Posted July 15, 2012

My dad is a wonderful man. He loves the Lord deeply and leads our family in His ways. He is, however, (how shall I say this?) sometimes quite irritable and intense. After reading PTBH for the second time, I realized that he is a prophet, and that perhaps that is where some of this comes from. It helps me understand him a lot better because I used to just be frustrated and resentful (shame) with his edginess, irritability, intensity, and quick anger. (Of course I never let him know it) Especially when I compared him with my older brother who is a priest by nature. My brother is a strong, brave Christian man as well and not afraid to step up to the plate, but he is always easygoing, kind, and thoughtful. He is always a pleasant person to be around, even when things are not going his way and he is feeling stressed. I want to marry a man just like my brother!
Now, don’t get me wrong – my father is not always uptight and angry – far from it. There are plenty of times when he is the most wonderful person you could want to be around. It is just all the other times that are so hard to deal with.Please don’t think that I am trying to dishonor him – I really am not. I love him dearly and when I see many other fathers and husbands I am so thankful that he is who he is.
He does definitely have a ton of work to do between his job and our farm business, and often feels stressed, but when he’s stressed everyone else feels it too. To make matters worse, we have an intern currently working on our farm who lives in a trailer on the farm but basically spends all day every day with us as a family. Anyway, this intern has some glaring character flaws (such as a know-it-all and controlling attitude for one), and it annoys my dad to death and it seems like many days, all day long he’s either challenging him and telling him to cut it out, venting about him to the rest of us in the intern’s absence, or just being very irritable. It gets tiresome when day after day a cloud comes over the dinner table because he’s irritable, or during the day when he’s intensely push, push, pushing everyone to get the farm work done without much fun, cheer, or good humor. Or when he gets very loud and confrontational with anyone who dares to disagree with him at all on the smallest issue. Or when he becomes irate over the smallest thing someone does.
I remember quite vividly many times in my childhood when I would get seethingly angry with him for this type of behavior (hiding my anger from him of course), and simply be afraid to talk to him, not knowing what mood he was in and the response I would get. He would occasionally take me out to breakfast and talk, but I could never open up to him and really talk and confide in him because it felt like he was basically ignoring me most of the time and then making an attempt once in a while at taking me out, spending time with me, and getting to know me. I didn’t want a breakfast alone with him once in a while, I just wanted him to be cheerful on a day to day basis and take an interest in me all the time. Once again, though, I am thankful for him because he did more than most dads today do.
I know for a fact that my siblings all feel the exact same way about him – about the good and the bad, but my mom (a nice servant) is the ideal helpmeet – she doesn’t appear to ever even realize that he has any faults. I wish I could be more like her, but I don’t know how she does it.
As I’ve gotten older and grown into an adult I’ve been able to talk to him more freely because he definitely relates better to mature adults than to the silliness of children. I can have great spiritual conversations with him and really enjoy his company at times, but so often in the day to day, he’s just not fun to be around. (I’m in college, but I’m home for the summer)
I really want to honor and respect him and lately, when he acts that way, I’ve been trying not to let it ruffle me, remembering his good qualities, and silently thanking the Lord for giving me such a good father. It’s still hard though, and I am wondering how you all would recommend responding and relating to him? I’ve been hoping that if I’m cheerful enough, my attitude might affect him and make him cheerful too. It hasn’t seemed to make any difference, though. Certainly telling him how he comes across to everyone else is not an option – it would not be respectful and would not build him up and he would just be defensive about it anyway.
Is there anything I can do that will help him to keep a cheerful attitude?
I want to marry a calm, steady man like my brother, but I realize that if I don’t learn to fully honor my father as he is, then how will I ever fully honor my husband? And what if God gives me a king or prophet husband instead of a priest? (I’m a dreamer) I would really appreciate any advice you could give me.
Thank you so much!
Anna Grace


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  1. Katie

    I’m in a similar situation and have always wondered if I will be able to completely honor my future husband (Steady) when we are married if I can’t honor my father(Visionary) now. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    # July 17, 2012

  2. beth

    Hi gals,

    My dad is rather like the above description and is more of a Prophet. He was a lot more laid back when we were younger and only got cranky when we were REALLY bad, or when he was sick.

    Over the past several years he has developed a debilitating neurological disease. It affects him physically, emotionally, and mentally. He handles himself like an elderly man, has dementia, and can be quite cranky. Obviously this is hard for all of us- combine cranky with failing health and it’s a disaster. (Add to that- he is in complete denial of his health issues.)

    I can’t say there are any easy solutions. For me, I have found a couple things that seem to help:
    (1) Give him his space. Don’t pester him about things that he doesn’t have to handle. He has enough on his plate working while handicapped without my concerns, dreams, and thoughts.
    (2) Respect him. Because of his illness, he feels cut down and disrespected. He deal with harassment at work because of his illness.. He doesn’t need me being critical when he is home.
    (3) Keep the home calm. Because his issue is neurological, he seems to get overwhelmed easily. So I try to keep music turned off, younger siblings quiet, and no contention or other relationship issues.
    (4) Be cheerful. Not the obnoxious fake cheerfulness, but a sincere gently joyful thankful heart. And let him know you are thankful for him.
    (5) Keep my mouth shut!!!! When he is in a cranky mood, just let him vent, and don’t say a word. When he is being irrational, just let it go.
    (6) Don’t criticize them behind their backs. They have some uncanny way of finding out. ( I know this isn’t always possible, but do your best. We actually have folks coming to us and asking us what is wrong with Daddy.)
    (7) Do little things that tell him you love him and care about him. For my Dad that tends to be things like Lemon Meringue Pies, an I love you note, a thank you for something he did, or something simple like refilling his glass and putting a straw in it. (Make it easier for him to drink with his handicap.)

    I am sorry I can’t be of more help. I understand how frustrating the situation can be.- I just listened to a discussion/argument between him and my 17 year old brother where they were both being ridiculous. But pointing it out to either of them does no good-so we listen to them argue. (My brother is VERY strong willed and unteachable.)

    I have some friends whose fathers are very similar and my siblings and my friends and I have all agreed that after how our fathers have behaved- we want to marry quiet gently priestly type men. None of us want the contention, upset, and anger. And for the most part- we have all naturally been attracted to young folk who fit that category.

    # March 3, 2013