(This is from a book I’m working on for group facilitators – Tomorrow I’ll look at Women and Father Wounds)
How we connect with our earthly fathers affects our entire life. It gives us some of our perspective on God, it teaches us about bonding with men and it provides us with guidance on how to conduct life. All of these can be highly positive, disastrously negative or somewhere in between. When the father-son relationship is more to the negative end of the spectrum, it is said to cause father wounds.
Listen to some things men have said on this subject:
James – When my father was home, he wasn’t home. He read the newspaper and shouted at us kids if we were too noisy. I grew up just like him, angry and isolated.
Bill – Dad left at 5 every day and came home after 7. He missed all my baseball games. When we were all grown, my mom divorced him. I still don’t have a relationship with him. In fact I resent him, and I don’t care. I hope I don’t do that when I’m a dad.
Robert – Oh yeah, father wounds! I’ve got them, my dad sexually abused me, I can’t trust men, but I am physically attracted to them. Where was God? The whole thing sickens me.
Lucius – When I think of my father, I think of drinking. I think that’s where I got my drug problem from. And the women, he had a problem with that too; broke my mom’s heart. I don’t know where he is. Don’t talk to me about God, and if He is like my father, I don’t want to know him.
Roberto – My so-called dad beat my mom up, right in front of me. And when I was 13 I stood up to him and he beat me up too. So I went and got some of my gang friends and had him beaten up. He never hurt me or mom again. If it hadn’t been for him I wouldn’t have gotten into my gang as a kid and gone to Juvie and jail. Now I’m clean and out, I ought to go confront him, but I hate the man. You asked about God, it was God that let him beat my mom all those years, what kind of God is that?
We all know that sociologist’s research has proven over and over again that the quality of relationship a father has with his son is a large factor in determining the son’s character, personality and behaviors. We also know that the absence of a father in a home is highly correlated with the probability of a son becoming a welfare recipient, having children outside of a committed relationship, dropping out of school and/or becoming a criminal; all antisocial problems.
Today then we want to discuss your relationship with your father using these questions:
- How was your relationship with your dad, and how did it impact your view of God?
- Do you have father wounds, and what are they?
- What attitudes or behaviors of yours can you tie to your father wounds?