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Healing the Wounds of Fatherhood Abandonment


The Cruel Lies of Fatherlessness

This might sound harsh, but it is the truth…

Your father abandoned you because of his own sinful selfish desires.

His sin led him not to value you, his precious child and responsibility, as he should.  It was sin not to protect and provide for you, to be present and rescue you if needed.  It was a sin not to be a part of your life in all the ways God has meant men to guide and shepherd their children.

Sin is the foundation of all your hurt, pain, confusion, troubles, loneliness, sadness, and anger.

God calls men to lead and care for their children.  Your father abandoned you instead, neglecting these biblical responsibilities.  This is terrible and has mattered greatly in your life.

There’s encouraging news though! From this point forward, you can choose freedom from the pain of your father’s sin. You can decide not to wallow and submit to the addiction of that pain. You can reject the premise that your father’s abandonment will continue to be a catalyst of reactive dysfunction that manifests in many ways in your life.

To add insult to injury, all along the way from being a young fatherless boy to today you’ve been fed a pack of lies to delegitimize your pain and excuse the sin of fatherhood abandonment.

These lies can be powerful forces that direct the course of one’s life – but you can reject, overcome, and counteract them with the truth of God’s Word and who you are in Christ.

I want to take a quick look at three lies you may have been led to believe. There are more, but I’d wager at least one of these will resonate with your story.

Lie #1: It’s My Fault That Dad Left

As a child, you probably thought it was your shortcomings that drove your father away, absolving his guilt by blaming yourself. It could have been any one of a million disconnected reasons that you included in a narrative to support your thinking that “if only I had (fill in the blank here), then Dad would have stayed.” You tried to fix some of the things that you blamed yourself for, hoping he would see the change and that your hero would return.

But your father chose to leave, to be selfish, and to give in to the sin of abandonment – forsaking his fatherhood roles.

You are not and were not to blame for him leaving you – and there’s no need to carry that debilitating belief forward.

Chances are that as time passed, your hurt turned into anger and hatred for your dad. Maybe that hate still lingers; perhaps it’s still white hot. However, understanding you bear NO blame for his abandonment, it’s time now to unburden yourself. It may feel awkward to formally let this go, but trust me, it allows the Holy Spirit to work in you for your own freedom.

Say it with me now: “My father left. It was his choice and it was not my fault. I will no longer accept blame that was not mine. I will let my father own the consequences for his sin.”

Lie #2: Dad’s Absence Didn’t Negatively Impact My Life or My Choices

No matter what life without a father looked like for you, it’s a lie to say your dad’s absence had no effect on you. Clearly it did.  Somebody told you it wouldn’t or shouldn’t matter.  Maybe that someone is even yourself.

Sadly, today we live in a hyperfeminized culture that belittles men, portraying them to be largely incompetent, dumb, and primal animals. It then offers to swap weak men with stronger women, propagandizing that this is an acceptable and favorable substitute for men, diluting or destroying and their important roles in the home and in the church.

This entire proposition is false.

Only a man can sufficiently model and cultivate biblical masculinity in a boy. Young men raised by women will miss some critical components of becoming a man of God due to the deficiencies of that experience that are directly counter to Creator God’s design.

Your father’s absence robbed you of genuine manhood training. He wasn’t there to provide direction, to pastor you through life, or to protect you from those who sought to exploit you. His absence affected your life in countless ways. In order to begin healing, you need to acknowledge this as fact. The negative impacts of fatherlessness are not the end of your story. Healing is possible.

Lie #3: I Will Always Be Broken and Nothing Can Heal Me

Your father leaving you was wrong and will matter significantly in your life, but it is not who you are. The brokenness you feel is real but it’s simply not true that you can never heal.

In Christ, you can.

The road to restoration may not be quick nor easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you will make it through. This process requires you to do some self-work and to firmly reject the lie that you cannot and will not get past this. By being faithful and confident in Christ and His forgiveness, you can be the man God created you to be.

To learn more about how to heal from the wounds of fatherlessness, and how to counteract the other lies we often believe, order your copy of my book Man Enough to Forgive.

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For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

Romans 5:6-10 (ESV)