Father Wounds at 70%

father“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
  But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense t0 images.

Hosea 11:1,2

A recent study indicated that 70% of us have a father wound.  Something is broken in us because of the deficiencies or actions of our father.  For many, this creates a false image of who God is and an inability to perceive and experience His full love.

“It remains true that any image is inadequate; but what people often fail to observe is that when, instead of making the image out of material things, you make it out of thoughts, if you make it yourself, it will be equally inadequate, and it is just as much idolatry to worship God according to a false mental image as by means of a false metal image. The mental image misrepresents God, and has the same disastrous effects on character. If your conception of God is radically false, then the more devout you are the worse it will be for you. You are opening your soul to be molded by something base. You had much better be an atheist.”  William Temple (Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury)

Does this mean that living with a false image of God is idolatry?

As tragic as it sounds, I believe the answer is “Yes”.  And to compound this tragedy, if we have a false image of God because of brokenness within our family, the deeper we go into spiritual things the more dangerous it becomes.

Look back at the scripture at the top of this blog.  The more God pursued Israel, the farther away they went into idolatry.

So what should we do?  Two words:  Repent and Respect.

The only remedy for idols in our life is to smash them.  You don’t tinker with them or try to remodel them.  You destroy them.  And the way that you destroy a mental idol is through repentance.  You can repent for the false images that you have of God the Father even if they were passed down to you or inflicted upon you.  You have the ability to repent for the brokenness of generations that preceded you.  The curse can stop with you.

Find out what it means to me

What does respect mean?  Let’s get to the root…

“Spect”…to see…think of spectacles.  “Re”…over and over again.

To respect something is to look at something again and again.

That’s what you need to do with God the Father.  Look at Him again and again.   Start in His word and then bring that to worship.

Look at the next verses in Hosea 11:

It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

God is a Father who lifts us to His cheek. . .R-E-S-P-E-C-T…just a little bit.

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize winning author.  A reporter asked how she became a great writer.  Her response:  “If I am a great writer, there’s one reason and one reason only.  When I was a little girl and walked into a room where my father was, His eyes would light up.  That’s why I’m a great writer.

God is a Father who bends down. . .R-E-S-P-E-C-T…just a little bit.


About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (www.malachinetwork.org), a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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