My son Jordan and I listened to several of John Eldredge’s podcast on the way down to Bakersfield a few years ago. We talked about how good It would be if we could get a weekend retreat scheduled to help men and boys with their brokenness and father hunger.
One thing that Jordan and I have learned in hosting many retreats in the past, is that if a man is to be healed from father wounds, or to draw closer to the heart of God, going to the mountains and spending a little time away from the familiar and from responsibilities provides an excellent environment to find clarity and healing.
There is a clear biblical mandate in scriptures for fathers and sons to turn their hearts towards each other, as written in Malachi 4:5-6 and in Luke 1:17.
Did you know that God closes the Old Testament with Fathers turning their hearts towards their sons, Malachi 4:5-6, and then opens the New Testament with the same message in Luke 1:17?
Matter of fact, a broken and wounded relationship between fathers and sons leads to a cursed life. In turn, a cursed life causes the wounded sons of Adam to detest and avoid the Father Heart of God. And, like Adam, we are driven away from God and cover our nakedness (shame) with a false life and endless pursuits of Eve (the woman).
Eve becomes a surrogate; a pseudo-god in place of the Father Heart of God. Her comfort replaces the comfort from Father God and her beauty replaces the glory of God. So, man sees his reflection in the woman rather than in God. He grades himself and his masculinity in the responses and opinions he receives from woman.
I find it interesting that God created Adam apart from Eve. God walked with Adam for some time before he created and presented the woman to him. If a man is to walk with God; if he is to be fathered by God, he must let go of Eve. He must cease his pursuit for her comfort; for her beauty, and her maternal instinct to satisfy his father hunger.
A woman cannot bestow masculinity, nor can her maternal instinct heal the wounded masculine soul. He is father-famished and mothering this type of wound will further emasculate him, extending his adolescences years and perhaps decades beyond the stage of normal boyhood.
Read the following short conversation between Nullah, a little half breed Aboriginal boy, and Drover, an Australian cattle driver from the movie Australia:
Nullah: You a man, Drover?
Drover: Yeah, I try to be.
Nullah: Sometimes man got to get away from woman.
Nullah: That’s why you go droving.
Drover: I go droving ’cause that’s my job.
Nullah: If you don’t go droving, you not a man.
Young Nullah has learned from his grandfather, King George, an old Aboriginal man that a boy cannot become a man until he leaves his mother and completes his walkabout into the wilderness.
Drover, played by Hugh Jackman, later explains to Lady Sarah Ashley, played by Nicole Kidman, that Nullah needs to go on walkabout and that without ceremony (walkabout) the boy will have no love in his heart, he’ll have nothing; no dreaming, no story, and no country.
And this is the problem with our culture. Boys do not, in a healthy way, detach from the woman, which should be initiated by the father’s invitation. The ceremony between father and son never happens, and so, the son remains a boy with no love in his heart, no dreaming, no story and no country or belonging. Matter of fact, for far too many boys, there is no father to speak of. And so, men awkwardly and inappropriately remain attached to the woman as mother, rather than as an equal. Romance becomes incestuous and confusing, as men become seekers of mothers rather than partners.
I have firsthand experience with this. You see, I lived a parent-child relationship for the first fifteen years of my marriage to Toni. It was a wise Counselor, Jim Matthews that pointed this out to Toni and I during a crisis therapy session. Oddly, Toni was the mother I’d always wanted, and I was the son she wanted to fix and mother. I was terribly unfathered and a broken man. We almost lost our marriage many times throughout those first fifteen years.
At one point, Toni stepped out in faith and ceased mothering me, which allowed me to fail or succeed, until I became the man she needed and deserved. Without my wife acting as my mother, I had to grow up or I’d lose my family of three sons and one daughter. My legacy and my children’s future were at stake.
In a miraculous way, and due to the courage of my wife, I became the man, husband and father my family needed and deserved. This is why I have written this article, to tell others that change is possible, even in the most damaged life or marriage, there is hope and healing. My good friends, Dustin Scott Guerrero and his wife Angie Orlando-Guerrero also have an amazing and beautiful story of healing and restoration that is powerful and inspiring.
You see, a real woman does not want a grown man to follow her around like a lost boy or puppy. When the cuteness wears off, she awkwardly becomes a mother, rather than a lover of a true man. Relationships become difficult when a man can not give, but is in contestant need to receive.
A man must detach from Eve in order to become attached to the Father Heart of God. Without a father in the life of a boy, the boy becomes lost and wounded. When the boy ages into adulthood, without initiation and ceremony he hides his unfathered and boyish heart with the fig leaves of false masculinity and posing.
Wounded boys and men like this need healing. Jordan and I have witnessed the miracle of healing and restoration of men’s heart to the Father Heart of God in the space of a few days. God can and does heal by just one word. After all, did not God speak the worlds into existence, by the Word of his power?
“For He spoke, and all things came into being. A single command from His lips, and all creation obeyed and stood its ground.” Psalms 33:9 (VOICE)
“His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purified us of our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high…” Hebrews 1:3 (WEB)
Yes, God can do a miracle in a man’s soul with one word!
Also, do you see the connection between “His Son is the radiance of his glory,” and you, being, or becoming His son, reflecting his radiance? This is something that only the Father-God can do. This is not the woman’s place or role in a man’s life.
A real woman desires a real man. However, so many woman have settled for boys trapped inside the body of a man, and so become mothers. This cycle repeats itself over and over again. Women searching for real men, and real men searching for real women, but finding only the adolescent forms of what whole men and women should be. Only God can stop this cycle, and it starts with the healing of father wounds in the hearts of men and women.
The enemy has spoken words of power also, and so stricken and wounded the hearts of people by using wounded fathers, and mothers too, to wound the heart and soul of their offspring. Thus perpetuating cursed boys and girls, which grow up with insatiable (impossible to satisfying) desires, or appetites for sex and drugs, or eating disorders. The hole is a God sized hole, which only his wholeness can fill. But since many significant wounds originate with the father or mother, they are driven away from the Father Heart of God and the nurturing and maternal presence of the Holy Spirit.
John Eldredge, author and speaker wrote the following:
“A wound that is not wept for is a wound, which cannot be healed.”
And so, we live a life without tears; without compassion and love for our own wounded hearts and souls. – We all die silently while God has delivered to us our only remedy, that is, Jesus Christ.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” said Jesus – John 14:6.
The Father is the principal destination and the Son is the vehicle, or passage way to the heart of Abba-God. (Abba is Hebrew for: Papa or Da-da, an endearing term for Father).
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 (ESV)
“Because you are now part of God’s family, He sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts; and the Spirit calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6 (VOICE)
For those who have the Water of Life, start watering. For those of you my dear friends, and those whom I’ve not had the pleasure in meeting, drink deeply from the Water of Life, and you will never go thirsty again.
Jesus said, “… Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:14 (MSG)
If you want to hear more about this amazing Water and the Father Heart of God, message me, or ask for it from others who are drinking from this Well of Life and who are acquainted with the Abba of Jesus.
Don’t remain in slavery, and do not give into fear, but receive the Spirit of Life, of adoption into the family of God — into the Father-Heart of God.
Do not silently hide, or dismiss your heart, become the man you were meant to become, and simply pray and ask God to father you in the way you should go, and you will find peace and wholeness.
Our God is no deadbeat Dad, but the Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God and the Prince of Peace!
Becoming a true and whole man is what every real woman desires – she’s after the authentic you.