Sunday, September 25, 2011
Post # 8 “A MAN IS NOT A MAN UNTIL HIS FATHER TELLS HIM SO”
“A daughter is not a woman until her father calls her forth.” This post is about the father wound and father hunger.
Every little son and daughter knows how important daddy is. And when dads disappoint us, we’re profoundly affected for the rest of our lives. Whether your dad neglected you, abused you, left you, or passed away when you were growing up … the result is a festering wound that desperately needs healing.
For years, I was unaware that I hungered for the loving affirmation and involvement of my father. It began to surface after I got married, had children, and began to work hard to succeed in my career.
How did it surface? I’d meet older men I respected and, without knowing it, place them on a pedestal as a model of manhood. However, when they disappointed me, I’d become hyper critical of them. I’d be negative and judgmental like I was with my dad during my teen years. In my early forties I realized that, underneath it all, I secretly yearned for them to affirm me as a man. I wanted them to father me in ways my earthly dad hadn’t.
Another way my father hunger emerged was when my wife and family would travel to visit with my parents. After several days together, something would usually happen where my dad criticized me like he did during my boyhood. Inside of me, I’d react with anger, rage, and become extremely withdrawn. I’d think thoughts like, “I don’t need you. If this is the way it’s going be, then I’m outta’ here. I hate you.” It would take me weeks to get over these visits.
In my late forties, someone challenged me to listen to God. Initially, I was skeptical and unsure. Why would God take the time to communicate intimately with me? I carried tons of self-contempt. Inwardly I thought, God just puts up with me cause He has to.
Nonetheless, after resisting the idea of listening for several weeks, I went off by myself to the mountains to seek God. I had a yellow pad of paper, my Bible, and a pen. After finding a nice secluded place, I tried to quiet myself down inside, commanded the enemy to be silent, and asked God to speak. To be honest, I was doubtful anything would happen. As I waited in silence my discomfort increased with each passing second. A knot of anxiety started growing in my stomach.
Finally, a few words popped into my heart and mind. I wrote them down on my pad. As I wrote, another thought came. Then one thought built upon another and another. Before I knew it, I’d spent more than an hour communing with God.
“Rusty, I am for you … for you and not against you. You belong to Me. It really wasn’t you whose chose to follow Me. I chose you because I love you with an everlasting love. You are Mine!”
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, God, my Perfect Father, began to minister to the father deficit I carried. He began meeting me in ways no earthly father can. He began to heal my father wound. Over more than a decade, I’ve continued listening. And guess what? I’ve become the man God created me to be and I’m at perfect peace with my earthly father.
How about you? Are you beginning to realize that you’re inwardly famished? Do you experience father hunger?
The below presentation highlights the father wound and father hunger through two film clips and some teaching put to music. It explains that this wound is an epidemic in our twenty-first century world. It also gives helpful input on how this hurt can be healed through listening and inner-healing prayer.
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