues: 3 Foundations of a Father

What was your relationship like with your father?

That’s the first question I ask when dealing with issues of fear. Some immediately squirm. Others frown and cross their arms. Some smile and say that the relationship was great. But very few know the full impact of this relationship to their lives.

Once you understand what you were meant to receive from your father, you can make the connection to how these things affect your life.

A father is meant to provide 3 key foundations in the lives of his children:

  • Provision
  • Protection
  • Identity

This list is by no means exhaustive. However, I’ve found that these 3 foundations come up over and over and are the root of many, if not all our issues relating to fear.


Most of us understand that a good father is also a good provider. The problem is that we typically equate provision with finances. While that part of the equation at times, it definitely not the whole of it.

Provision is much more far-reaching than having food on the table and ensuring that there are gifts on birthdays and Christmas.

Pain comes in our life either when we don’t receive the fullness of provision that was intended for us or when we receive a distorted provision in the form of a transaction.


Fathers are protectors. Unfortunately, this is another one that many don’t fully understand. Due to lack in our own relationships, we misunderstand protection and safety for others. Our interpretation of protection is lived out and perpetuated down to our children and their children.

When we interpret protection as safety at all costs, we succumb to being controlled by fear. Creating a safe environment becomes a life devoid of risk. It is a life lived fearing failure, rejection and disappointment.

Both overly passive and overly aggressive fathers can instill fear. It’s only when there is a right concept of protection, that fathers can provide the covering that God intended.


This is the most important foundation that a father instills in his children. Our identity is formed by what we receive or don’t receive from our father, both by words and actions.

Fathers demonstrate what a man looks like. Fathers demonstrate what a husband looks like. Fathers instill the value of a child in a way that is different from a mother.

What we think about ourselves, how we feel about ourselves and how we value ourselves are all based on our perception of what our father thinks of us.

The Presence of a Father

The only way a father can provide any or all of these 3 foundations is to be present. Unfortunately, there is a rising trend of absentee fathers in our generation.

There are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the US, raising about 26% of children under the age of 21. In other words, over a quarter of the children in our generation don’t have the support of both parents. Mothers make up 82.2% of the parents with primary custody (source). This lack of presence is a telling statistic.

Finding Hope

The good news is that even when we lack in one of these areas or even if we never experienced the presence of our biological father, God reveals Himself as a faithful Father.

Once we understand what we were missing and what God intended for us, we can begin to take steps toward releasing forgiveness and finding freedom. At the end of the series, I’ll outline the steps toward real forgiveness and how that opens the door to receive what God intended.

As the series continues, I will go deeper into each of these 3 foundations. The next post will focus on what Godly provision looks like.

Was (is) your father present in your life? 



  1. Kevin Mark says:

    I will always appreciate the role that my father played in my life. All fathers deserve to be congratulated.
    Kevin Mark recently posted..http://www.maxworkoutsreviewed.net

  2. Tony, unfortunately my father was not present in my life as I was growing up. My mother raised four children on her own. My mother and father and mother just never got married. I didn’t have the opportunity to go fishing, or play ball, or do a lot of the father-son things. I would go to his house 1 or 2 weekends a month. I love my dad and he loves me, but unfortunately we never developed an intimate relationship. I pretty much developed my own identity. My mother was the provider and protector.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..More Than Motivation

  3. I am happy ot say that my dad always has been and still is a big part in my life.
    Adam recently posted..A Little Skateboard Humor

  4. Yep, my father and I communicate on a regular basis. I don’t get to see him as much as I use to since I moved 10 hours away, but I do get to talk with him often. I love when we do actually get to see each other in person.
    Bethany Turner recently posted..requirement #2

  5. I lost my dad when I was 17 and it was difficult on so many levels, but now as I look back I can see the good and the bad. I’m thankful for what I had in Him and my heavenly Father covers every lack. Good beginning to the series. Thanks Tony.
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..God Is Not Fair (Why That’s Good)

    • He is so faithful to cover the lack that we experience. Thanks for reading along, man. I know you’re living out the father’s heart so I always appreciate your feedback.

  6. Great topic and post.

    Psalm 68:5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
    is God in his holy dwelling.

    My dad was around and a good one but very busy with his business to earn our keep. It was good to have God there to make up for some missing things.
    Ken Hagerman(The Barba) recently posted..Wednesday’s Rambling Round Up

    • That’s a great verse. Another one that I’m often reminded of is Psalm 68:6:

      “God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing”

      That’s a huge encouragement because even when a father is present, we can sometimes feel loneliness. The body of Christ is a beautiful representation of family.

  7. Great start to this series, Tone.

    My dad was present. He was in the military, so there were times where he was away on duty for extended periods, including missions to Iraq and Bosnia for 15 months each time. The trips took place during my early teen years and I can remember the rebellion that welled inside me while he was gone – the confusion stemming from my immaturity. That being said – he played catch with me, invited me into conversation about God, cared about my dreams. I’m thankful for that.

    • Dads are never perfect, that’s to be sure. It’s always good when we can find that good things that we received from our dads and claim that as part of our inheritance!

      I think you’ll like where I take this series, bro.

  8. My dad passed away unexpectedly when I was 15. But the life lessons I learned from him remain to this day. He was my rock for sure, That’s when God took over, though it was a bumpy road for a while, and it still gets bumpy every now and then.

    Great Article!
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  9. Jeff Weaver says:


    I was linked here by Matty Snider – great post. I think your three points are right on target. Couple things that amaze me…
    1. All the ‘shadows’ of earthly fatherhood are fulfilled in Heavenly Fatherhood – God’s provision, protection, and identity
    2. God has given us a model to replicate
    3. For where sinful humans fail to meet the model (bad dads), or painful circumstances eliminate the model (a car accident or cancer that kills dad), Christ and His church are able to fill in the gap.

    It challenges me to think of the roles of men in a church over their non-biological children. Provision, protection, identity in Christ.

    Thanks for helping me think.


    • You nailed it Jeff. What fathers are able to give to their children are shadows of the fullness that comes from our Heavenly Father.

      Great thoughts in your comment. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Nah man. Pop dukes was a coward and was intimidated by parenthood. He left when I was months old leaving my 19 yr old mother with 2 kids. By the grace of God we made it and I can certainly say that it was all Him.

    To be honest, I think I would have a lot more confidence, self worth, and made less mistakes if I had that male figure in my life. Fathers make a HUGE difference in their children. The fact that God is our Father, testifies to that truth.

    In my life now I work extremely hard to be to my children, what my father wasn’t. A provider, a protector and someone they can respect and find their identity in. To be honest, if the only thing people said about me in my funeral was “he was a good father” I would be completely satisfied.
    Moe recently posted..The Gift of Solitude

    • …To be honest, if the only thing people said about me in my funeral was “he was a good father” I would be completely satisfied.

      Nicely said, bro!
      Justin recently posted..The Night Is Far Gone

    • Yeah man, that’s exactly what I’ve learned. God intended for us to have these things through our earthly fathers. When that doesn’t happen though, He’s faithful to be exactly what we need. And more often than not, He brings us solid men in our lives to make up for what we never had with our own fathers.

  11. My father was present in my life but not really present. This means that he was there in the house with my mom and I, but the important relational stuff was virtually nonexistent.

    As I stated in your last post, I failed to get my identity from my dad and that has presented a whole slew of problems in my adult life. I’m working towards dealing with them and forgiving them. Having that kind of relationship is somehow wanting me to be more intentional with my daughter. Hopefully, I’m making a real difference in her life.
    Thomas Mason recently posted..Living the Story’s BIG Giveaway

  12. He was and still is but I am sure that he is not aware of these three things.

    Great article Tony, keep preaching man!
    Matthew Snider recently posted..App Review: Easy Calendar

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