A boy is abandoned by his father at a tender age. There is no denying that this kind of event leaves a festering wound in a child. As he grows to adulthood, it has a tremendous influence on his world view. When he’s grown, what happens to his relationship with his own child? Abandonment has become commonplace in our times, due to divorce or blatant neglect and separation.
Once grown, the hurt may cause him to mirror the behavior of his wayward father, or act entirely the opposite. Either way, it’s sure to have an impact. Wounds from such events get passed along from parent to child to grandchild to great grandchild. This is one example of the Bible’s several references to sin passed on to the fourth generation. At some point somebody has to say, “It stops here.”
I address this in my novel by portraying the father as a gruff, angry and pragmatic man. He left school at an early age to help support his family. It toughened him. He made his own way and wants to pass that along for his son’s own good. In a perverse way, his negative message is his act of love, yet he cannot say the simple words, “I love you.” He is passing along a heritage of bitterness to the next generation. In the case of these two characters, it is up to the son to stop the cycle by playing out a role reversal.
If this has happened in your family, what kind of behavior do you see? Is the wound passed to the next generation or have you found resolution?