- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The Secret Men Need to Talk About
It's midday. A TV talk show features three men discussing their former cocaine addictions with a recovery counselor. It's gritty stuff—one guy had even forced his wife into prostitution to support his habit. On a radio program a man describes his compulsive gambling and how he sold his little girl's bedroom furniture and bike to pay debts. Later, on one of those television "magazine" shows, a university administrator goes public to admit that he's a sexual predator who harasses female students. He can't help himself.
To a man, they talk about the stress or pain that drove them to their bad choices. The on-air hosts, the guest counselors, and the audiences applaud their bravery for admitting they have a problem.
Today, it's okay for a man to admit to struggles and pain—and even wrongdoing—for almost every problem under the sun. Almost.
There's one problem many men bear alone. I'm referring to the damage that spreads through a man's life when he is involved in the act of abortion. It doesn't matter whether he forcefully argued with his girlfriend to "get rid of it" or got the wind knocked out of his gut by a phone call from her saying, "Sorry, it's a done deal." When a man has fathered a child and that child's life is terminated by the unnatural and violent act of abortion, a destructive chain reaction silently begins in his life.
As president of a national pro-life organization that supports crisis pregnancy centers and clinics around the United States, I've met hundreds of men suffering from the impact of abortion, and they come from all walks of life. Abortive fathers may be young single men of high school or college age. But they may also be married men whose wives had an abortion. They are educated and uneducated; they may be wealthy or have average or low incomes. They may be faithful churchgoers or those who profess no faith. They may have been willing participants in the abortion, perhaps urging the women to have the abortion and even paying for it. Or they may have been unwilling participants who had little or no say in the decision to abort the child. They may be fathers of one or several aborted children.
I've also worked with counselors who know thousands more of these men than I do. The pain and remorse these men carry is staggering. Abortion can have a negative effect on every part of a man's life—his emotions, his soul, his relationships, his work and career, and most definitely his relationship with God.
What makes the problem worse is silence. Why, when men and society are now dealing openly with every other issue, can't men talk about abortion and its long-lasting damage to a man's life?
There is help and healing to be found, but it begins with breaking the silence.
Consider just a few of the forces that leave a man struggling on his own.
Walls of Silence
First, there is a deafening silence in our culture about the terrible aftershocks of abortion itself. Certain forces in our society have successfully sold the line that abortion is a "choice" a woman makes, on par with any other. They admit that it's a serious choice, but only because the decision about whether to have a baby affects a woman's physical body and lifestyle. According to their argument, a woman's choice in this area has no greater moral or emotional significance than her choice of which cola drink she likes best. A woman must be completely free to choose.
Ironically—maybe hypocritically—these same forces get very uncomfortable when a woman later wants to exercise her right of free speech and talk openly about the devastating consequences of terminating the life that was growing in her womb. Why don't we see TV talk shows featuring the many women who have suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually after having an abortion? Because we're supposed to think that the problem was merely an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. We're not supposed to question a "medical procedure" that ends life, leaves physical damage, breaks up couples, and scars the soul.
The sad truth is that many churches and individual Christians help keep this cultural silence in place. They're uncomfortable talking about abortion, sometimes because they don't want to offend anyone or because they think it's better to keep their children from hearing about the harsh realities of life.
The truth is this: Right now our culture does not welcome open discussion about the effects of abortion on anyone, male or female. In a so-called open society this is a travesty. In the spiritual community we must continue our move toward open help and support.
"Safety" in Silence
The second reason we haven't talked about the effects of abortion on men is that men know silence can be a safe zone. We learn early in our lives that simply not talking can be our fortress—our cave. At school we offer a wrong answer ... and get laughed at. Later our girlfriends or wives press us for answers ... and we soon figure out that treating them to stony silence makes them end the siege and go away. We'll do almost anything to avoid being mocked, pressured, or made to feel "small." In silence we think that nothing and no one can get to us or squash us. If we're quiet long enough, the "enemy" will just go away.
This tactic comes naturally, I think, from our typically private nature as men. Intimacy and personal openness are not usually locations on the male "emotional map." When did it ever appear manly to talk about very private matters or about what's going on inside us? No man—not your coach, your shop teacher, your flight commander, or your boss—ever sat you down and asked, "How do you feel?" Because they were men, they all respected your natural desire for privacy. So leave the emotional probing and tears to Oprah Winfrey.
Here's the bottom line: For most men, keeping important matters to ourselves is, purely and simply, a basic survival skill. Our hopes, our opinions, and we hope, our secrets all survive intact because we've learned to shut up.
Few things feel more personal and private than having had an intimate relationship, helping to conceive a child, and then seeing its life ended. And few things have greater impact on a man's life, hitting him with the emotional force of an asteroid slamming the earth.
The net effect is this: There is little in our natural makeup as men that prepares us to do the one thing we need to do: to talk openly and to honestly face the truth about the great damage to our souls when we, givers and protectors of life, abandon our instinctive responsibility for other lives.*
Facing the Truth
The third reason we don't talk much about the impact of abortion on men is the very nature of abortion. But silence cannot hide this fact: When a doctor injects saline into a woman's womb or uses a powerful suction hose or metal instruments to extract the life growing in her, the doctor is burning or dismembering another human being—a baby.
This is brutal, I know, and not pleasant to read. But it's the truth. And starting over again, with the truth, is what puts every man on the road to wholeness, health, and full, real manhood. We must be equipped to know the truth; otherwise, why would Jesus Christ have said that the truth will make us free?
Though self-protective silence is a skill we men learned early—and learned well—it isn't the only skill we need. Chris wouldn't tell anyone about the fatigue that had nagged him for months—until the leukemia had progressed too far to respond to treatment. Mike thought he should ignore his wife's pleas to get marriage counseling. ("Maybe she'll quit focusing on all these stupid little problems.") Then he came home to a set of divorce papers. There comes a time when a man has to learn to open up and talk, to find someone to help him face things he can't handle on his own. If not, his silence can be his undoing.
As men, many of us have thought that facing the truth would hurt us. Raising a wall of silence can keep other people from knowing things about us we wish we didn't know about ourselves. But our silence also gives power to the shame and the confusion that dog us wherever we go. We find ourselves feeling strangely isolated—not the confident, settled, focused men we want to be.
Today many women are finding healing from the damage caused by their choice to abort a child. They know, all too painfully, that our past actions do affect us now. Likewise, every man who suffers silently from taking part in an abortion, whether willingly or unwillingly, can also find this wholeness and maturity.
I've prepared this book for just that purpose: to help courageous men who want to stop dodging and running from the sins and failures of the past. It is for every man who wants to stop allowing the past to dictate who he is right now.
You Can Begin Again
Abortion is a terrible crime against humankind. Most of all, it's a crime against the innocent unborn. But abortion also damages women and men, bringing its own set of destructive consequences to their lives.
As with every other sin, there is a way to find forgiveness, healing, and restoration—if we're brave enough to square our shoulders and take the right steps, beginning today.
If you're the father of an aborted child, following the steps in this book will be among the most challenging experiences you'll ever have. But it will also be one of the most rewarding. The stories you are about to read of other men who have been where you are, and the steps you're going to follow to forgiveness and wholeness, can change your life.
I can assure you of one thing: The decision to proceed is one you'll never regret.
Ben has been driven by a hidden force for years.
Not "driven" in the sense that he's a maniac workaholic. Rather, he's vaguely aware that he runs from certain situations, avoids particular people. He'd like to see himself as a man who can face his problems, act with confidence—but the truth is, he sometimes knows he's running from challenges and a lot of things that make him uncomfortable. It doesn't make him feel good about himself.
Dimly, Ben is aware that in some ways he's like a fugitive, running from a truth he doesn't want to face. And he knows it began years ago with an event he'd like to erase.
In junior college he dated a woman, and within six months she was pregnant. They agreed that abortion was the best solution. He drove her to the clinic and nervously thumbed through magazines, waiting. He was not prepared for the dull pain he saw in her eyes when it was over.
Ben dropped her off at the sorority house, where a girlfriend would take care of her as she recovered. He walked out the door and kept going. He knew it was over.
They saw each other twice after that but never dated again. Ben wasn't particularly proud of himself, but hey, abortion happened to a lot of couples. Nobody had to know. That was the end of it.
But it was far from over. In a way, it had only begun.
Ben had mistakenly assumed that the calendar pages would flip and that he and his former girlfriend would simply go on to other lives. Time would cover their tracks.
He had no way of knowing that this one moment in time held an incredible, hidden power to pursue him.
Ben married eight years later and began a career in fiber-optic technology. Then one evening he came home to find that his wife had a candlelit dinner on the table—and special news. "I'm pregnant," she whispered, kissing his neck. "You're going to be a daddy."
A week later Ben awoke in a cold sweat, overwhelmed by an anxiety that left him twisting and turning in the dark. Fatherhood. Wasn't he supposed to be happy? Shouldn't he feel exhilarated about this "passage to manhood"?
In the cold light of dawn, as Ben dragged the razor over his face, he knew these were not the real questions. Somewhere inside, an accusing voice was asking, What gives you the right to be a father now, when you once aborted a child? How will you be able to raise this child to be a decent person—to be loving, honest, or responsible—when you've failed at these things yourself?
Months later their sweet little girl arrived, and Ben held her in his arms, admiring her perfect face, loving her on first sight. But the tears in his eyes were not entirely tears of joy.
He felt like such a hypocrite when his father clapped him on the shoulder and said, "Congratulations, Son." Why did the past have to wreck this moment?
Male Postabortion Trauma
Promoters of abortion and the abortion industry would like us all to think that abortion is simple, safe, and easy, that terminating the life of a child in the womb is akin to avoiding pregnancy. In fact, its impact on the soul of both women and men is powerful and lasting.
Emotional confusion—like Ben's self-doubt, anxiety, and guilt at what should have been a joyous moment—is only one symptom that recurs in the life of any man who has experienced the abortion of his child. It can appear at seemingly inappropriate moments, such as the birth of another child, leaving confusion, remorse, guilt, depression. Some men like to deny that the past has any power over the present, but evidence clearly proves otherwise. What remains hidden and unresolved about the past does take on a life of its own, pursues us, and has the power to steal life from the present.
There is a range of other symptoms, or characteristics, that appear in the lives of men who have participated in abortion. Some are subtle, some life-dominating. These characteristics have led counselors and other professionals to recognize the reality of postabortion trauma in men, a force that can be every bit as real as the symptoms experienced by men who have witnessed atrocities in battle. Their symptoms have the power to rob men of full, peaceful, purposeful lives.
What are these other characteristics? If you are a man with abortion in your past, you may recognize some of the following forces at work within you. Not every post- abortive man will experience all of these symptoms, but it's likely that you will find more than one of them present in your life.
You Have Difficulty with Commitment
True, you recognize what's important and what deserves commitment. God. Church. Family. Job. Friends. Neighbors. But commitment means someone is going to count on you if you step forward and offer yourself, and this makes you uncomfortable. You learn to let other people carry the weight.
Or you may become enthusiastic and make a commitment, only to get cold feet and pull back. Soon this leaves people wondering what planet you're from and leaves you feeling embarrassed and foolish. That's when you stop getting involved and leave leadership to other guys.
Today, many men seem to have a problem living up to commitments. But the inability to take on and follow through with responsibility is epidemic among postabortive men. As a result, you become a somewhat detached, passive "bench sitter" in life.
Aftershocks of Male Postabortion Trauma
§ You have difficulty with commitment.
§ You dodge authority.
§ You have no solid sense of identity.
§ You work to impress moral leaders.
§ You keep women at bay.
§ You have trouble bonding.
§ You fear impending tragedy.
§ You don't own your mistakes.
§ You feel inadequate as a leader.
You Dodge Authority
You may really want a good relationship with the man or woman in charge. But when it comes down to it, bosses are there to make sure a job gets done and done well, and you don't like someone pushing you to reach higher standards. You may tell yourself that work is a pain because the boss is incompetent or unreasonable, but deep inside you know that the truth is much closer to home.
The truth? Many postabortive men hate being held accountable to someone else's standard. They seem to hold special contempt for anyone who might contradict or correct them.
This can cause serious problems on the job—or for that matter, in any setting where someone acts as an authority. These problems include being overreactive, biting and sarcastic; finding it difficult to be a team player; and having a tendency to get sulky when criticized.
You Have No Solid Sense of Identity
Long after other men have settled into their identity, you may still experience a deep unsettledness in your personality or in your life's direction.
A lot of adult men, even at midlife, are still saying, "I wish I knew what I'm going to be when I grow up." But the unsettled feeling you have goes deeper than that. Sometimes you feel like a chameleon, shifting identities to suit the crowd you're with. You dream about unrealized possibilities. ("Maybe I can quit this lousy sales job and still get into medical school.") Or you rationalize present sad realities and disappointments, often blaming others. ("I could have gotten the breaks if I'd kissed up to the right people. But I refuse to do that.")
Underneath it all, you sometimes feel like an unsure adolescent. Wasn't this unsteady path supposed to end with manhood? you wonder. When did I reach manhood anyway?
You Work to Impress Moral Leaders
In some ways this is the flip side of hating to be criticized by a boss. You may despise having to live up to a standard, but you really need someone to see the best in you. And after all, if the most moral person you know—a godly man or woman—thinks you're a great guy, isn't that a stamp of approval?
As with any serious sin, men who have taken part in abortion can feel that they've been branded as moral failures—almost as lesser forms of life. This can lead you into a host of religious hypocrisies such as legalism or spouting party lines—not because you believe those lines but because you're "supposed" to. Feeling like moral failures creates religious workaholics. It can drive you to a false humility so that, whenever a moral leader compliments you, you insist you're dogs and verbally roll over in the dirt and degrade yourself.
If this symptom applies to you, the confusion that plagues your emotions also shows up in your spiritual life. What matters to you is that the spiritual leader thinks you're one of the most upright, decent guys he knows. But a neon sign begins to flash in your soul, shouting, You don't deserve any praise. As a result, when someone recognizes the good work you do today, you respond out of the unresolved wrong of your past.
You Keep Women at Bay
While authority figures and godly men raise certain issues in your life, women who are decent, smart, and capable often raise another: Many postabortive men harbor a deep-down conviction that they don't deserve the company of a "good" woman. As a result, they instinctively keep their distance from women who have it together.
Some guys gravitate to women who are more needy. If a postabortive man marries a more healthy, stable, capable woman, he may maintain an emotional barrier to keep her out of certain rooms in his soul. It's almost a religious commitment for him to protect this secret! Obviously, this can lead to severe problems in the marriage.
You Have Trouble Bonding
Bonding, which most men joke about, is simply the healthy ability to feel united and at peace with another person. We all need bonds of trust, affection, honesty, and shared values. We need other people to understand how we think and feel—and we need to understand them—in order to be growing as a whole person.
But for the postabortive man, bonding is often a problem.
Long after the abortion of a child, you may continue to move from one loosely built relationship to another. You tend to leave an invisible back door open "in case it doesn't work out"—which ensures that it won't. If the woman you're dating has children, you insist you love her but hadn't bargained for a package that includes her kids.
Or you may be among the postabortive men who go on to marry. Yet, even with a wedding ring on your finger, a deep sense of detachment plagues your family relationships. There are huge gulfs between you and your wife and between you and your living children—gulfs created by secrets kept hidden, by guilt unresolved. Open, honest conversation is rare.
You may give off confusing signals—sometimes letting others feel that you want them close, then suddenly growing cool in a way that tells them to back off. This leaves you distant and ineffective in the lives of people you truly love.
You Fear Impending Tragedy
Regardless of whether you're versed in classical myths, the story of Damocles may sound familiar to you.
Damocles was invited by a Greek king to a grand feast. Once comfortably seated, he looked up to see a sword dangling over him, held only by a weak thread. In days past, Damocles had criticized the king and boasted that he could do a better job. Now the king wanted to teach his guest a lesson: Damocles would feel what it was like to have life-and-death decisions hanging over his head. While everyone else was able to kick back and have a great time, Damocles had a rather nerve-racking evening—and he got the humbling message.
Like Damocles, many men who carry the shame and guilt of abortion live under the nagging fear that something terrible is about to fall upon them. Judgment day, in one form or another, is near. This sense of doom can lessen somewhat if they've had a spiritual awakening and asked God's forgiveness. And yet they suspect that, one day soon, their wife will get cancer or their health will fail or their career will take a nosedive.
The postabortive man may experience a special fear for the children he now has—fear that a child will be taken by accidental death or terminal illness. It's as if he believes God is waiting for him to form a deep, loving attachment just to suddenly snatch the child away and inflict maximum pain. If the man's wife should have a miscarriage, he may feel that God is getting even with him for aborting a child in the past.
As a result, postabortive men tend to live in a constant, subliminal state of anxiety. For some this leads to chronic, mild depression. A praying man's prayers may involve a lot of bargaining with God. He may believe God will let him into heaven, but he's certain God will deliver a big, punishing blow before then.
You Don't Own Your Mistakes
Okay, none of us like to be caught in a fault. Who does? But a healthy, maturing man gives in once in a while. He accepts that life has a big learning curve. He owns up to his failures—even moral ones.
But a man who's failed to deal with the sin and tragedy of abortion continues to labor through life beneath a load of guilt. We all have a deeply embedded hope to be part of God's wonderful plan to create new life, but as a participant in abortion, you know you went against the most fundamental laws of living.
When you're carrying that much guilt, you wonder how you could handle any more? So you've become a master at finding ways to off-load your faults on everyone else. It's not that you failed to get the project done on deadline—the client wanted too much. If your girlfriend or wife doesn't like to argue, she should accept you the way you are and leave you alone. If your boss evaluates you critically, it's because he's a clown who doesn't understand you or the job. If your kids don't like your explosions, they should behave. And what does God know about how tough it is to be a decent man? He lives surrounded by angels; you live in New Jersey.
All the while, your life is marked by struggle, unhappiness, lack of fulfillment. By blaming other people, you've given up the inner peace and power that result from taking personal responsibility.
You Feel Inadequate as a Leader
Every man is a leader. A few have the whole set of abilities it takes to be leaders of masses. The rest of us are meant to lead smaller "flocks"—and if nothing else, to exercise personal leadership. We can gain enough skill, at least, to provide vision, support, and an example to our friends or family ... and to make a meaningful contribution with our lives.
But all leadership rests on authority—and authority comes when you're able to do what you're asking of others. When you participated in the killing of an unborn child, you let into your soul the voice that continually whispers, You have no right to tell others that what they're doing is wrong. And when you have to speak against moral wrongs—whether to a child or an embezzler—you struggle against an adversary within. And most often, you lose.
As a postabortive man, you may experience a sense of powerlessness over evil and wrongdoing. An unclear conscience closes the door to vision and interrupts your ability to complete the tasks that are before you. You may imagine that you can never gain a place of moral leadership again, because to stand for what's good and right now would only make you a hypocrite.
Can you ever be free from those inner accusations that come when you want to direct your children in what's right and wrong? when you want to give leadership to other men? or stand for morality in a public setting?
The Great Irony
Some of these symptoms or characteristics may leap off the page at you because, to some degree, you see them at work in your life today. Others may seem foreign. As I said before, abortion may have been forced on you by a woman who was unwilling to carry your child. Yet there is one thing that seems to link together all men who face the long-term effects of abortion: a horrific sense of loss.
Deep within the soul of every man who's been involved in abortion, a truth repeats itself: The life of my child, the fruit of my own body, has been lost. And that is not the only thing. In the aftershocks of this terrible event, a man soon comes to realize: The life I could have had—the husband, the father, the man I could have been—is lost.
And so we come to the great irony of abortion.
Adults most often commit the act of abortion to "save" themselves from responsibilities they do not want or to "spare" themselves from living with the knowledge that their child is "out there somewhere." But when you sacrifice a life to save yourself, you are struck with the force of interior aftershocks—like those we've just explored—and you cannot escape or ignore them.
The man who believed that one visit to a clinic ended the problem instead finds himself a fugitive, pursued by events of the past.
Is this your predicament?
Can you ever be the man you'd like to be—reconciled with yourself and with God? At peace? A man capable of having healthy relationships with the women and children in your life? Can you stop being defined by some force from the past?
Yes, you can.
Turning It Around
It dawned on Sam, when some guys from the neighborhood took him to some dirt-bike races, that being alive means being happy and at peace. These guys were fun, full of life. He'd been fighting mild depression, merely existing. Sam wanted to feel free to embrace life but couldn't. When he finally faced the grief he'd been pushing away for four years—grief for the child he'd abandoned through abortion—he began to feel alive again.
Rick was watching his marriage and family fall apart. "I love you," Carol told him, "but the kids and I need to separate from you until you can stop being so rigid. To you, being a Christian is all laws and rule keeping. We can't handle your making us feel guilty anymore." When Rick admitted that his family was paying for his own moral failures—which, in college, had led to two abortions—he finally sought the help that allowed him to experience forgiveness. And new, trusting, maturing relationships began to grow in his family.
Terry hit a brick wall the morning his fourteen-year-old daughter squared off with him and contended, "What's the big deal about abortion? Shouldn't a woman have the right to choose what's best for her and her own body? And what if a couple just doesn't want to have a kid?" He'd opened his mouth, but nothing came out ... because a voice inside was shouting, Don't be a hypocrite! When Terry confessed his sin to a counselor, he began to see how much moral leadership he'd given up in his daughter's life—and began to see how he could regain his rightful role.
Sam, Rick, Terry—these are just a few of the men who are overcoming the far-reaching effects abortion has in a man's life. You can overcome those effects too and experience true peace and victory in your life.
Maybe you've thought the past is a place you just don't want to revisit. What good would it do? How can mucking around in the past change anything? But such thinking denies the truth that the past has a powerful effect on the present. Only by facing up to your past can you overcome its devastating consequences. And only then can you begin the healing process that leads to liberation.
This book will help you begin to recognize the deep impact of abortion on your life. It draws on the experiences of men who have dealt with abortion's devastation, as well as the wisdom of counselors who have helped them. As you read, you'll gain:
1. A clear picture of inner forces that may be driving you. Maybe you've already seen something of yourself in the men you've read about or in the characteristics described above. The truth is, every one of us needs help to escape old tendencies and find strength to grow.
2. Healing from wounds of the past. As men, we don't like to see ourselves as wounded—because that creates a picture of a poor, weak, bruised, limping person. Not exactly the virile, in-charge image we like to have of ourselves. But guilt and shame are wounds to the inner man, so are grief, remorse, sorrow, and depression.
In one way, men have been given a gift. Most of us have the ability to ignore pain, and this serves us well in war, sports, and the working world. But ignoring pain doesn't work in every sphere of life. Ignoring pain in our relationships doesn't make us men. It makes us guys who don't know how to deal with life's wide range of realities—which includes all kinds of hard and messy things. It keeps us from living life to the full, in the present. In some cases, the best we've been able to say to our wives, our children, or ourselves is, "So it hurts. So what? Don't think about it." An inability to face up to pain betrays our lack of masculine wisdom and our need for guidance towards real growth and maturity.
What we need, for ourselves and others in our lives, is the ability to honestly address our wounds and bring healthy closure to them.
3. Freedom from the dark heritage of the past. Moral guilt separates you from God. Secrecy isolates you from your spouse. Rigidity or laxness—both keep you from becoming a true moral leader with your children. These forces can be stopped so that the past loses its power over the present—and so you and your loved ones share a brighter future.
4. Help for beginning your life again. No, I'm not suggesting it will be quick and easy. But I'm confident that as you assimilate and live out the principles you're about to read, God will remake you from the inside out and guide you into the kind of spiritual manhood you want.
Where This Path of Healing Leads
What I'm inviting you to do is to take a "consequential journey."
Throughout this book we're going to look at the effects of abortion on your life—that is, the power this choice has had to shape you into the man you've become. Why do this? Because the most healing path is the one that causes us to look into the results of our own actions, then frees us to make new choices—to become greater, stronger men.
Along the way you'll have to face some deep fears—especially fears you were trying to avoid when you chose abortion as a quick way out. Why is this necessary? Because the very things we feared then are likely to be haunting us—and pouring spiritual toxins into our lives—today.
What I intend is to help guide you into the deepest healing of all: a spiritual relationship with God, a relationship that was seriously impaired when you went against him to end a life that he ordained. Many Christian men have a legal relationship with him in that they trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ to remove the penalty of their sin and make them legally right in God's eyes. Others have an informational relationship with God, in which they study Bible doctrine and facts about him. Other guys relate to God's power, relying on him to answer prayers or give them supernatural gifts. But these relationships are not what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about a path of healing that can lead you into a relationship with God in which you know and experience his real presence in your life, a presence that can guide you in conscience, in the practical steps of daily living, and in meaningful service to God and others. I'm speaking of a full, true relationship in which you experience God as Sovereign and Lord, Father, mentor, confidant, friend—in short, a new way of knowing God that introduces you to the many aspects of who he is as a real, living being.
It is not God's will to punish you and abandon you to life as a fugitive. He invites you now to begin life anew, to let him restore a deep sense of well-being to your soul. He wants to assure you of his forgiveness, to provide loving discipline, to lead you on a path of healing that will redefine your life forever.
Isn't that the relationship with God you've always wanted?
The Big Payoff
I can assure you that facing the consequences of your choices is the right path to healing.
I can also assure you that you won't be on your own as you read. For one thing, you'll meet other men who have struggled with and faced the same issues you're facing. You will be guided through some action steps that will help you move toward growth as a man, husband, father, and Christian. You'll also be supplied with toll-free numbers that will put you in touch with trained counselors who can help you.
In the end, you can be reconnected with the man you were created to be: a man who has much more potential than you can imagine right now, and one who knows what it means to be a free, forgiven, maturing son of God.
Will you take this path? If you do so, wholeheartedly, you'll find that you no longer feel like a fugitive running from the past. You'll be amazed to discover that the choices that define you do not lie in the past but are just now opening up before you.
1. If you have had an abortion experience, explain how you felt after it was over. How do you feel about it now?
2. Which of the symptoms of the postabortive male in this chapter describe you today?
3. In what ways do you think the abortion has caused you to act as a "fugitive" running from the past? How do you feel inside when you act this way?
4. In what ways do you think the abortion experience has affected your general outlook on life? your self-image? your relationship with God? your relationship with others close to you?