Healing Father And Mother Wounds

Healing from our parent woundedness is a balance between acknowledging our negative feelings toward that parent and recognizing that Jesus wants us to forgive them.  While remaining mired in the negative feelings may make us feel temporarily “right,” we’re actually only punishing ourselves.

It Takes a Lifetime

Our relationships with our biological birth father and mother are unlike any other relationship in our lives.  The foundational blocks in the development of our soul were laid – knowingly or unknowingly – by these two adults.  Everything else in our lives is then built upon those foundations.

He restores my souiWe must choose to care for ourselves and allow God to renew our foundations.  The old must go so the new may come.

  • Invite Jesus into our woundedness. Knowing that Jesus wants to heal all who are broken-hearted, invite Jesus to enter into the place of your brokenness.  “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10 NIV).  “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13 NIV).
  • Express our pain. It is necessary to express the pain of being or feeling unloved, ignored, shunned, ridiculed, and even victimized.  James 5:16 (NLT) says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”  Other helpful forms of expressing inner pain may include journaling, singing, writing poetry or music, or verbalizing our pain to God through worship.  The more we externalize our pain, the less it remains toxically internalized within us.
  • Release our painful memories to Jesus. Ask Jesus to take away the pain in each painful memory and replace it with His love.  In His own ways, Jesus will creatively remove our pain, and transform the memory with His love and truth.
  • Forgive our parents. We must choose, as an act of our free will, to forgive our father and mother and let go of all the resentment, bitterness, and anger we’ve held within us.  Jesus’ transforming love will change the perspective of both the experiences and the shame, and free us to accept the circumstances with grace and mercy.  Forgiveness allows us to release ourselves from the one who wounded us, whereas reconciliation leads us to restore our relationship with the other individual.  God commands us to forgive; He desires for us to be reconciled.  He does not expect us or require us to be reconciled to a parent with whom we are not physically or emotionally safe to reconnect.
  • Love and accept ourselves. Our concept of self was defined through our interactions with our father and nurtured through the way our mother interacted with us. We need to realize that the fact that our father or mother were unavailable, ill-equipped, or unable to build our self-image in a positive way was not our fault.  We must release ourselves from this shame before we can allow God to love us, define us, and teach us to love and accept ourselves.
  • Strengthen our true identity in Christ. Ask Jesus to reveal the truth about who we are.  As Jesus affirms our sense of being, He provides an assurance of our worth and helps us know the true self that He created.
  • Develop self-awareness. Without our mother’s guidance and feedback, we didn’t have the reinforcement needed to develop healthy self-awareness.  We need to learn how to get in touch with our emotions – to feel what we actually feel.  Naming our feelings is the first step to coping with the feeling.
  • Parent ourselves. We can also learn how to parent ourselves, to advocate for ourselves, and give ourselves all the developmental, necessary things we may not have received as a child.  Self-care of our soul and spirit isn’t selfish or prideful.  It is necessary that we be responsible to take care of our needs.  We must believe that we do matter and that we’re worth it!  We must allow Jesus to become the Father our heart has always longed for.  And we must allow His spirit to bring soothing nurture, comfort, and counsel into the hurt and woundedness of our soul.
  • Ongoing forgiveness. Acknowledging our own feelings and grieving over what we never received as a child creates the emotional space needed to move towards deep forgiveness.  We must continually grieve our deepest losses in order for God to turn our wounds into scars, our ashes into beauty.
  • Be our true, authentic selves. As we connect with Jesus’ profound love for us, the need for others to meet our emotional needs will diminish.  This allows us to look outward at loving relationships with others.  Living with our new self and being open to affirmation will free us to grow in our own story instead of constantly striving to satisfy the father and mother wounds within us.

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Soul health and spiritual maturity cannot be separated.  Our counselors are ordained Christian ministers as well as certified and licensed Christian counselors.  We are able to help you experience freedom from shame, anxiety, depression, or relationship conflict with methods that are purely Christ-centered.   Life Training offers convenient sessions at our office in Louisville, Kentucky, as well as online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime.  Our non-profit counseling practice has an outstanding track record for over a decade helping men and women who are ready to move beyond anxiety, depression, and conflicts in marriage or other relationships find hope and healing in their lives.  Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at drdave@lifetrainingcounseling.org