The Father Wound

I’ve been a fan of mixed martial arts for a few decades and will never forget one epic moment I witnessed. A 5-foot 7-inch lightweight known as “Lil’ Evil” was a lefty who fought all the way through the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship to win his class. He also became a Christian later in life and wrote an autobiography, in which he tells this story. Officials rushed up to wrap him in the winner’s belt. Someone stuck a microphone in his face and said, “You just won! How do you feel?”.

This brutal fighter had grown up under the worst of circumstances, including an incident where his dad put a gun in seven-year-old Jen’s mouth before pulling away because his son wasn’t worth a bullet. As Pulver was being cheered as champion, he broke down crying on national television. “See, dad?”, he shouted through tears, “I did amount to something!”.

Pulver was fighting his dad every time he climbed into the ring. He expended his whole life raging against his old man. Like many men, including many men who follow my Bible teaching, he had a Father wound.

There are six basic kinds of fathers, and the first four can contribute to a father wound:

6 Kinds Fathers

  1. Tragic – you have no dad for some tragic reason like death
  2. Terrible – you have no dad for a terrible reason like abandonment or imprisonment
  3. Tough – you have a bad dad who was a domineering and overbearing bully
  4. Tender – you have a dad who was a coward that hated conflict and responsibility, which left you in harm’s way
  5. Tolerable – you have a decent dad who did alright but not awesome
  6. Terrific – you have a godly, wise, healthy, present, and invested loving dad

If you harbor any bitterness toward your dad, you can be infecting a Father Wound. This will damage your ability to see and savor God as Father. How can you be healed and made healthy? By forgiving your earthly father and getting to know your Heavenly Father. Jesus’ entire ministry was for this very purpose. Jesus says in John 14:6b, “No one comes to the Father except through me.

Many Christians, especially young men, have been forgiven by Jesus but have not been healed up by getting to know God the Father. The best place to start is in prayer as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:9, “Pray then like this: “Our Father…”

How is your relationship with God the Father?

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