The Visionary Daughters posted a letter from one of their readers. The letter is as follows:
Dear Anna Sofia and Elizabeth,
…My father is someone who I love very much, but he does not know how to utilize my energies and although he tries to do what your dad does (even listens to the tapes, watches the movies, etc) he does not breath life and vision into our family! I am naturally a very vision-oriented and goal-setter type of person, and this is very difficult for me. I love being at home more than any other place, but my father has not showed much of an interest in utilizing my talents, or really caring if I am part of his vision or not.
…my father failed to breath life into what I was doing and make it important. Sure he would thank me, but …by the time I finished, I was disgusted deep down with all the time I had apparently wasted. …I must admit I put my foot down and angrily retreated from helping him.
…I am someone who MUST be continually challenged by what I do, or my life becomes so meaningless and worthless that I scarcely can get out of bed in the morning. And my father, I feel, has failed in bringing this into our home. I have tried countless times to own what he does…but I end up getting frustrated with his lack of organization and when I try and fix it, he and I are both perfectionists and leaders, so we clash. Then I try and do things his way, but his way makes absolutely NO SENSE to anyone but himself (I am sure you have heard of people like this). My mom and I are often at a loss. After many of these episodes he just started cutting me out of what he does, instead of trying to find a way to make it work. Also, what he was having me do was in NO WAY challenging…I still enjoyed it and was happy to do it, but like I said, I feel my mind getting dull and sleepy when I am not challenged, so I need challenge at some point in my life, and my father does not provide it.
…I do think generationally and largely! And I know my father does too, but he allows life’s cares to choke what his dreams and visions are, and along with them, my hope fades…. Until I wake it again with things that I make happen! But not my dad.
…I guess my question is this: If my father is not providing the vision and structure that I need, and I begin providing it myself, is that wrong? I cannot MAKE my father do what your father does for you all! So what then? As I said before, I have no great ambition to just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! By no means. I just have a need to be always be challenged in my daily life, and my home oftentimes does not provide that for me. No one in my home knows how to do excellent bookkeeping, prepare taxes, or find a good real estate deal. …I must say that in my heart of hearts I wish my home provided me with so much challenging and visionary work, that I had no time for anything else. Sometimes my soul longs for it exceedingly and I am angry at my father for not providing it for me, as yours has for you.
…Please God, I will marry a man who will give my daughters something to live for every morning! I say this with no anger or bitterness at my father (at least, not right now) but with firm resolve: I don’t want any other young woman to have to go through the heart-ache I have gone through, and still go through.
Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing back from you sometime. Please pray for me in the meantime, that I would treat my father with respect, no matter how little I respect him in so many issues these days…
You can read the Visionary Daughters’ response here
They do offer this young woman some good advice.
When we measure our fathers against what we imagine other girls have, they’re always going to come up short. Comparisons are often based on presumptions, which are usually wrong. You say, “I cannot MAKE my father do what your father does for you all!”/”I am angry at my father for not providing it for me, as yours has for you,” but this is based on a presumption of what our father does. It sounds like your father is a big-idea visionary, as is ours. Your description of his personality, his eccentric organization habits, and especially the fact that he doesn’t have time to give specific, daily instructions or follow-up encouragement, sound all too familiar to us. Our father does tell us the projects he wants to work on, but he has to rely on us to figure out what to do each day, how to help him in his goals, how to teach ourselves the skills we need for that, and to keep ourselves motivated.
They do endorse the complete submission to fallible authority figures. Since that is their point, we cannot endorse their advice.
However, D crafted an excellent alternate response:
if your father isn’t giving you enough, go out and make it on your own.
Sincerely, The Real World
Now that’s something I can get behind.