From an article i’m working on around true fatherhood and masculinity…sorry for the length, i’m widdling it down to three paragraphs for my article, but I like to share things as they are being formed, helps bring clarity and focus, at least for someone process oriented like me. “The journey is part of the destination.” as someone said.
Plus, i like long entries on fb, make you slow down and ponder in the midst of our hyper-productivity. Some people use many words to say little (many politicians and some preachers, unfortunately), i try to use lots of words to say lots! Thanks for your patience….
Again reading this great book, “Crisis in masculinity” (Leanne Payne—great thinker and christian counselor)—very helpful, especially in an un-daded or poorly fathered generation. One take away: when there is a crisis in masculinity, there is a cultural crisis as well! We see this globally. She bases her healing and theology in The Father’s relationship to His Son, and our invitation to enter into it through the Life of Christ. (Basic Christianity)
Insecure masculinity is deadly, as we see daily in the news. When boys try to prove their strength out of insecurity it’s always violent or impotently passive. Remember, Jesus knew who He was even on the cross. He had been seen and named and validated by His Father. So He could actually lay down His Life. He was not a victim. He chose death, so we might live. He was secure in His identity, not in competition with His disciples. His masculinity was intact, so He did not need to be abusive to others.
Dad approval and presence still matters…when a father sees his child not just in terms of his own needs, but in terms of their “way” it authenticates their lives. Raise up a child in their way—i.e. the path prepared by God beforehand for them. This can happen very early in life.
My own dad validated and authenticated my personhood as a kid. That has been one of my own greatest gifts in life. Having a father who took an interest in me, and was very present with me, even though I was odd or as my grandmother said, “peculiar”. Many of my friends didn’t get that blessing. A dad who sees you and blesses you as you are, not in terms of their needs, but tuning into you, taking an interest in what interest you. So I carry that for others. It’s intact in me. That was gift from my earthly father.
I’ve been validated as a person, and don’t have to compete to feel I exist, or prove my voice. As a result other fathers feel safe with me—like I’m not in competition with them to be cool or find the biggest buffalo. When your personhood feels seen and validated you no longer project your self worth out into your activities in life. You are no longer competing to exist or be. Often unvalidated men, will feel they must yell to be seen—like a teenager driving a sports car, so many men and women live out their whole lives trying to prove to the universe they are worthy and can carve. That they exist. Some men carve in their sleep never really at rest with their own beings or God’s.
Because I was blessed by my dad, i never doubted my Father’s voice. I never struggled to feel close, seen loved by The Heavenly Father. My relationship with my earthly dad transferred over to my Heavenly dad. Many did not receive that type of validation—most of my friends had distant absent or abusive fathers. That is a different journey to God with its own struggles. A journey to correct our image of The Heavenly Father. To re-align our imaginations with a true image of who Father God actually is.
Jesus came to reveal the Father-that was His highest mission.
This father image in us, has to be readjusted (sometimes cleansed from “religious” symbols as well) to what is True about Father God. That He is loving, kind, slow to anger, gentle, a good listener, One who protects our growth, and searches and knows us, even more than we know ourselves etc.
If you weren’t seen by your earthly dad, I’m sorry for you, and stand in that gap of fatherhood for you. You are validated. No longer needing to prove you exist, or be in competition to prove your worth. Now, forgive your earthly fathers for not being God, and switch over the The Real God Father! He is waiting to approve name and bless you.
I’ve been thinking lots about the need for dad validation especially from The Heavenly dad. Dad affirms both your masculinity and femininity. Your carver and receiver. So you can be out in the world carving and receive the Voice and Presence of God. We need both working in tandem with us, and both aspects must be father blessed or validated in us, preferably as children, but certainly as we get older; so we stop being in competition to exist with everyone, and can rest in our own beings in Him. And so we can just be with God, and get to know Him outside our own selves—God for God’s sake, not just what He gives us. But first we must feel safe to be. That we are welcomed and seen on the earth. Our jobs or success cannot validate us or prove we are. That has to ultimately come from Father God.
Blessing to be.
The Father sees and validates the life of The Son. We once entering the life of His Son—become sons and daughters, and enter that space of Father validation.
Our validation is through The Father’s blessing over His Son—we, as Henri Nouwen put it, are caught into the Father’s declaration that His Son is beloved! So regardless of what we received from our earthly fathers, when we come to the Son we come under His Father’s blessings over Him. The Father saw and validated His Son always, and we enter that endless validation from The Father into The Life of Christ, which is whose name we have entered as Christians.
So, we are highly seen a validated, not by our jobs or outward activities, but into our hearts of beings. We enter into this active ongoing blessing. This is My Son in whom I am well pleased. Let’s enter more deeply into that space of loving knowing, of approval and adoration. It’s part of who we are “in Christ”.
Many did not receive this blessing from earthly fathers. I’m sorry for that. But we can receive it now in Christ. We are blessed, adored, seen validated adored to the bone of our beings. Be blessed with a father’s blessings today!
I was blessed to be seen an authenticated by my earthly father when very young. So it was easier for me to trust The Heavenly Father’s blessing and hear His words of Love. I never remember feeling unwelcome in the universe. That is a father’s blessing and its potency towards being. I’ve tried to give that to others in life. Not in competition with them, but in mutual blessing and being seen for who others are-not just in terms of my needs and projections onto them. Just to see and bless others is hugely healing. And we need more spiritual fathers to bless people into their authentic selves. Let’s be safe blessers of many. Authenticators and validators and protectors of one another’s lives. Once named, we become namers. It is a pleasure to name in His Tone of Love.
His Voice is always what is in the tone of Love. That’s a key to hearing God. His Voice is also always saying His Son and by extension, we too are beloved! Be beloved this day.
It would be a good study to look in scriptures who was and was not validated by their earthly fathers, and how that effected their spiritual growth. I think I’ll do that study. David was, Moses wasn’t, Jesus was, by both earthly and heavenly father…hum….If you weren’t validated, then you have a unique opportunity to know The Father, and become a spiritual parent. If you were, your path is also unique to enter into that Rest between Father and Son, where all the world is transformed by their mutual Love for one another.
If basic Christianity is to be caught up in the Father’s relationship with His Son. Then understanding—knowing and loving and seeing- The True Heavenly Father and allowing His Presence to touch and form us, still matters! That space between them is our home. And The Father wants to authenticate and validate us through The Life of His Son. Enjoying meditating of His Fatherhood this season.
Looking for Lydia this year!
Finding the Lydias in your life this year… Recall that Lydia was the first woman in Europe to turn towards the message of St Paul.