Counselor, mentor and men’s advocate John Eldredge of Ransomed Heart Ministries shares that when he was a young man, he carefully crafted a lifestyle that didn’t require deep connection or dependence on others. He was determined to not need anyone. While he looked crisp and clean on the outside, internally he knew something was off. Eventually, he recognized that he was the carrier of a father wound. John carried the emotional damage caused by an alcoholic father who didn’t show up.
Your Potential Wound
While not everyone has a deep emotional wound inflicted by a parent, most can probably point to a spot where their parent failed. Didn’t live up to expectations. Hurt them. Didn’t follow through. And some people have very deep wounds caused by one, or both parents, even if the parent was doing the best they possibly could. Naturally, when someone gets hurt they learn how to avoid the same pain in the future. In John’s case, he protected himself against abandonment by choosing to push people away. He didn’t want to reenact his childhood.
John admits he was a poser. He wasn’t his true self. His true self was hidden out of self-preservation; he was more than what he revealed to the world. The story of Adam in Genesis 3 is similar: when Adam realized he was naked, he covered himself with fig leaves and hid. He was ashamed of his nakedness and wanted protection. Likewise, people who feel exposed will find ways to cover their vulnerabilities to protect themselves, “We don’t meet the man, we meet the fig leaf,” Eldredge says.
Your Potential Healing
With an understanding of one’s true identity — their identity in Christ — they can find healing. God can restore and redeem the wounds left by imperfect parents (hint: this means all parents). Listen to the podcast to hear more of his story and how to overcome self-preservation as a way of life.
THIS WEEK’S RESOURCE: Podcast
- What did you identify with in John’s message?
- Do you think there are ever appropriate times to “pose”? If so, when? Why?
- What convicted you about today’s podcast? If anything, what are you going to do about it?
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Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Ransomed Heart Ministries events, held in-person and online
Bootcamp NW (specifically for men)