Years ago I read a book called “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. In the book, he talks about the relationship between a father and son. He says that the one thing every son wants to hear from his father is: “You have what it takes”.
All I have to say to that is bull****!
You don’t need your father to tell you that you have what it takes. Believe me, I know. I spent most of my life trying to get the approval from my own father and sometimes it’s just not going to happen. So what do you do with that? What do you do when your father doesn’t tell you that you “have what it takes”? Do you just pack it up?
I have had older men in my life through the years who volunteered to be my “father figure” and to that I have always said “no thanks”. I didn’t need a stand-in father. You don’t need someone to affirm you as a man. You affirm it yourself by being a man. Don’t wait for some mushy, come-to-Jesus experience with your father to do it for you. Be real. Most men aren’t going to be all emotional or admit to any affections toward you to affirm your place in this world. Too many times people place blame on their shortcomings upon their parents. That’s just wrong. Yes, there is a reason we are who we are but we don’t have to stay that way or fall into some emotional void simply because we didn’t have the relationship we wanted to have with our parents.
Some have called it the “father wound” and the so-called experts want to suggest that this “wound” is the cause of our current issues or problems in life. Again I say bull****. You are who you are and you can’t blame some “father wound” for it. YOU have the power to change. I get irritated when I hear people make excuses such as “that’s the way they are” or “that’s how they were raised.” Cop out. That’s what it is. People would rather place blame than take control of their lives.
This so-called “father wound” is bull****!
Sure, it’s nice if you have a sweet relationship with your father then a trip to the Hallmark store is no problem in selecting a Father’s Day card. Not so for everyone. So what is a person to do? Crawl up in a corner in a ball and cry on Father’s Day? Does it suck? Sure it does but it’s not the end of the world and it’s certainly not the end of you. Just because you didn’t have the Andy Griffith-type father doesn’t mean you are inadequate as a man now. Let it go. It’s over. Whatever happened has past. We are responsible for the men we are today. So what if you tried everything to please your father and seek his approval? You may have made life choices because of him in hopes he would be pleased. If there’s one important lesson I have learned in this life is this: if you live your life trying to please everyone you won’t do and the only person who will be miserable is you. Don’t do that. If you are doing this I urge you to take a mental timeout and examine your life. I have discovered that you can do hundreds of things that please people but when you do that one thing that doesn’t it wipes out all of the pleasing things you’ve done.
The best way to be a better man and honor your father isn’t to crave his approval. The best way to honor him is to be the best man you can be. Be a man of integrity. Do what’s right. Be a good citizen.
Not to be mean here but what does his opinion matter anyway? It’s just his opinion based upon his own experiences. His opinion of you – or the lack of – doesn’t mean he’s right. Don’t invest your self-esteem on his opinion of you.
Experts have attributed this “father wound” the reason for high divorce rates, depression and pornography. Well, I guess you could blame anything for these but when it comes time to make a choice it is ultimate up to us to make the right decision for ourselves. You don’t need a father to give you some sort of affirmation to make the right decisions but it seems we are quick to blame them when we make the wrong ones.
If you want a father figure, there is none better than God himself. The tricky part about that is it is difficult not to project our own father onto the way we view God. I can’t tell you how to do this. You have to find your own way. I’m not going to preach a sermon here. I will say that you can absolutely discover a true relationship with God without comparing Him to your earthly father.
So, if you are a guy today and you’ve got that gnawing feeling in your gut about your father let it go. Forgive them. Stop blaming them for your own shortcomings. Sometimes, as men, we are crazy stubborn about things and how we feel. We will live in denial until it eats through us like a slow acid. Deal with it. Don’t let it poison your life or the relationships you have with others. This is life folks. No one said it would be fair. In fact, we are reminded of this often. If you were abused in some way by your father, that really stinks. Father’s Day really sucks for you. I won’t be insensitive and tell you to get over it. What I will tell you is that there is no way your father can fix that or make up for that. The best way to compensate for that is to be a better man. Use that pain as a ladder, not a crutch. Move yourself past his inadequacies and overcome any evil with good.
The “father wound” is an excuse for bad behavior. Don’t get sucked into it. Move on with your life. Don’t remain stuck as a 10-year-old who is in fear of the belt. That was then. You are now.
The best revenge for a crappy childhood is having a happy adulthood.