I believe most men carry some wound of fatherlessness in their lives. We see signs of this all around us in men that seemed just checked out, passive. We see symptoms of this when Moms come forward to ask other men to pour into their sons. The problem is rampant and it is debilitating. I think it explains why you see so many women stepping up to take control of ministries – because – the men have checked out and defaulted it to the women.
Bart Hanson (Ransomed Heart Ministries) was recently interviewed by Morgan Snyder and Bart shared his story of fatherlessness. It is very powerful. http://www.becomegoodsoil.com/005-videoaudio-risking-love-an-interview-with-bart-hansen-podcast/
Some of the key takeaways…
- He drove harder and harder in business on his own strength.
- He felt like he was only as good as his last deal and the next deal had to be bigger and better.
- Validation came from the pursuit of success and in reality, he now knows, he was looking for a father. We all want that pat on the back, “Man, you’re doing a great job” affirmation that a father can provide and we turn to other things to get it when it is absent from our father.
- He created this false self, this persona around him to mask his hurt. What they call the “poser”.
- He took bigger and bigger risks to find life. It becomes like an addiction and the last success doesn’t fill you so you seek an even bigger success. He started to believe “I can do this on my own” at so much cost to everyone around him. Question – are you doing life alone, you vs. the world?
- Chasing success on his own was a bottomless pit. The illusive “It” is never there.
- The Church can fill this void. The institutional church will gladly take this performance mentality and plug you into roles and you’ll start performing for the church.
- Bart said he had a “wasteland in his soul from his fatherlessness“.
And to stop for a moment here, a key thing he said was, “You can go back into those places of where your father was absent and let God father you.” This is so key and frankly, I’ve been missing this over the past few years. Pain from fatherlessness? Yes. Have I sought it in other places, perhaps in mentors or teaching myself projects? Yes. And while that is valid and even holy, the thing I have missed is taking all this to the true Father. God wants to father me.
What we all crave as men is that father that will say, “Son, I love you. I love your life. I love what you’re about. I’m so proud of you.” I crave that. How about you? And we can take this all sorts of places – to Eve, to our work, to the next deal, to church work, to mission work and even to darker places.
But God wants to father you. He created you. He instilled in you all the character qualities you have. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14. “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5
God wants to father me. He wants to walk with me in the cool of the day, see my work, see my wife, see my kids, see my projects, my visions, my dreams and He wants to embrace those and say, “Good job Son. I’m proud of you“. He wants the fears, the worries, the hang-ups and the hurts.
This is so rich. You need to hear this. Don’t do life alone as an island. If you do life alone, you’re going to miss so much of this. Other men around you, knowing your story inside and out can help you with this and you can help them. You need men around you that know your story, understand the big picture of what’s going on, men that understand your glory and that you are opposed by an enemy. You fight for and alongside each other. This isn’t accountability. There is a massive difference between a man holding you accountable and a man that understands your story.
Last point – Love. How you treat your own heart is so crucial to this. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Matthew 22. At the core of Bart’s drivenness, he didn’t really like himself. Be kind to your heart. Don’t make agreements based on your failures, fatherlessness and setbacks. Make margin in your life. You don’t have to be a “dutiful man”. It’s very OK to say “no” to things. Know your boundaries and know when to say “no”. If you don’t, your faith will become performance driven as well and you won’t enjoy grace. Love covers a multitude of sins. It’s never too late to love. Risk love. It’s the greatest risk we can take. Everything flows out of it. Risk loving others. Risk loving yourself.
I hope you will watch it and would be interested in any thoughts this stirred in you. LiveUP!