John Finch knows all too well the devastating effect of a ‘father wound’. At the age of eleven, his own father committed suicide leaving him, two older brothers and their mom with more hurt and questions than answers. In the decades that followed, John ran from that hurt and avoided those questions by pursuing a destructive lifestyle colored by hate and anger. He was raised in a Christian home, and this event rocked the very foundation he was taught to believe in. He was angry at his dad for the abandonment, but he was also angry at God for allowing it to happen.
He moved forward with his life, but every decision was poisoned by the festering wound he had not properly dealt with or allowed to heal. He pursued attention and affirmation by those around him in social circles and in his career; all the while starting a family and becoming a father himself to three daughters. It was 2009 when he finally chose to stop running from the pain and to confront the result of what he would soon coin as “The Father Effect”. This is how he describes the process. “The first step is admitting you are wounded. The second step is asking God to help you find healing. The third is seeking Christian counsel or meeting with your pastor. The last step is to forgive.”
John had to find the strength to forgive his father and to accept that there were influences and battles his father struggled with that overwhelmed him to the point of that tragic end. He also had to realize that it was not his fault, or that of anyone, including God. Once he made peace with that, he also recognized the need to forgive himself and to acknowledge the cornerstone for what has become his mission in life:
It is OK not to have all the answers and you are not alone!
Once John felt the release of anger, fear and disappointment, he began to see how this storyline plays out in the lives of millions everywhere; across all economic and racial backgrounds. He started to study the effect that fathers have on the lives of their children and in their homes and what he discovered inspired and drove him to begin The Father Effect Ministries, which is a non-profit outreach with a goal to provide help, healing and hope. So what IS the Father Effect and how does it manifest in the lives of both men and women?
The role of the mother has been widely researched and touted as extremely important, and it is. What is often missing from the equation is how powerful the influence of the father is as well. This is challenging for some men to accept, however, because they themselves may not have had the best fatherly role model. Men are not conditioned to express their emotions or admit fear and uncertainty. Most men believe all the other dads around them know what they are doing, and they themselves feel inadequate and clueless. Some bail on their family out of a misguided perception that they are not worthy to be there. John’s message to you is that ALL men feel this way. No one has all the answers or knows what to expect. The most important thing to do is just SHOW UP and CARE! The presence of a father, even one who struggles, is so vital. Dads are our heroes, no matter what! They don’t earn it by awards or activities; they earn it by being there every day doing the best they can. A son needs to learn how to be a man, handle responsibilities and know he has earned his father’s respect and admiration. A daughter needs to feel her father’s love and attention. It is the very bedrock for how she will view all other relationships in her life.
John’s ministry, his movie (and subsequent book) – The Father Effect – revolves around his desire to motivate and encourage anyone suffering from a father wound. To empower men to live up to the potential God has put within each of them. His best analogy points to the dedication a man puts into his career. It is his belief that if men viewed their family responsibility with the same mindset and motivation that they put into their careers, the difference would be remarkable. He also strives to help women understand how their own father wound may have led to some of their life’s decisions and how to encourage their husbands in their role in the family.
His latest project will launch January 1, 2019. It is called Life Coaching For Dads and is a program to help men be the dads and husbands God called them to be.
John is a busy man, but he does his best to give personal attention to all those who reach out to him. He believes strongly in his message and in his mission. He understands the turmoil and destruction suffered from childhood emotional wounds. He has worked diligently to improve his life and that of his family. He gives God the credit and glory for bringing him to this point and allowing him access to offer hope to those hurting around him.
To learn more about John and his ministry visit his website at www.thefathereffect.com.
You can follow him on Twitter at @johnpfinch and Facebook at The Father Effect.
I hope you have been inspired by John’s story and commitment. It was a pleasure speaking to him and I am in total agreement with his philosophies and outreach. He is a prime example of overcoming a tragedy with grace and beauty and paying forward that grace by reaching out to others.
He is the epitome of…. A Hopeful Life!
And, as always…. Hope With Abandon!
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