Nearly three years ago, I wrote a post entry called Approvals – in the entry I detailed about my thirst for approvals from my Dad when I was younger. It translated into a craving for approvals from others around me – my friends, colleagues and bosses. As I get older, I am getting more comfortable in my own skins and although there is still a need sometimes to feel accepted, appreciated and approved, I can manage it now and just brush it off when I don’t get it.
It’s fascinating to realise that the quest for approvals from our own father is quite universal. So many movies and episodes have been dedicated to this, and so many songs have also been written with this theme in mind. It’s quite the expected norm that we feel accepted and loved by our mother and although we feel guided and protected by our father, we have that inner longing to make him proud. Although there are so many derogatory nicknames for father in the western world – the old man, the old guy, the old b****rd – deep inside, I believe that the anger is caused by the frustration of either not getting the guidance or protection, or by not accomplishing the approval that we crave. That is why the Bible has this special advise for fathers: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 [NLT]).
You may wonder why I think about this and whether I am still searching for approvals from my father. I don’t think I am. The answer to the question is a song that is sung by Susan Boyle called “Proud”. I dug a little deeper and did my research and found out that that song was originally from a now-cancelled series from ITV in the United Kingdom, called Brittania High. In the series, the song was sung by a character called Jez, who’s lifestyle clashed with his father’s expectations – I’ve never watched the series but the clips that you can find online give you the hints. After listening to Jez’s version (played by British actor Matthew Thomas), I much prefer his version to Susan’s, although her version is very powerful as well. Of course there are other songs that also contains this craving for fatherly approval such as Barbra Streisand’s Papa, Can You Hear Me? from Yentl or Christina Aguilera’s Hurt.
So if you are a father, perhaps show a little kindness to your children and show them that you love them and give them a sense of approval – even if there are things that you disagree with. If you are somebody who’s still craving for approvals from your dad or your mum, just give yourself a hug and think of your life with your loved ones. There’s a God who loves you as well – unconditionally.
You are loved.