Six Ways to Identify a Father Wound

1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

1 Corinthians 4:15 – For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Like a poker player has a “tell” that reveals their hand, people with a Father wound also have a “tell” that reveals their hurt. Here are the six which are, perhaps, most common:

  1. Fear. People with father wounds often have great fears about getting married and having children; they fear becoming like their fathers and causing the kind of pain for their children that they experienced as a child.
  1. Immaturity. Good fathers help us to grow up, take responsibility, and make the move from child to adult. Today, men are taking longer to grow up and are less likely than their female counterparts to be in college, have a job, attend church, or even have a driver’s license.
  1. Rebellion. A father wound causes a person to see authority as dangerous, unsafe, and untrustworthy. As a result, they rebel against it. In more moderate forms the father wound causes people to be suspicious of leadership and prefer governance structures in the home or church where there is no leader rather than a team of fully equal leaders.
  1. Selfishness. In a healthy home with godly parents the center of the home is God, followed by the marital relationship of mom and dad, then followed by the children. Children who grow up with a healthy father in a healthy family know they are not the center of the universe. Otherwise they are over-mothered, under-fathered, and selfish.
  1. Warped view of God. Our view of God is often a projection or rejection of our imperfect earthly dad onto God. Atheism says I have no Father. Reformed theology says I have a Father who is not very relational. Liberal theology says I have a Father who acts more like an enabling older sibling and does not tell me what to do but helps me do whatever I want.
  1. Lack of real-life mentors. People with father wounds have a hard time connecting to wise, older men or women who can train them. They avoid this type of relationship.

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