J. D. Greear recently published a series of blog posts “to identify four types of father wounds” and “to show how Jesus came to heal those wounds.” You can find the link to those posts below.
Far too many of us continue to judge our heavenly Father by our earthly one. It’s time, instead, that we evaluate our earthly father by our heavenly one. Only when we flip the script like this can we begin to heal from the wounds and disappointments left by our earthly dads, whether they were amazing or atrocious.
The kind of love that God professes for his children completely contradicts the task-master spirit of the Never-satisfied Dad. Instead of seeing his children as disappointments, our heavenly Father looks to us as precious treasures. Instead of reminding us of our mistakes, our heavenly Father absorbs the penalty of those mistakes and sins into himself. The wrath of God was satisfied on the cross so that God could look on us with pure, unadulterated satisfaction.
If you are God’s child, not one thing has ever happened to you or will ever happen to you that God does not intend for good.
How would that change how you looked at your life? Everything in your past, everything in your present, everything in your future—all of it is a part of God’s grand plan to do good toward you. If you are in Christ, that’s not just wishful thinking; that’s a promise more certain than life or death.
Kids who grow up in an environment like this not only fail to develop a healthy relationship with their fathers (which should be obvious), but they also struggle to develop healthy relationships with others. Because they’ve never learned to open up emotionally in the home, they don’t have the skills to be vulnerable in other relationships—not with their spouses or their kids or their friends. In fact, they find it tough to make real and lasting friendships at all. They may be extroverts with lots of acquaintances, but deepening those relationships is a challenge.
The wound of the Absent Dad says, “You can’t rely on anyone. Sooner or later, this will all come crashing down.” But can I repeat myself here? Your father is not the Heavenly Father. He says to us in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you or abandon you” (CSB). Never. That word, in Greek, has a very specific meaning. It means … never!
…God—and God alone—is the Heavenly Father you’ve always craved. And that’s good news for all of us, whether our dads were great or horrid. You see, even if you had a good dad, at some point he disappoints you and fails you. And eventually, even the best dads die, leaving a gaping hole in your heart you don’t know how to fill.
But your Heavenly Father isn’t like that. He is, as Isaiah says, the “EverlastingFather” (Isaiah 9:6). The one deficit that all of our dads share—their mortality—has never been a problem for God. He never disappoints, never forsakes, never leaves, never dies. Here is the Father your heart has always craved.