Many individuals suffer physical, psychological, and emotional pain from the words or actions of another. These are particularly devastating when the wounds come from a loved one like a father or mother. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kia Stephens on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective about how we heal from father wounds. If you missed that episode, listen here: How To Exchange Father Wounds for God’s Perfect Love – Episode 206. Kia shares more in this week’s post.
Whether wounded because of a physically or emotionally absent dad, women carry a wound that demands attention. Kia knows this firsthand and spent decades addressing this issue in her own life. What she found can be summed up in 3 reasons why women need to talk about father wounds.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
3 Reasons Why Women Need to Talk About Father Wounds
By: Kia Stephens
My announcement triggered women to speak words they’d been waiting to say. “I’m going to start a blog for women who grew up without their fathers,” I said. Instantly, their body language responded before their mouths ever did.
Whether I was in the salon, on a playdate with my kids, or at work, women had something to say about their father daughter relationships (or lack thereof). Without hesitation they spoke, recounting memories and words (often painful) of their biological fathers.
“I just met my dad two weeks ago.”
“I don’t know who my father is.”
“My daddy was an alcoholic.”
“I heard my father call my mother a heifer.”
“My dad introduced me as his boy.”
Unfortunately, their experiences tilted the scale towards the negative, thus confirming the need for a conversation. Whether wounded because of a physically or emotionally absent dad, women carry a wound that demands attention. I know this firsthand and have spent decades addressing this issue in my own life. What I found can be summed up in 3 reasons why we need to talk about being fatherless.
Reason 1: Our Formative Years Impact Our Behavior
Behavior is shaped by the relationships, events, and experiences of our formative years. To ignore these imprints would be like pretending we magically dropped on the planet when we turned 18. We may not want to admit it, but in many cases, those influences (good or bad) consciously and subconsciously shape who we are. For this reason, the behavior of a woman who grew up fatherless is dramatically impacted in many areas of her life.
In his book, Always a Daddy’s Girl, H. Norman Wright had the following to say about the initial relationship between a father and a daughter.
“Your relationship with your father was your critical interaction with the masculine gender. He was the first man whose attention you wanted to gain. He was the first man you flirted with, the first man to cuddle you and kiss you, the first man to prize you as a very special girl among all other girls. All these experiences with your father were vital to him and all other men: your femininity. The fawning attention of a father for his daughter prepares her for her uniquely feminine role as a girlfriend, fiancé and wife.”
As women who grew up lacking the tangible love of our fathers, we must be willing to:
- Admit we have an ache.
- Give ourselves permission to grieve what we did not experience.
- Identify the lies we told ourselves in the process.
- Replace the lies with truth.
- Choose a lifestyle of forgiveness.
- Embrace an abundant relationship with our heavenly father.
If we choose not to, the effects can be devastating. Our woundedness can infiltrate every area of our life and repeat itself in our children.
Reason 2: History Can Repeat Itself
My father wounds were the result of divorce and that seed had fertile ground to flourish in my early years of marriage. Both of us grew up in single parent households without models of what marriage should look like. Needless to say, we jumped the broom and our wounded souls joined in holy matrimony right along with our “I do”. In hindsight, I wish I had taken the steps below prior to getting married.
- Keenly identify the needs that went unmet in my childhood.
- Practice going to God to get those needs met.
- Recognize and believe wholeheartedly that God defines me.
- Allow God’s word to make me whole and complete first.
If you’re like me and these words are too late to implement prior to marriage, start where you are. But if you are unmarried, with the desire to be married someday, TAKE HEED! Don’t dive into a relationship and definitely not marriage if you have not done the necessary introspective work.
Reason 3: There is a Solution
God provides the healing balm for women with father wounds. He offers wholeness for the broken, and abundance for the lack. We see this in Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” God is able to put the pieces of our broken hearts together and tend to our wounded places until we are healed. If we have experienced a father wound, we do not have to live as one with no hope, because God is our hope and He heals father wounds.
What have you found effective for healing from father wounds? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
About Kia Stephens
Kia Stephens is the founder of Entrusted Women, which she created to equip Christian women communicators of color. She is the author of the new book Overcoming Father Wounds: Exchanging Your Pain for God’s Perfect Love.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Kia is giving away a free copy of her book, Overcoming Father Wounds: Exchanging Your Pain for God’s Perfect Love.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about overcoming father wounds and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, April 3, 2023. Continental United States only.