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A pastoral exploration of the effect of ‘father wounds’, ‘father hunger’, and ‘father need’

In this article firstly a couple of historical markers will be indicated with reference to the concepts of ‘father wounds’, ‘father hunger’ and ‘father need’. The void referring to research on the terrain of this theme will then be raised, as well as the onslaught on the role of the father in general.
Five contributing factors to ‘father wounds’, ‘father hunger’ and ‘father need’ will be consecutively discussed, namely: family structures that are busy changing; changing career structures; parents who are forced to fulfil different roles and levels of involvement; the shift between traditional and contemporary gender roles; adult pleasure, the digital era, and the role of peer groups. The second part of the article focuses on a number of practical guidelines to restore the father relationship again. Aspects that, for example, prominently figure here, are the following: identifying the problem; identifying the symptoms; collecting all the facts; identifying family secrets and family myths; verbalising that which had not been said before; re-formulating the past; processing the losses; to guard against impulsive overreactions; the importance of forgiveness; the invitation to others to share your journey; exploring new roles; the allocation of new meaning to the past; the experience of raising a son yourself; the discovery that there is only one Perfect Father, and by daily maintaining an intimate relationship with Him, can lead to the healing of wounds and the recovery of relationships.

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