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Articles > Recovery: > Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

“Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.”1

As a result of teaching in many seminars and facilitating small recovery groups over the years, I have met and talked to scores of both men and women who grew up feeling their father was emotionally absent. Consequently they struggled with a deep father wound caused by the feeling that they had never been affirmed by their fathers. I felt the same way for many years.

Having spent considerable time working to resolve my own father wound, I wrote my version of the classic poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling several years ago for my two sons who are now adults.

    To Be a Man

    When you can rise above your
    fears to conquer every challenge
    that comes to those who dare
    to climb the highest heights;

    When you can keep on getting up each
    time you've failed or been knocked down;

    When you can see your greatest strength
    lies in your faith and gentleness,
    your greatest courage in admitting
    your faults, and with God's help
    strive to overcome them;

    When you can accept responsibility
    for resolving all your hurts and break
    the chain from generations past;

    When you can know and show a father's
    love and feel with all your heart;

    When you can love yourself, others
    and God more than earthly gain,
    or fame and recognition, you will,
    my son, be then a man—
    and indeed a great man at that.*

                                  © Dick Innes

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me as a father (and/or mother) to affirm my children emotionally so that they will know in the depths of their being that they are truly loved by me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”

Alternate prayer: Or if you are an adult child suffering from a father wound: “Dear God, please help me to find the help I need to find healing of my father wound and (if needed), to understand and forgive my father who, no doubt, was never affirmed by his father. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”

*This poem beautifully presented is available online ...

Note: For additional help read the article, “The Healing of a Man’s Father Wound” at:

Also see the book, Healing for the Father Wound by H. Norman Wright at:

1. (Colossians 3:21 (NLT).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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