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Facing the Woundedness



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The Enemy is constantly whispering in your ear: “Hey, you can’t trust God, because remember what your dad did to you? Remember how your dad broke your heart? Sooner or later, God’s going to do the same thing.”

This is an excerpt from Louie Giglio’s book Seeing God as a Perfect Father.

How do you get past this hurdle? How do you silence the voice of the Enemy that’s ringing in your head and causing you to lock your heart in a vault, never to be wounded again?

First you have to take serious stock of your pain. I don’t believe, as some do, that the driving factor in all our lives are our “father wounds.” I don’t believe every person has been broken by their earthly dad. Yet father wounds are real, and for some, these places of hurt are the dominating factor shaping how they view themselves and how they relate to others. Talking with many people as a pastor, it is staggering how many of their struggles are connected to their relationship (or lack thereof) with their father.

If this describes you, then the first step toward freedom is to face up to the pain and hurt. Ignoring our wounds isn’t going to help them heal. Acting like we’re fine or setting out to prove that we don’t care about what our father did to us is not realistic and will only keep us stuck in the past. 

When I was about ten years old, my dad spent six months working in Holland. When he arrived back in Atlanta, he came bearing gifts for my mom, my sister, and me. I’ll never forget the moment he handed me a little box containing a red Swiss Army knife. Score! Though only four inches long, this contraption had a dozen different apparatuses on it: among them a corkscrew, tiny scissors, a nail file, a toothpick, and several different knife blades. Granted, my dad probably picked it up at the airport, but I was too young to care or let that chill my mood. This thing was legit, and my mom’s disapproval only made me love it more. Dad gave me a quick tutorial, highlighted by the instruction to always use the knife blade in a motion away from my body. “Always cut away from you,” he warned. “Understand?” 

“Yes, Dad, I get it. Always cut like this,” I said, as I motioned with the knife away from myself.  A few weeks later, while Mom and Dad had guests over for dinner and a game of cards, I locked myself in my parents’ bathroom and proceeded to hone my carving skills (which were none) on a foot-long piece of 4 x 4 wood that was left over from the stereo cabinet Dad was building. Perched on the toilet, I grabbed the wood in one hand and started whittling away with the large, three-inch blade. About five minutes into the process, the inevitable happened. Foolishly, I was carving the wood toward my body when the blade slipped and sliced into my left hand. The blade sped right through that patch of skin that forms the webbing between your thumb and index finger. I’ll spare further description for the sake of the faint of heart, but suffice it to say, blood went everywhere. I didn’t want to interrupt the card game, but this couldn’t wait.

“Mom, I hurt my hand real bad,” I confessed as I sheepishly said hi to our guests. Turning my back to the table, I pulled back the red wad of toilet paper that I was pressing into the wound.

Her eyes widened.

“How did you do that?” she asked.

“I was carving with my new knife Dad got me and it slipped.”

“Well, we’ll look at it after our company is gone,” she said. “And try not to get blood on the carpet.”

This was a classic response from my mom. Though dramatic at times, she always underreacted when I hurt myself. After their friends went home, she surveyed the cut, ran some water over it in the bathroom sink, and patched it up with Band-Aids and gauze. That night I got a lecture from Dad (prompted by Mom), and the Swiss Army knife was confiscated as punishment for violating rule “numero uno.”

Fifty years later the scar on my left hand confirms the knife wound left a two-inch opening, which rendered my hand pretty much useless for some time. It was a stitches-requiring gash, for sure. But instead of an emergency room visit, we just covered it as best we could, and I tried not to move my thumb for a week or so.

Sadly, things did not improve. Days went by and the bandages were changed, but the wound looked worse and worse, becoming infected and gross. I never did get stitches, and somehow my hand eventually healed, but I can tell you that trying to ignore a wound by covering it up is not the recommended course of action.

The same is true of the wounds to our hearts. We cannot simply ignore the sting of a father’s wounds. Sometimes we try by thinking things like:


I don’t care about my dad. I couldn’t care less what he did or didn’t do.

I don’t need him anyway.

I’m fine, and I’ll never let him know how much he hurt me.

What he did then has nothing to do with me now.

I’m better off without him.

If that’s the way he feels about me, then that’s the way I’ll feel about him.

My dad is a loser and I’ll never be like him.

I don’t care if I ever see him again.

My future husband will be so much better than my dad.


But such statements only reinforce one thing: your disappointment with your dad and the way his actions have impacted your life. Notice that the common denominator in every phrase are the words “he” and “him.” You can’t get past the wounds of your dad by repeatedly insisting that you’re not impacted by the wounds inflicted by him. And you can’t say you don’t need your earthly dad’s blessing without admitting there is a blessing that you are living without.

So how do we uncover the wounds and find healing for our souls?

To get past our wounds we have to first stare them in the face and admit how they have made us feel. We have to acknowledge the truth of our pain. We have to rip off the Band-Aid and get in touch with the reality that’s underneath. We can’t afford to ignore the wounds. But we can’t stay in the past either—always pushing on our wounds, always probing with questions of why? They’ll never heal that way. So we must shift our focus, understanding that healing doesn’t come by ignoring our wounds, but it also will never happen if we fixate on them. Healing comes as we consider another’s wounds—namely, the wounds of Jesus.

The path to healing is found in focusing on Jesus’ wounds. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). To delve deeper and deeper into your past without a firm grasp of the cross and the victory Jesus won for you there is like attempting to perform open-heart surgery on yourself. If you’re in need of a heart transplant, you first must be willing to face it, to admit it. But you also need a heart surgeon, someone who can do for you what you cannot do for yourself. 

Wounds are real, and ignoring them can be fatal. But the Heart Surgeon is here, and His name is Jesus.

Let that sink into your soul—healing is here now in the person of Jesus.

This is an excerpt from Louie Giglio’s Seeing God as a Perfect Father. Click here to grab a copy of this special resource.

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Scripture References

  • Isaiah 53:5
Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.