Jesus reveals father wound to architect
C enjoyed a successful career and marriage but felt unfulfilled and trapped. He was stuck in mild depression without realising it. This is his testimony of realising the root of his emotional stagnation and the need for God to show him that He is his perfect Father. Praise God!
I learnt about ‘father wounds’ from attending a men’s fellowship years ago but never thought it applied to me.
My dad was a good, responsible and hard-working father. He was a conservative man with traditional Chinese values. As an author, dad worked from home and I was blessed to have spent a lot of time with him growing up.
The youngest in my family, I made it my goal to win his approval. Through his strict guidance, I learned to study for long hours, even though all I wanted was to have some fun and kick a ball around, just like other kids. My school holidays would be spent learning to translate manuscripts. I felt bored and “trapped” hanging around at home all the time.
Yet even though I felt close to dad, I also felt a strong sense of rebellion and aggression inside me.
At home, I would throw regular emotional fits. One time, I even stood on the edge of the balcony and threatened to throw myself off. It created quite a drama.
Because of the discipline that was instilled in me, I did well in school – but also learned to bottle up my emotions. When I graduated and started working, I continued to drive myself hard to win the approval of my boss and struggle with a sense of being boxed in. To cope, I started to drink a lot and eventually, developed a drinking problem. This affected my life and my relationships.
After decades of working hard and drinking hard, God graciously revealed Himself to me on a holiday trip to Israel. When I returned from the trip, I started to explore Christianity and gave up drinking completely.
However, I still had a sense that I was just “spinning my wheels”.
After a few years, my wife encouraged me to go for a cleansing prayer. I found it difficult to fill in the form because I had to confront my raw emotions, but I eventually finished it and was ready. One of the counsellors had advised me not to let Satan keep me from finding freedom in Jesus Christ.
At the prayer session, the counsellors asked if I was depressed and still idolised my father. I was shocked.
There was no reason for me to be depressed when I had a good career, a good wife and good friends. Isn’t this the definition of prospering as a person? And shouldn’t all sons honour their parents? My dad had passed away two years ago, and I felt that I needed to keep his memory alive in my mind in order to honour him.
It took me a while to realise and accept that I was suffering from a father wound; that I had not felt affirmed as a child and felt compelled to do whatever my father wanted me to.
My dad’s intention to bless me had also cursed me.
The reason I felt boxed in was that I was still longing for my father’s approval and affirmation in my forties.
I was also reminded that in reality, my dad is my brother-in-Christ. All relationships are made new in heaven. I do not need to continue to look up to this relationship any longer but look objectively at my father as a fellow human being.
This new understanding was very liberating.
As we prayed, I forgave my dad and asked God to help me heal from my father wound.
I don’t have to live based on my past and what my earthly father has done for me anymore. God defines who I am. I can trust my Heavenly Father to take care of my identity and emotions. I am still learning to renew my mind and live as a son of God, but I praise God that He has revealed all this to me so that I can start on a new journey to finally be comfortable being myself.
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