Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

6/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Cry out to your Heavenly Father, and one day every day will become a Father's Day full of great joy and peace

It is an epidemic that fuels rebellion, homosexuality, promiscuity, and all manner of sin in the Church and in individual Christians. So many people carry "father wounds" from relationships with fathers, stepfathers, priests, grandfathers, etc. that negatively affect their relationships with God and other men. I am one of those people, and God helped me. Dear One, if you have a father wound, if you are a parent who fears passing one on to your children, I pray that this Father's Day you will seek God's healing. 

Highlights

By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: father's day, father wound, heavenly father, abba, abuse, rage, perfectionism, homosexuality, promiscuity, catholic speakers, catholic bible studies


NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - "The hearts of fathers must be returned to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers" (Mal. 4:6).

I confess anticipating Father's Day used to almost make me sick with anxiety. As much as I loved my dad, and still do, every year when June rolled around, I got an awful sinking feeling. I would spend hours in one card aisle after another, trying to find something that might somehow both honor my father, and still be truthful. "You are the best father in the world" was not a sentiment I could sincerely offer my own dad. 

If Father's Day makes you feel this way, you are not alone. So many people carry "father wounds" from relationships with fathers, stepfathers, priests, grandfathers, etc. that negatively affect their relationships with God and other men. It is an epidemic that fuels rebellion, homosexuality, promiscuity, and all manner of sin in the Church and in individual Christians. 

As Father's Day approaches, there is a Scripture that comes to my mind frequently: "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship that enables us to cry, 'Abba! Father!'" (Rom. 8:15). The word abba means daddy in Aramaic. What a precious, intimate thought this verse is to me now. 

But there was a time when it made absolutely no sense to me at all. Lifetime military and highway patrol, my dad was authoritative to the extreme, aggressive, controlling, and dominating. He seldom looked at me with love unless my achievements made him look good to his peers. He rarely touched me with anything but anger, and almost never spent one-on-one time with me. I loved him almost as desperately as I was terrified of him. 

As St. Paul warns us parents, I was provoked to wrath and discouragement by his parenting style (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21). I struggled with rage, rebellion against authority, and perfectionism for many years. You can hear my story here*.

Yet, this strange verse beckoned me with its promise of a Father's gentleness and warmth. I once had an aunt who told me she imagined herself in God's lap when she prayed; she said she called Him Daddy, and that one day I would too. I thought she was crazy.
 
Yet in Romans 8:15 (in bold print, above), St. Paul speaks of our cherished status as God's children, and he does so in several other places in the Scriptures, too. I discovered that John 1:18 speaks of Jesus as being in the bosom of the Father. Over and over in the Bible, Jesus applies the term Abba to the Heavenly Father. I wondered, what did Jesus know about God that enabled Him to call God Daddy, and rest in His lap so affectionately? Together, all of these verses seemed to whisper to me that I was somehow a slave to my fear of God.   

Although I longed to, how could I ever call God Abba?  I obeyed out of fear and a desire to make Him love me. I thought every bad thing that happened to me was God's punishment, and that I must surely deserve it. I felt in the deepest recesses of my being that He was perpetually displeased with me. When He was quiet in prayer, I assumed I had done something that deserved the silent treatment. If I was criticized by a man in authority over me - husband, employer, pastor - I struggled with volcanic eruptions of agonizing emotion. Because my relationship with my earthly father was so painful and difficult, I simply could not relate to God with such an intimate term as Abba. 

Dear One, if this is you, if you have a father wound, if you are a parent who fears passing one on to your children, I pray that this Father's Day you will seek God's healing. Trust in the truth of these Bible verses. Watch as Jesus shows us very deliberately, in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, what it means to have a safe place to acknowledge weakness and receive strength in the midst of great pain and suffering. Listen carefully to His great prayer, the Our Father, as He teaches us how to reach beyond our deficits to God, and how to climb into the bosom of a loving Heavenly Father.

I am living proof that God longs to heal our father wounds. The greatest joy and the deepest pain, in my life, have been the excavation of this father wound. I tell everyone who will listen how my Abba did it for me, a writhing, pitiful mess of a little girl searching for a daddy's love in places and people who could never touch her abyss of need.


The truth is that this wound provokes grave sin patterns that we repeat throughout our lives until we can forgive our fathers, so human and wounded themselves, and forgive ourselves for what we have done out of this pain. Our relationships suffer because we vomit this awful, festering poison all over everyone we love. But when God heals us, He heals them all, some, too. 

We fear we will never get victory over it, that we will never be in control of ourselves, that we can never forgive. But we can, and we must. It is our calling as God's children. It is also our freedom and our salvation. You only have to trust God's promise, and obey Him at every step, every single day. He is waiting for you with unconditionally open arms.

Here are some of the resources that God used to help me: 

  • Sacraments of the Church, particularly frequent Confession and Communion;
  • Daily, prayerful Scripture reading (lectio divina) and frequent Bible study;
  • Priest, spiritual director, or counselor (you may have to talk to several to find one who can really help you);
  • Books - The Road Less Traveled, by Dr. Scott Peck; The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Kavanaugh and Rodriguez; Abandonment to Divine Providence, by Jean-Pierre de Caussade; Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux, by Francois Jamart;
  • CD's - try any of the last seven offered here. *The Healing the Father Wound CD is the same talk offered for free, above.

Dear One, the time is now. My fervent, faithful prayers are with you. Cry out to your Heavenly Father, and one day every day will become a Father's Day full of great joy and peace. It is your promise from God Himself: "[You] did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship that enables us to cry, 'Abba! Father!'" 

----- 
Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker on Healing the Father Wound and other topics, a Scripture study author, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit pursuingthesummit.com to book Sonja for your next great event, or to order her Bible studies.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

British doctor to face charges for negotiating sex-selective abortion Watch

Image of Forty-six-year-old Dr. Prabha Sivaraman was one of two doctors filmed allegedly agreeing to arrange abortions on account of the gender of the fetus in a 2012 investigation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doctor in Great Britain has been ordered to appear in court. Forty-six-year-old Dr. Prabha Sivaraman was one of two doctors filmed allegedly agreeing to arrange abortions on account of the gender of the fetus in a 2012 investigation. It's the first such case ... continue reading


Couple married 73 years die 28 hours apart Watch

Image of Inseparable for seven decades, death proved no match for their remarkable bond.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Helen and Joe Auer had been married in 1941. Joe was a proud World War II veteran. Helen bore her husband 10 children. After it was all said and done, they had seen the births of 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Helen ... continue reading


Marriage rates at an all-time low in the U.S. Watch

Image of Marriage rates among young people in the U.S. are at an all-time low.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While homosexual marriage remains very much in the news, with homosexuals and lesbians protesting their right to enter marriage, another related trend isn't garnering much attention. Marriage rates among young people in the U.S. are at an all-time low. Many ... continue reading


Holy, Healthy Marriages Thrive on Communication

Image of Communication is key to the success of any marriage.

By Teresa Allen, M.S. Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Institute for the Psychological Sciences

Presently, October 5-19, Pope Francis is leading a Synod of Bishops in an Extraordinary General Assembly in Vatican City to discuss pastoral approaches to matters of family, marriage and evangelization. The theme of the event, "The pastoral challenges of the family in ... continue reading


Lesbians win discrimination case by discriminating against Christian family Watch

Image of Jenifer McCarthy and Melissa Erwin successfully sued Liberty Ridge Farms for discrimination after the Giffords refused to host their same-sex wedding ceremony on their property.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Owners of a family farm in New York who were sued because they refused to host a gay wedding on their private property, are asking the courts to reconsider a punitive decision against them. They are asking that their First Amendment rights and their right to religious ... continue reading


Victory for life in Texas as abortion advocates lose their minds over latest defeat Watch

Image of Texas women celebrate a victory for life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major pro-life victory for the unborn will see the number of abortion mills in Texas reduced from 40 to just 10. And while that number is still 10 too many, the latest appeals court ruling in Texas represents a small victory for life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Catholic teacher sues diocese after she was fired for... Watch

Image of In vitro fertilization requires the conception of several children in a test-tube to maximize the outcome of success, but then the unwanted children are destroyed before being implanted into their mother's womb.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Roman Catholic schoolteacher who says she was fired for trying to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) will have her case heard in court following a favorable ruling by a U.S. District Court judge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former Roman ... continue reading


REPORT: One in 10 girls worldwide sexually abused Watch

Image of The study revealed that about six out of 10 children aged between two and 14 were subjected to physical punishment from their parents or guardians on a regular basis.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world has a long way to go in regards to respecting its female inhabitants, according to a new United Nations reports. The grim statistics compiled by officials have found that 120 million girls, or slightly more than one in 10 are raped or sexually abused ... continue reading


STUDY: For children, there is NO 'amicable divorce' Watch

Image of Parents who remain amicable during a divorce do their children no favors, according to a new study.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Amicable divorce," which usually refers to the dissolution of a marriage without bad feelings or upheavals on the part of the parents still do the children no favors. That's the findings of a major study conducted across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


LARGELY FATHERLESS: 36 percent of those turning 21 this year grew up without dads Watch

Image of It must be noted that there are a lot of individuals, through courage, perseverance and hard work, overcome the disadvantage of being born into a single-parent household.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately 36 percent of the American generation, more than a third, born from 1993 through 2012, due to turn 21 this year, were born to unmarried mothers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 40 percent of the babies born in each of the ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter