We ended today with this song from Bethel Music. “Whatever it looks like, whatever may come, I am yours. You crash over me. I’ve lost control but I am free. Whether I sink or swim, it makes no difference, I’m in over my head.”
Stepping out of the poser/the mask we wear into our wound with authenticity is very much stepping off the “safety” of our beach into the waters. Uncertain, we must go in. Whether we sink or swim, it makes no difference. God is there. In stepping off the shore, we are giving up our so-called “control” of our pose and in so doing, are actually stepping into freedom.
The pose isn’t working for you. The wounds are there – be it from Dad or Mom or a coach or a boss or an older brother, ex-girlfriend – the wounds are there and this pose you’ve constructed, this elaborate fig leaf, it isn’t working. God wants you, not your pose. “Adam where are you?” He cries out looking for you in your hiding. Step off the shore. He’s got you.
It is a brutal world – the wounds come. The deepest wounds come typically thru the father. The father/son relationship is the most intimate/primal relationship in creation i.e. God/Jesus
2 Things Every Boy Needs
- To know that his father adores him. It is communicated in many ways – through words, “Son I so enjoy your life”, reading books to him at a young age, picking him up at school, special breakfasts on Saturday, just hanging out together he feels “I adore you”.
- The answer to his question of “you have what it takes”. The design is that the father would answer that in a progression from young boy to young man with “you’re amazing” or “atta boy” or how you ask a girl out or interview for a job
… the delight of the father and getting your question answered that you have what it takes. If Jesus needed to hear it, just image how much we men need to hear it and know it?
This power your father has is a double-edged sword. If he has the power to bless, he has the power to cripple and wound.
The wounds come from silence, passive, lost-heart, disengaged, no training or initiation, or particularly thru a lack of validation, validation, validation of “you are the man”. And there are violent wounds – angry, raging, alcoholic, sexually abusive, etc. The lingering impact of those wounds requires something powerful to deal with it
“What have I become?” – without healing, we men find ourselves wondering what we’ve become. How did I get this way?
There is always a story.
Behind every posing man is a wounded boy. There are many wounds but the most defining wounds often come at a young age when the boy is ill-prepared to handle them. The wounds come and they seem to have a pattern to them. John’s Dad left and he turned to his first girlfriend. She broke up with him and crushed his heart and soon after, his grandfather had brain cancer and died. John was “abandoned” three times one after the other. The wounds seem to carry the same message – in John’s case, it was “you’re all on your own, don’t trust anyone”.
Wounding shapes us – it matters. They form our posture, our stance in life. The drivenness, passivity, anger, always the jokester, having to succeed, must have approval, rage … it doesn’t matter what it is, the wounds shape you. All of our addictions – the constant need for sex, of always being in control, the need to always be right, the need for attention, success, money, drugs, booze, the pornography – the addictions are not the issue (which is good news).
No, the issue is that you have a wounded heart and you’re medicating the wound, doing everything you can to numb the heart, numb the pain. You’ll numb it with busyness, spirituality (by the way, you can be a Christian and still be this driven, busy, angry, perfectionist man) angry, shutdown, etc. and down in there is a wounded heart and the addictions just add to the mess.
The wound is the issue. Most guys deny it, minimize it and move on. Or … they admit it and dismiss it – “yep it was abusive but I don’t think it shaped me and I’ve put it behind me” … oh really? Or … they minimize it by comparison – “mine is nowhere near what Joe’s is”
Or … they embrace it.
“I am a seagull. I am an idiot. I’m all alone. I am on my own. I’m not a man. I’ll never succeed. I’ll never be loved. I’ll never take a risk. I will never come through.”
It becomes our identity – creating some odd mix of addictions and living out a script someone else wrote for me.
But none of these will ever heal it. The shame, self-hatred, self-loathing, that’ll never heal it. So God has to sneak up on it. Often he’ll do it by dismantling the false-self. You construct this world to save yourself and really, the most merciful thing God can do is bring it down around you. Because the worst thing is when your sin is working for you. When the poser works and gets you what you want, you’ll live that way forever. Sometimes God hands you a crisis. God will come through any door He can find to get to your heart – your buried, shut down heart. He’ll even allow you to be wounded again, if that’s what it takes.
5 Questions for you…
Can you name the way your heart was wounded
Can you name the message of your wound? i.e. “I’m no good” Because your wound was delivered with pain, it feels true and so we believe it. We believe we’re an idiot or a seagull or a loser or “I don’t matter” and we adopt it as our life verse.
What was your Dad’s message – in the context of your need of adoration/beloved and then validation through word and experience i.e. your father’s role to help you learn how life works — what was your Dad’s message to you in this context?
How was your heart handled by him?
What was his way with you?
Dan Baker in his book “What Happy People Know” says this – “The stories we tell ourselves about our own lives eventually become our lives…the choice is ours.” These wounds aren’t your fault (that famous scene at the end of Good Will Hunting where Will is finally broken). The first step is to admit it. Name it. And then open these wounds to Jesus. Invite Him into these dark/cold/wounded places that you’ve hidden and blanketed over in self-protection. The self-protection isn’t working. It is time to invite Jesus in.