If you’re burned out, depressed, or find it hard to trust anyone, the source of your frustration may surprise you.
When you have the approval of your father, without having had to earn it, you have a source of confidence that lasts a lifetime. When you KNOW you are loved by your father, no matter what you do or don’t do, the natural result is to want to please him. You won’t need anyone else’s approval to make you feel complete.
Having your dad tell you he is proud of you, and that his pride is not coming from your performance, instills a sense of confidence in you that no one can remove. For whatever reason, these things are more important and have a greater eﬀect on you when they come from your father than from your mother. Somehow, mothers are expected to love their children no matter what, and it is vitally important to have that from our mothers. But if a person doesn’t get love and approval from their father, a very important piece of their identity is missing.
Boldness comes from knowing who you are and not fearing how your actions are perceived by others. Instead of behaving timidly, as many people who are not sure of themselves do, we should be able to walk boldly, confidently and without fear, as someone who is sure they are loved and approved.
But if you don’t know that your Father loves you perfectly, without conditions, and doesn’t condemn you, then from where do you get your confidence? How could you possibly believe that God chose you , that He gave you a special gift and that there is a purpose for which you have been called if you don’t trust Him?
On the other hand, what if your Father (God) does love you? Then:
- You are not condemned
- You have no fear
- You are as bold as a lion
- You have a special gift
- You are chosen to get results that last
- You do have a purpose for which you have been called
When you realize that all of this is true, then how confident do you think you will be?
Do you see why the enemy doesn’t want you to know who you really are? The best way to thwart the knowledge of who you really are is to destroy the confidence you get from your Father (God), and the enemy does that by interfering with the confidence and trust you are supposed to get from your dad. Without that kind of confidence, you will look for a confidence replacement, one that will probably not be based on unconditional love and approval of who you really are.
One of the indicators that you have a Father Fracture is that you have a difficult time trusting anyone. This may not be immediately obvious to you, so let me explain.
When I think of trust, two scriptures come to mind:
- Luke 18:15-17 (NET)
Now people were even bringing their babies to him for him to touch. But when the disciples saw it, they began to scold those who brought them. But Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
2. Romans 12:2 (NET)
Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
At first glance, you may not see how these two passages are related, or what they have to do with trust. But they are related, and they have everything to do with trust.
The number one thing that God wants from us is to trust Him.
The first passage has to do with how being like a child is crucial to entering the Kingdom of God. But why? Most of us think that being mature, knowledgeable, and wise are the keys necessary to receive all that God has for us. The number one thing that God wants from us, in fact, the only thing that God wants from us, is to trust Him. Trust that what He says is true, and trust that it is better for you than what you hear from anyone else.
Young children, before they are of age to go to school, trust their parents for everything. A real father provides food, clothing, shelter, security, and love for his children. He is a source of trust for the child, consequently, the child trusts what Daddy says because he or she knows Daddy loves and wants the best for him or her. At this point in the child’s life, they have not fallen prey to some other person or entity trying to persuade them that they know better than their daddy. That trust and child-like faith are what God wants from us.
Unfortunately, as we get older, the “world” begins to dissuade us from trusting our father, and our Father (God). If you didn’t have a father in the home when you were growing up, then you had to rely on your mother for everything. Her trust was probably shaken by whatever your father did or didn’t do, and that lack of trust in your father was passed on to you either purposely or subconsciously. The natural result of not being able to trust your father is to begin to trust in our teachers, our friends, or government, or even our religion instead of our Father. This is what Paul was warning us about in the second scripture passage (Romans 12:2). He says that we have to be transformed (changed) from the effects of the world (from what we have placed our trust in). To what? To get back to trusting God. Renewing our mind literally means to get our thinking back to its original condition before it was corrupted by the world…as a child trusts its daddy.
Sadly, many people have never known that kind of trust as a child because they never had a daddy. That is why Jesus referred to the Father as Abba. Abba is a very important word in the Gospel. It is the Aramaic (the language that Jesus probably spoke) word that translates to a more family-oriented word for father; like daddy or papa. It was used by Jesus to let us know that His relationship with the Father was not a formal relationship based on awe or fear, but a relationship of closeness and love. If you have never experienced the trust and love of a father, it makes it more difficult to ever trust God the Father. You will always trust something else before trusting God, or at the least be double-minded. Your Father wants you to trust Him, and the major obstacle to this kind of trust is a Father Fracture.
This lack of trust in your father will spill over into every other aspect of your life. It will result in a small voice in the back of mind telling you not to trust anyone or anything. It will affect your relationships, your marriage, and your purpose. If nothing is trustworthy then your only option is to rely on yourself. You will become self-absorbed, self-centered, and self-seeking. This contributes to depression, suicidal thoughts, greed, and seeking pleasure instead of joy and happiness…and it can happen to the best of us. The remedy…renew your mind. Trust God because He is trustworthy. Your father was supposed to teach you this.
In our home library we have a copy of an 1828 (yes that’s very old) Noah Webster dictionary. It defines trust like this:
Trust: To place confidence in, to rely on, to believe, to credit, to commit to the care of in confidence, to venture confidently.
I want you to honestly ask yourself if that’s how you feel about your dad and your Father. If you have a Father Fracture it probably isn’t.
Unlike my husband, TJ, I grew up with a huge Father Fracture. I have struggled most of my life to trust anybody to do anything. I felt like I could never let my guard down or enjoy myself because of the potential for disappointment. I always feared the loss of a relationship if I didn’t meet a goal or someone else’s expectations. The only way to break free from the nagging feeling that you’ll be let down by someone or you’ll disappoint people is to come to the place where you trust your Father and His love for you. His love for you will give you the confidence to be who you really are. It will also assure you that should you blow it or miss the mark His love for you will not change.
An unforeseen consequence of not being able to trust others is not being able to admit your weaknesses. When you don’t trust anyone, the burden is all on your shoulders. You have to do it all and be it all. This could be at home, at work, or even at play. It results in constantly trying to improve your weak points; those areas in which you do not naturally excel. Since you can’t trust anyone, you can’t rely on anyone to cover your weaknesses, so you have to do it yourself.
That is not fun. When most of what you do seems like a burden, it is difficult to be pleasant with others, it feels like you are constantly under pressure, stress is ever-present, and burnout is inevitable. All of these are the results of not being able to trust others because of a Father Fracture.
Not being able to admit your weaknesses can result in a big problem. If you constantly work to fix the areas that are not strengths, you will find your energy is dissipated and you will feel drained.
Fulfilling your purpose comes from focusing on your GIFT. Your GIFT is the one talent you possess that can be developed to greatness as determined by the unique way in which you think. You will not be able to develop your God-given GIFT if you spend the majority of your time trying to fix your weaknesses or micromanaging others, and both of those come from not being able to trust as the result of a Father Fracture.
What’s the Point?
The point is that having a Father Fracture, and we all do to some extent, will lead to a lack of confidence and being unable to trust others. This inevitably results in you trying to carry all the burdens of life on your shoulders, which in turn results in burnout, hopelessness, depression or worse. A Father Fracture leaves a void in our lives that seeks to be filled.
Recognizing this fact is half of the battle. Filling the void is the other half. As Paul said in Romans 2:2, you can either choose to conform to the world and fill your void with things that do not love you unconditionally or have your best interest at heart, or you can renew your mind to the love of the Father. Even if your Dad blew it, violating your trust and not giving you confidence, your Father loves you just as you are and unconditionally. He is the Father to the fatherless. Trust Him.