Healing a Fatherless Generation

by Pastor Tim Doyle

“You’re a worthless $*#&$#Q^ and will never amount to anything!”

Those are the words constantly hurled at me as a child—the result of a one-night stand, born to a single woman who eventually married an alcoholic and abusive husband. 

The Abuse

As traumatic as the physical beatings from my stepfather were, they were not nearly as painful as the wounds those words inflicted on my soul. If you hear something often enough, you eventually begin to believe it might be true. 

The Aftermath

The aftermath left me starving for affirmation and approval. This starvation often leads us to destructive and unhealthy choices to find the fulfillment we desperately crave, only to discover it leads to further heartache and disappointment.

The Cycle

That is the devastating cycle so many get trapped in as a product of this “fatherless generation.”

I’ve shared my story in dozens of schools, military bases, prisons, and churches around the country, staring into the eyes of men who reflect that same hunger and ache in their own heart.

I agree with the sociologists who report that fatherlessness is the most devastating social ills of our lifetime.

But I also know that there is an alternative to…

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Divorce
  • Violence
  • Pornography
  • Sexual addiction

And every other attempt to fill the father-vacuum so many of us are well acquainted with.

What Breaks the Cycle?

The only answer is to know and experience the transforming power of the Father’s Love.

In hindsight, I can see that the Father was always there for me, even in the midst of the beatings fueled by alcoholic rage at the hands of a man who’d suffered the same things from his father. 

We tend to pass along what we’ve known apart from divine intervention and the determination to create a better heritage and legacy for the next generation. 

We must draw a line in the sand and say, “No more. It ends here.”

I always lacked the confidence that I could ever be a good husband or father having never seen a godly example. But what I learned was that the Father was there to help me if I was willing to embrace my true identity in Him. 

The Process of Embracing Your True Identity

It’s not an instant cure, of course. It is a process of…

  • Progressive healing
  • Learning to trust
  • Learning to yield
  • Learning to journey with those the Father brings along your path as mentors and fellow travelers

That’s one of the reasons I am thankful for the One New Man Network

As the Apostle Paul explained, “We have many teachers but few fathers,(1 Corinthians 4:15). So, few who say, “Follow me as I follow Christ” and then show us how to do it. 

Godly fathers and mothers are a gift that this generation desperately needs. I’m grateful for those the Father has brought into my life, but the process starts by surrendering to THE Father, allowing Him to begin turning those wounds into channels of life from which others may receive healing. 

His life pours through us, and in the process, we find our true identity as we are formed into the sons and daughters that He created us to be. 

Here’s What I’ve Seen…

In my ministry, I’ve seen 70-year-old men come forward to request a father’s blessing they never received as a child.

Despite having served the Church all their lives and raising their children to do the same, they still doubt their worth and if they have what it takes. They question if their Father was truly pleased.

It’s a torturous way to live.

  • The Need to Hear the Father’s Voice

Each one of us needs the same immersion experience Jesus modeled for us. As soon as He came up out of the water and heard the Father’s voice affirm, You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).

Jesus had not done any impressive miracles up to that point, that we know of, yet that powerful statement of identity—based on WHO HE WAS, not on what He’d done—launched a life that transformed millions, including yours and mine. 

If the Son of God needed the affirmation of His Heavenly Father, how much more do WE need it?

One New Man Conference
  • The Value of a Father’s Blessing

One of the beautiful aspects of the Hebraic culture is the value of a father’s blessing. It’s a concept that has been lost in Western culture. So, it’s no wonder that we have a generation of lost sons and daughters desperately seeking affirmation and identity through whatever means this broken culture tries to sell them.

We need a divine reset through a radical encounter with the only One who can tell us who we really are, to put an end to the dysfunctional cycle of passing down that father-vacuum from generation to generation.

  • The Turning of Hearts

The prophet Malachi tells us that in the last days God will send the spirit of Elijah to “turn the hearts of fathers back to the children, and the hearts of children to the fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

I’ve seen it happen so often: men serving life sentences in prison through tears, writing love letters, asking forgiveness from their estranged children who they may never see again. 

I’ve seen little girls in an orphanage in the Dominican Republic sing songs of worship over men who’d assembled to learn how to be better fathers. These same men made a choice to abandon precious children to the orphanages they now call home.

Such heartache…such pain. And yet such HOPE as we allow the Father’s heart to heal OUR hearts and to mend generations. 

It is Time to Experience Sonship

My own story culminated with meeting my biological father and taking his name as an adult man with a family of my own. I often tell people that more powerful than meeting my biological father was the experience of feeling like a SON to someone.

  • To have someone who showed an interest in me
  • To have someone who wanted to be part of my life
  • To have someone who was proud of me
  • To have someone who desired to help me achieve my goals
  • To hear the words, “I love you,” from a man for the very first time

Trust me… my story does not have a fairytale ending. Our relationship is far from perfect. But I’m thankful for what we have as a result of extending the same forgiveness to my earthly father that I have received from my Heavenly Father. 

As a result, my children can launch from a higher platform that I could only dream of as a boy. They can know they are loved, have purpose, and a destiny designed by the Creator of the universe who calls them “son” and “daughter.”

What better inheritance could we leave for our children?

I believe the heart cry of this generation is a desire to be called sons and daughters. And the heart of our Heavenly Father longs to be known by His children.

I believe now is the time.

This is the key to transforming our world and addressing the evils we see raging all around us—the love of the Father is the cure! 

When we surrender our hearts and allow the healing to take place in us, we can then be agents of healing to help cure a broken, fatherless generation. 

Let the healing begin.

Want to know more about the Father’s love and how to walk in the fullness of your salvation? Then join us for the One New Man Conference!

Click HERE to visit our events page for details and to register.

*In-house registration is FREE but required due to limited seating. No registration necessary for online attendance.

Pastor Tim Doyle Bio

Pastor Tim Doyle is a trailer/facilitator for national organizations such as Promise Keepers, Great Dads, A Chosen Generation, and Man in the Mirror, giving him a platform in prisons, military bases, and churches around the country. In 2008 the call to assist the local church led him to more direct involvement via the pastorate, and in 2013 he helped plant Restoration Church in St. Joseph, MO.

Today, Pastor Tim and his wife, Krista, oversee a growing, loving, welcoming congregation with a strong emphasis on relationships and reaching those who are often overlooked or remain unreached by more traditional church models. The Doyles have been married 30 years and enjoy life with four children: Zachary and wife Emily, William, & Ruby and one grandchild, Jeremiah.