From the start—wayback in Eden—our souls were created to be loved by caring parents. The need to be lovingly fathered—and tenderly nurtured by a mother—cannot be underestimated. God placed these needs inside us. So primal are the longings for "Mom" and "Dad" that even the most excellent earthly parent(s) can’t entirely satisfy them. Though good earthly parents can bless us incredibly, they can never fully satiate that our desire. Yes, the only one who can fill our deep father-and-mother-need is God—our True Parent—the inventor of fatherhood, motherhood, fathering, mothering and parental-love. To satisfy our soul’s search to be the much loved child of a loving father and mother, requires each of us to look beyond our earthly mom and dad to embrace our eternal Heavenly Parent.
Our souls were designed to be loved by a loving father. This primal father-need in us all cannot be downplayed, diminished or dismissed. It was placed there by God. So deep is the desire for “Dad,” that even the best earthly fathers can’t entirely satisfy it. Though a good earthly father can bless us richly—instilling within us strength, confidence, and courage—they were never meant to be our end all in this area. The only one who can satiate our father-need is God—our True Father—the inventor of fatherhood, fathering, and father-love. To satisfy our soul’s search to be the much loved child of a loving father, requires each of us to look beyond our earthly father(s) to embrace our eternal Father. Our True Dad is strong enough, tender enough, concerned enough, wise enough, wealthy enough, patient enough, and engaged enough to fulfill every father-need in our soul and lovingly father us through anything our earthly dad(s) didn’t. There is nothing God wouldn’t do to prove this to you.
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” (Romans 8:31-32 MSG)
Mom’s are sacred. We don’t let anyone talk bad about our Momma. We don’t allow people to go there, and, so often—even when it’s healthy, appropriate and necessary for our heart’s healing—we don’t allow ourselves to go there either. So many of us unknowingly limp through life, never addressing these unacknowledged wounds, because it so often feels unnatural, unkind and wrong. While it’s never appropriate to blame all of the problems experienced in life on your mother (or father), it is always appropriate to kindly go there and learn more about it. I know this is sacred ground—tender territory—so you’ll want to be kind to yourself as we go through the following material.
The healing begins upon our acceptance of this incredible truth, that God not only offers to father us, but to mother us as well—affectionately and attentively meeting our mother-need—instilling within us a deep understanding that even if “my mother forsake me…the Lord will take care of me”—and will surely heal and deliver us from shame and our often less-than-abundant perspectives.
As John Eldredge notes, “As God created fatherhood, fathering, father-love and the father-need in our soul, so he created motherhood, mothering, mother-love and the mother-need in each of us.” God is the inventor of motherhood and loves us more tenderly and affectionally than any earthly mother could
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15)
Just as each of us must journey beyond our earthly father and embrace God's father-love, we must also journey beyond our earthly mother, to embrace God’s mother-love. The good news is that no matter what we did or didn’t receive from our earthly mother growing up, God can (and joyfully desires to) meet any deficiency experienced with his inexhaustible parental love. When our souls unite—attach—to God as our True Mother—we can posses the assurance that life is (not lacking, rather) satisfyingly abundant.
1.) Did you learn something new in this chapter? If so, what was it? If it was applied or incorporated into your life, would it lead you further into a better—more "rich and satisfying"—way of living? Why or why not? (John 10:10 NLT)
2.) God is the inventor of fatherhood, fathering, father-love and the father-need in our soul. He is also the inventor of motherhood, mothering, mother-love and the mother-need in each of us. Factoring God's perfect parental personality into your perspective of God, how might it change the way you relate with God? Communicate with God? How you imagine God will likely respond to you, if you were to request (or need) something from Him?
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10).
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
” (Isaiah 49:15 NIV)
3.) If someone wholeheartedly believed the following words, how might their life be different?
“I’m praying not only for [my present disciples] but also for those who will believe in me because of … their witness about me.” That they would know that “you [God] love them as much as you love me” —Jesus
(John 17:20-23 NLT)
Skill 1 - A Beloved Child Identity
You'll need the story you wrote during the last exercise, for this one. If you haven't written it yet, please take a few minutes and do so now. Why write it down? When you write your story, it opens up your heart like few things can. And when a heart is receptive, it is postured to hear what Jesus has to say to you concerning your specific journey. He knows you—and your story—better than anyone and being open to him—the Healer of the Heartbroken—is imperative for you to experience greater wholeheartedness and the "better life" that results because of it. Again, if you haven’t finished writing your story, please take a few minutes and do so now. You’ll be glad you did.
Take a deep cleansing breath and exhale slowly. The next questions I'm about to ask you, will require courage to answer. (Now don't worry. If you weren't already courageous, you wouldn't have started your wholehearted journey—let alone, made it this far. You've got this!) The initial discomfort you may feel when answering these questions, will pail in comparison to the better life you'll be experiencing on the other side of them!
First, I would like to talk to those who are addressing wounds experienced in their child or teen years:
- Where were your parents when the event you wrote about transpired?
- Where was your father?
- Where was your mother?
- Did either of them play an active role in it?
- Did either of them play a passive role in it (did they place you in an environment that made you vulnerable (or more likely) to be wounded)?
Let's quickly refer to my story as an example, use it as a case study, my stepfather played an "active" role in shattering my heart. My mother played a much more "passive" role. (Passive roles are more difficult for us to detect or acknowledge.) As a child (dependent on my mom), it was her choice to place me in an abusive environment. My father also played a "passive" role in the wound, though less directly. His decision not to step in, when he was made aware of the situation, also allowed the abuse to continue.
Second, here are some questions for those addressing wounds that occurred in your adult years:
- Who played an active role in your wounding?
- Did anyone play a passive role in your wounding?
- Was there an earlier time in your life, you remember feeling similarly to the way you felt during the adulthood wounding (you've chosen to write about)?
- If so, what events lead up to that feeling you experienced when you were younger? (Please consider writing about this younger event before (or alongside) your adulthood story of "shattering." If you do, you'll want to answer the questions (above) that are specifically geared toward childhood/teen wounds as well. Remember, the younger you were when the story of shattering occurred, the greater power and potential it has to heal your past, restore your peace and thrust you into that "better life" Jesus prepared for you.
If there are any details that came to light, in your answers above, that have not yet been included in your written story, thus far, please take a moment and add them now. These details are not only important for you to gain greater clarity and understanding of your journey, but will also be beneficial for you in a future exercise you'll engage in at the conclusion of Skill 4, A Mature Love. Once you've finished this exercise, you'll be ready to progress into Skill 2 (Courage) and Skill 3 (Spiritual Smarts). Keep up the incredibly courageous work you are doing. You're almost halfway through The Wholehearted Journey (next session, you'll officially be there)! You're doing great!
Transform your Brain
“It has been found that 12 minutes of daily focused prayer over an 8 week period can change the brain to such an extent that it can be measured on a brain scan.” —Dr. Caroline Leaf (Neuroscientist)
All the other skills are built upon Skill 1, A Beloved Child. It’s foundational. To help you speed your way into greater wholeheartedness—and solidify your identity as a much beloved child of God—we’ve created this 12 minute prayer. Praying along with this, will not only transform your heart and soul, but as Dr. Leaf’s research concludes, it will physiologically transform your brain.
Podcasts on Skill 1