Mother Wound: 70 Things Every Man Needs to Know
Excerpted from Pastoring Men, Moody Publishers.
45. Mother Wound
Not many of us want to talk badly about our mothers–I know I feel guilt even writing this first sentence. However, when my mother passed away I confess that I did not feel anything. That was odd, so I went to Christian counseling.
My counselor concluded that I was not a product of good parenting. Essentially, I was not mothered. There was a lack of touch, verbal affection, and time, which indicates a betrayal–even if not intended.
I was a little boy with a hole. Something was missing. I didn’t feel precious and deeply cared for. A little boy cannot handle the thought, “My mother does not delight in me. I am not loved.” When my parents didn’t go to my baseball games, the little boy in me substituted, “I really don’t want them at my games.”
Apparently I decided, “If they don’t need me, then I don’t need them either.” My counselor thinks I pushed my parents away because I couldn’t handle the thought that they really didn’t want me (real or imagined). I know I wanted to be wanted. I wanted them at my games. I wanted them to rescue me from my downward slide.
What’s confusing is that my mother was such a wonderful human being. Of course, today I realize that neither my mother nor my father were ever discipled or otherwise trained to parent me. They did the best they could. Frankly, I never grieved what could have been until she was gone–I didn’t know what had me in bondage. I was in full-fledged denial because who wants to admit, “I don’t feel like my Mama cares”?
What is the effect of a mother wound? For many of your men (maybe you too) unsatisfied longing keeps them in bondage, keeps them taking abuse, keeps them feeling betrayed, and keeps them from coming to rest. In my case, the effect has been over-sensitivity. Early in my life I made a vow: “If you’re not going to give me what I need, then I’m done with you.” I am loyal to a fault. But once I feel betrayal, I tend to close off my spirit toward that person and write them off.
Through counseling and by God’s grace, this has virtually gone away. It’s up to me (and each of your men) whether to be a victim or a victor. By God’s grace, I chose victor and so can your men. The Bible says so: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10 NLT).
Men wounded this deeply probably need professional Christian counseling. Sharing these points with your men could help some of them identify a problem they might otherwise miss.
Yours for changed lives,
#426 © 2011. Patrick Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced
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