The Father Wound
"When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me."
Many have grown up with not only the absence of a father in the home, but no connection whatsoever to who their father is or was, while others had a dad at home, yet there wasn't an intimate relationship between he and them. There is dysfunction in each of these cases. There is an exception by way of the loss of a dad due to death. Many children have grieved the loss of their dad's untimely passing and it has thrown them into lots of troubles due to the anguish and pain they couldn't live with. This indeed is catastrophic to say the least.
There was a point in time where it was thought that if a male child had a good loving mother, he should be able to weather the storms of life and be a well-adjusted member of society. A boy can have the best mother on planet earth, but she can't teach him how to be a man. God has so designed the family structure in such a way where the male (father) plays a different, and much needed role than that of the woman. Having a good mother is not a substitute for that. Many men have had good mothers and they still ended up in prison, on drugs and repeating the cycle of dysfunction.
The definition of dysfunction is something that is unhealthy and abnormal in behavior and interaction. In the above verse David states for a fact that if his parents did forsake him (fail in their parental responsibility and duties), he knew that God would be there to pick up the slack psychologically, emotionally and mentally. He was sure of it.
Much of our world is reeling from dysfunction of some kind. The men are to be the leaders and the protectors of the family and when that fails, the family unit comes crashing down. We see the ill effects of this every day in society. Many incarcerated men didn't have healthy relationships with their father, for those who knew their father. Some had no male presence in the home and if there was someone, they may have been their abusers. There's no wonder that such a large population of men have taken up years of residency in the prison system.
What about the men who are not in jail, or strung out on drugs? How have they managed to survive it all? In my observations I've noticed that some men who bore a father wound promised themselves that if they had children they would do differently, and many have raised their children well. How was this possible? They disciplined themselves out of love to choose healthy ways of handling their children and not only their children, their spouses as well. This is commendable.
There is a population of men, that I noticed, who continued to struggle with childhood deficits all throughout their lives, their marriage and subsequently, in the raising of children. For those who had neither wife nor child, they continued to make decisions that were based out of a dysfunctional upbringing. They abused women who they dated, verbally and or physically, they lived double lives pretending to be someone else and they didn't have good interpersonal relationships.
What about the Christian male? Is he any different? Should he be different? From the time one accepts the Lord as their personal Savior, God affords them the right to joy and happiness with all the success to follow. Obedience to God's laws ensures each believer that they have the power to overcome every obstacle that comes their way. God promises us in His Word that He can and will make the difference in our lives. He is the restorer of years. I know this from personal experience. Life for me has been no crystal stair, believe me, but with God's help, grace and mercy, I've overcome! The Christian man, father, and husband has the opportunity to heal from his father wound by simply opening up to God about the hurt and pain he has endured with no fault of his own. Talking to God in prayer consistently about it eventually brings healing and the strength to change oneself. Before that can even happen, the man must admit that he is functioning at a deficit and that he is in need of help. He must recognize and confess that he isn't emotionally and psychologically healthy because of it.
God is tenderhearted and there for those who have had to live without their loving father due to death. God certainly understands all of what comes with that. God is there for those who have and are struggling with the woes and pain of it all.
It is sad and disturbing when I look around and see Christian males who are middle aged and older still being controlled by childhood deficits. It is seen in the way they handle everyone around them. It can be heard in their speech, their choices and decisions and in their attitudes when they don't get what they want. Some are verbally abusive and physically abusive while others show a disdain for women by relegating the woman to what they want them to be for them. Some will remain in marriages solely because of the perks and the standard of living they enjoy due to that woman's hard work. If a man chooses not to take advantage of all God has afforded, then nothing can be done for him. God does judge such behavior.
A Call for Mentors:
There is such a need for mentorship programs in our local churches. This need has been in existence for many years now.
There are churches that have been answering the call for mentors. If you are a male who has healed from your father wound, please consider mentoring a young man who is in need of a male figure. Go before God in prayer to send you the right youth for you to influence spiritually and emotionally in hopes to bring healing into their life.
God expects men to heal and come full circle. God has placed His Holy Spirit within you to enable you the strength to work through your issues and make you a better man, a man God can find His delight in. May you experience God's grace and help in this matter.
Rule Your Spirit
"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Proverbs 16:32
A mighty warrior subdues individuals by overpowering them in some way. He conquers by force.
It takes self-control to not react or respond out of anger. The person who retaliates against you, to get back at you because you made them to feel some kind of way is out of control. The individual who takes vengeance on another for any reason is out of control. Anyone who goes and spread negative things about you is out of control and a person who orchestrates a plot against you is also out of control. The person who influences others against you is out of control as well.
All of these actions come from anger within a person. They have not learned to rule their spirit. They are actually very weak persons. All they can do is go around unleashing their anger and bitterness on others. They refuse to learn to deal with their emotions in a healthy, non-destructive way. They lack spiritual maturity. What about the 'nice nasty' person who uses a seemingly pleasant way of cutting you down or insulting you in a way that is condescending? They too have hidden anger issues and choose to strike out in ways that won't make it appear as if they have a problem with you. These individuals get angry easily and they act on it.
One wonders if they experienced emotional repression in their childhood where their feelings were rejected, not heard, criticized or not valued. Perhaps they ended up going through life feeling as if they always get the raw end of the stick. Sometimes it's those childhood deficits that bring about frustration and anger. This can be a breeding ground for behaviors such as jealousy, envy and a manipulative spirit within a child. Some adults are still fighting the battles they lost as a child. Perhaps they weren't liked much by their peers and they were out on a mission to prove that they are better than them. These things follow people into adulthood and if not dealt with from an early age by talking it out with a parent or trusted party, they continue to be on that quest to prove that they are better, smarter and popular. Regardless of one's painful childhood experiences, God never approves of such behaviors among His children and furthermore He disapproves of this type of anger issues pointed towards anyone.
As an aside, if you are raising children, give them a safe space with you where they can express their feelings whether you as their parent, or guardian agree with them or not. Don't make them swallow their feelings because eventually they will rebel. It is healthy to express one's emotions. That's why God gave us the ability to feel in the first place and we were given tears that we may cry if need be. Just picture someone who at every turn tries to shut you down. What will that end up doing to you?
Becoming a Christian and having a relationship with God should help lay these things to rest and help in controlling disappointment, anger and retaliation, but somehow for some, it keeps spilling out. This shows that there's a lack in their spiritual development and their refusal to accept God's help in this area of their life.
Some Christians may even think that they can control such behavior on their own, but they can't. Self-control requires a power beyond oneself. One must employ the help of God.
God's Word gives wisdom for handling anger. He gives a right perspective from which to view what caused the anger in the first place. One must be willing to get to the origin of why they are so quick to become angry and agitated in that way.
Quick tempered persons take everything personally and it leads to out-of-control behavior.
Let's face it, there's enough stuff out here and people to make you lose your mind if you're not careful; it's a tough world, but as a believer, God gives us tools to use and advice as to how to manage our emotions, our thinking, and our reactions. That is why it is imperative that we draw near to God so that we can be empowered and helped in gaining self-control.
You want to be a godly man or woman who knows how to control their anger. This is commendable.