The First Step to Healing Father Wounds

man sad; healing father wounds

Our dads have a huge impact on our lives—for good and sometimes for worse. Whether you had an affirming dad, a neglectful dad or even an abusive dad, everyone grows up with some deficiency because of their dad. Why? Because no dad is perfect. 

As we mature, our father wounds can create insecurity, making us feel like failures or have us overcompensate with ambition. But no amount of success will fix it. Growth only comes through healing these father wounds. Here’s the good news. Everyone has access to the perfect dad—God, who designed you. He invited you to be His adopted son through you His Son. Here’s how you can embark on a journey of healing for your father wounds.

4 Steps for Healing Father Wounds

1. Understand how you started

Some of us would rather not think about the past because of some of the normal growing pains. Others escaped horrible situations. Either way, the family that raised us is where our problems start. So, as we try to move forward in our journey, it’s helpful to look back over the ground we’ve covered—by us and those who shaped us. 

Ask yourself, how has your past impacted your identity? Each of us has unique ways in which it’s made you insecure, afraid or self-conscious. Identifying the root cause is often massively important for healing father wounds. 


2. Look back with grace on your dad

Of course, we wish our dads had made our early years easier—if dad had been there, if mom and dad’s relationship was healthier or if they’d engaged more in developing us from a boy into an emerging man. But no one has a perfect family and our parents’ childhood wasn’t either. Theirs may have been just as painful and deficient as ours, maybe more. 

So, without dwelling on the past or holding onto resentment, look back with grace on your dad and your own upbringing.


3. Offer forgiveness to your dad

It can be hard to change the behaviors and attitudes connected to our father wounds when the pain and feeling of being wronged is still there. But when you acknowledge Jesus as your savior, you receive forgiveness for all the sins you’ve ever committed or will commit because of Jesus’ sacrifice. 

We’re also given the power of forgiveness to bestow upon others. Jesus instructs us to pray, “Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us” (Matt. 6:12). 

It might feel like you’re giving your dad a gift he doesn’t deserve. He might not acknowledge how he’s wronged you or ever asked for your forgiveness. But forgiveness is a gift for the one who forgives. It allows you to move on from your role as a victim as God heals your father wounds. 


4. Let God heal your father wounds and transform you

I’m not saying it will always be easy. It won’t. But as you forgive your dad, you can look at all the pain or deficiencies your dad caused without so much heaviness. You can offer them up to God. You’ll receive peace and confidence with your true identity as an adopted son of God. 

Another way to transform this wound into a positive thing is by sharing it with your close group of guy friends. As men, we usually hide our vulnerabilities from each other. But you never know what another guy might have gone through or is currently going through. Your sharing could help him know he’s not alone or even give him guidance to help heal his father wound. 


Want to know how to create a space for guys to talk about their father wounds? Download the Playbook for Level 5 Friendship today.