Third in a series on fathering
We all incur wounds at the hands of our fathers. Even the
best fathers have their shortcomings, leaving some sort of painful memory in
the minds of their child that at some point bubbles to the surface.
Fathers, with their inherent strength, are the protectors of
the tribe. Historically, they have built
homes and put up fences and stocked the shelves at a time when mothers were
bearing children and nurturing them.
Unfortunately, children are at their most vulnerable when
fathers are still in the process of “growing up.”
For many people, their flaws
are in direct correlation to the role our father did (or did not)
play. These wounds are very real and require attention. Somewhere along the way in life we began to
settle upon these shortcomings as the reason for our own inadequacies. It almost
seems as though it is part of growing-up to find out the ways in which our
fathers hurt us and to link them up with our character flaws.
But our hurts stem in part from the idealistic picture of a father that we develop and then compare with our own all-too flawed father. The problem is that this perfect standard simply doesn’t exist in nature. It’s worth considering whether our picture of “perfection” should perhaps include a few flaws as well. Yes, inevitably our father hurt our feelings, made wrong decisions in guiding us, and made mistakes that impacted us. But all fathers do this – many of us need to cut our father and ourselves a break.
The beauty of a relationship with our God as Father is that
he gets to fill in the blanks. In the midst of our hunt for the “father wound,” we need to remember that our father wounds are opportunities to receive comfort,
healing, and encouragement from our heavenly Father.
It’s worth noting how important a discipleship
relationship can be in helping us work thru this issue. Broken
people often do not know what they need to do to become mended. Disciplers can bring the outside perspective that helps fill in the gaps.