“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 NRSV
THE DETACHED FATHER
When it comes to emotional wounds, the things that happen to us during our childhood can have a negative impact on our ability to navigate adulthood successfully. The people who raise us have an impact on the way we develop. While some of us may have grown up with fathers who were absent, others of us may have experienced a childhood in which our fathers were “present” in all aspects of their lives, with the exception of their emotions. Because of their lack of understanding (or desire) to foster a close father-child relationship, our fathers are missing out on a vital connection that we long to have with them.
Perhaps your father was emotionally distant or apathetic. Then again, maybe your father was dealing with his own issues at the time and was unable to attend your event. It’s possible that he was imply ill-equipped to assist you with your feelings because he was having difficulty dealing with his own feelings. No matter the reason, these behaviors by father figures are often manifested in our adult lives as abandonment issues, the need for constant reassurance, and a clinging to relationships to the point of suffocation — exacerbating any existing mental health issues we may be experiencing.
The apostle Paul’s instructions to the elders of the Church at Corinth included this telling passage: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13, ESV). Paul, who himself endured beatings and stoning for the faith, knew it took courage and fortitude to be a follower of Christ in the early days of the Church within the Roman Empire. These are proper manly examples that young men need to learn to emulate.
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