Having a healthy identity is the first step to wholeness for a fatherless guy. Seeking clarity of identity and understanding its original source are the most important steps to wholeness. It is the beginning point for building wholeness in a fatherless man. In his book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen R. Covey lists the third habit as “Put First Things First.” Let’s look at the first thing first – identity.
The identity you and I presently possess determines how we see ourselves. All life springs forth from our identity. It’s the place where purpose emerges and confidence grows.
My belief is that we have a divine Creator, the God of the Bible. You may have no church history or experience to speak of from your past. And others may have hurtful or unfulfilling church history. Regardless, give a listen please. Our divine identities are not found in people or churches. A person’s identity is found in Jesus Christ.
Here’s the deal. If we have unhealthy identities, we will never, ever reach our divinely designed life’s purpose and potential given to us by our Creator. So the real question is, can we leave our secure comfortable place of unhealthy identity and accept the greatest challenge of our lives? That challenge – to take on the identity in Christ that’s hardwired in our original design and then become what we were designed to be.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that many times in my past I would have rather stayed the way I was, in a messed up identity with all its pitfalls and restrictions, instead of stepping into and living out my real God-given identity, infused into my original design. I’ve chosen to move forward, stretching, rebuilding habits, making sure my thinking and behavior are kind and compassionate to my family, friends and acquaintances.
Understanding the lack of identity and its affect on our lives helps us to avoid the hindrances and pitfalls in growing strong. Seeking a strong healthy identity, to be the strong leading family man, is the target. It is our strength, capacity, and capability to grow and become the best fathers to our children that we can possibly be.
- Fatherlessness steals identity. Our identity is hardwired in us by the Creator-God. Earthly fathers enhance, shape, nurture and impart their identities into the lives of their children. When we are fatherless, our identities are weakened. We have to strengthen and retake our identities.
- Absence of true identity creates a vacuum. Identity asks, “Who am I? What am I? Why am I? What do I do?” Without a basic understanding of these elements we fatherless guys wonder, and then wander, and then we are stalemated. These elements fill primary space in our lives. When space goes unfilled, we seek out things to fill the identity void. Soul vacuum takes over.
- Identity void creates zombies, pretenders, or copy cats. a) Zombies. Empty, motionless, souls – dead souls – wandering through daily life, mostly just hanging on, not feeling any hope or life. b) Pretenders. Absence of identity brings frustration and pain, adding stress to have a semblance of identity. So pretending to be something that we are not becomes who we are – fake identity. c) Copy Cats. This identity seeker finds a favorable identity to adopt, but it is not his own.
- Identity in any form is transferable to children. Transference is as real as gravity. My identity characteristics, both negative and positive, transfer to my children. Likewise, my weakness of identity (fatherless effect) also transfers easily. An insecure, wobbly, unstable heart confuses a child’s identity and transfers the fatherless effect to them.
- Don’t infect your kids with your weakened identity. You can move beyond fatherlessness. It’s possible and attainable. You can grow strong and lead your children and family to be the greatest in all their pursuits.
- Don’t fight against what is true and real. Father hunger is hardwired in all of us by our Creator – the God of the Bible. That hunger is innate in us so we will always have it to address properly. Helpful grace and kindness are available. God promises to be a “Father to the fatherless.” Take advantage of that promise.
- It’s all right to feel hesitant, but keep moving forward. Moving against hesitancy strengthens our emotional fortitude and our resolve to continue moving forward. Hesitancy is a minor obstacle. Then we have clarity on understanding who we are, what healthy identity is, and most importantly, what our life’s mission is destined to be. The great reward? Identities change for the better for generations.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least. Goeth