Kia Stephens Reveals Hidden Truths in Father-Child Relationships

From Estrangement to Reconciliation

As children, we often look to our fathers for stability, strength and identity. In a recent Family Life Radio interview Kia Stephens, author of “Overcoming Father Wounds: Exchanging Your Pain for God’s Perfect Love,” shared her personal journey of trying to reconnect with her estranged father and how, in the process, she discovered the importance of seeking God as a heavenly Father for stability, strength and identity.

Inspired by her mentor, Kia shared that she followed a step-by-step process to create a new relationship with her father. Unfortunately, despite her efforts, she couldn’t change her father or create the relationship she longed for. She said, “What I discovered was that my efforts were not enough to create the relationship that I fantasized over. I also discovered that my dad was who my dad was, and I would not be able to make him into the father that I wanted him to be.”

Kia Stephens

Coming to terms with her unfulfilled expectations led her to a period of grieving. It was in this time of emotional turmoil that she realized the importance of relying on God as a heavenly Father for comfort, encouragement and identity.

Questions to Consider Before Initiating a Relationship with a Biological Father

To help others navigate similar situations, Kia developed a list of questions to consider before initiating a relationship with a biological father. The questions address various aspects, such as the father’s lifestyle, addiction, safety and willingness to acknowledge wrongdoing. Some examples she provided include:

  • Does my father have a lifestyle that’s contrary to mine?
  • Is my father addicted to alcohol or drugs?
  • Is my father abusive? Is he safe?

Kia also stressed it’s crucial to evaluate your own motivations and expectations in the relationship.

Preparing for Potential Disappointment

Kia encourages individuals to prepare for the possibility that their fathers might not fulfill their expectations. She advises that your self-worth should not be placed in the hands of a flawed human being, but instead in the hands of God. She cautions, “If it doesn’t, we need to prepare ourselves so that we’re not devastated and broken because we’ve placed our self-worth in the hands of a father that just may not have the character or authority to communicate to us our worth.”

Recognize Parents as Human Beings with Their Own Challenges

Understanding that parents are human beings with their own challenges can help you reframe your own perspective and avoid taking their shortcomings personally. In Kia’s words, “I told my husband, one giant takeaway for me is that suddenly I could see my father – and even my mother – as human beings. Instead of solely providers like I was hungering for something they didn’t have that they couldn’t even give.”

Kia Stephens

2 Corinthians 12:9 serves as a great remnider of the grace and strength God provides in our moments of weakness. “But he replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am” (CEV).

God Your Father

Kia shared, “We can still look to God for comfort and encouragement and strength and compassion and identity. We can glean all those things from God, our Heavenly Father.”

Your relationship with God as your heavenly Father transcends human limitations and offers healing, growth and the opportunity for deeper connection with yourself and others. When you embrace God’s love, you become better equipped to face the complexities of your relationship with our earthly father, extending forgiveness and understanding.

In the words of Ephesians 4:32 (CEV), “Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ.” By practicing kindness and forgiveness, you open yourself up to the possibility of healing and growth in all your relationships, regardless of the outcome.

Psalm 68:5 says, “You are the glorious God who rules from a throne of kindness and love. You are our Father, and you care for everyone who is helpless” (CEV).


Kia Stephens

Kia Stephens is a wife and mom of two who is passionate about helping women know God as Father. For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to help women exchange their father wounds for the love of God the Father. Kia is also the founder of Entrusted Women, which she created to equip Christian women communicators of color. In addition to these ministries, Kia faithfully serves in Bible Study Fellowship and her local church in Atlanta, Georgia. When Kia is not writing or serving women, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. Kia released her first book, Overcoming Father Wounds, on March 7, 2023. Kiastephens.com

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