Monday, June 8, 2015

Why I believe no father is better than a bad father

A lady who grew up in a healthy family recently told me, “A bad father is better than no father at all.”

I strongly disagreed. 

Having grown up with an alcoholic, adulterous father and an alcoholic, verbally abusive stepfather, I've often wished my mom had remained single after divorcing my daddy.

Those two years of peace between her two husbands were the happiest of my childhood.

Yes, I’m stronger because of what I suffered. But I also have insecurities that stick to me like barnacles to a ship. Unsticking them takes up a ton of energy.

Thank God for the redemptive blood of Jesus and my relationship with the Lord through Him! He has more than made up for my bad fathers. For the most part, I live a fulfilling life.

And I'm happy to report that when I was seventeen, my stepfather gave his life to Jesus, and followed Him till the day he passed away. 

But I do sometimes wonder about the bad father/no father thing…

What about you? Did you have a good father? Would you rather have no father than a bad father? 


  1. I don't think children are competent to judge what makes a 'good' father. I recall being told that we're called to be parents to our children, not necessarily their best friends. They don't always appreciate the restrictions and guidance they're given, especially if one parent is more strict than the other, or less affectionate. Except when it involves truly abusive fathers, I'd rather see children be part of a complete family unit. My father wasn't ideal, but he tried, and it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized the extent of his shortcomings. I still wouldn't have wanted to grow up without him.

  2. I agree with you. A broken home is not always a home with a single parent!

  3. That is a loaded question I think! I have friends who grew up in homes similar to your experience but, thank God, are thriving now. We live in a broken home and I think deception is creeping in more and more. May we continue to pray against these principalities!

  4. I ask this question of myself every day. I wonder if I could have worked harder to keep my marriage together. But... I can see positive changes in my kids. Without their father's habitual criticism to drag them down, they're beginning to take more (positive) risks, and to feel good about their accomplishments.

    No earthly father is perfect, it's true, but when a father is unhealthy, abusive, or (like my ex) deeply narcisistic, it can be an influence in a child's life that has a long-lasting impact.

    It makes me deeply sad that I am relieved that my ex moved so far away, and has limited contact with the kids. I've told both of them that marrying well is the best thing they can do for their own future children. On many levels, I feel as if I failed them.

  5. It's a hard question you put forth, Jeanette. I had a dad that was there, but a farmer so he was out alot. But there was alot of love, fun and then there was the discipline. I wouldn't want it much different. I was an adult when he died. I miss him. I know my parents did the best they could for us. Different era. I would say an absent dad would be better than a bad dad. I've heard the stories. It's gotta be hard for all concerned. I'm looking from the inside out.


Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you here today, and look forward to reading your comments.