“Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:28). Jacob grew up with a father wound, coming in second to a brother who hunted and had hair on his chest–from birth! Jacob was a mama’s boy. He got over it, but he almost killed himself in the process. In a time of great crisis he had it out with God, persisted in prayer, and his name was changed from Yacov (heel) to Israel (a prince who prevailed).
When he became a father of twelve boys, he should have known better than to pick favorites. Hurt people hurt people, and Jacob wounded ten sons by choosing a favorite. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of the other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him” (Genesis 37:3,4).
Jacob didn’t do Joseph a favor. His brothers took vengeance on Dad by almost killing little brother, choosing instead to make money off him by selling him as a slave. A wound comes from people we have a right to trust (father, mother, sibling, pastor), and they violate that trust.
Victims live with “if onlys.” If only they had not sent me down the river. If only Potiphar had not believed his wife. If only the butler had not forgotten about me.” Joseph determined instead to take each difficulty as it came and make the most of it. And he lived free from the wounds inflicted by his brothers, finally forgiving them with the powerful words, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). Victims who chose not to be victimized by their suffering often become the redeemers of those who have hurt them. Think Jesus!
King David was a better fighter than a father, and it affected his son Absalom. When Absalom killed his half-brother in revenge for violating his sister, he fled home. Even after David was comforted in the loss of Amnon, he did not bring about the return of Absalom until Joab urged him to do so. When Absalom finally returned, David ignored him. Had he healed the wound by receiving his son back into his heart and home, he might have saved his son from death and his own heart from awful grief. But he, like many fathers, seemed immobilized, and he took no action to repair the rift. It almost cost him the throne, and it did mean a bitter end for Absalom, so full of potential, so winsome, so charming, and so full of hatred for a man who loved God and who loved women, but didn’t know how to love his own son. When David heard the news that Absalom was dead, he cried, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33). He died of dart wounds, but he really died of a father wound.
Maybe you suffer from a father wound. I encourage you to get prayer ministry and to believe in a loving Father for healing, even if it takes a while. Email pa@harvestcommunities for “Healing From A Father Wound.”