Monday, September 14, 2009

How People Grow 5 (Growing Men) - 9/14/2009

Today's Mental Image:
The Foundation For Life
/ - /
How People Grow
by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
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Children of the Emotionally Unresponsive
Emotionally   unresponsive   parents
are often  much more  concerned
about obedience from the child
than the needs or wishes
of the child.
[How People Grow, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend]
A man may realize his parents have been emotionally unresponsive to him all his life.  He may see how this unresponsiveness has made his relational life difficult, as he has not been connected enough to his inner self to connect with others.  As he understands this, he may them become obsessed with trying to get his parents to see what they did to him, or to get them to apologize, or even to get them to re-parent him and provide for him what they did not when he was a boy.  In this way they put their hearts under the power of the very ones who injured him. 
Good relationships do involve confronting, forgiving, and reconciling.  However, ... not (when using these is) letting the other person control them.
An authoritarian parenting style tends to equate obedience with love, requiring strict adherence to structures and rules as a way of showing that love. Often this type of parenting style is associated with more rigid forms of religious belief, where strict parenting regimes can be supported by scriptural references . . .
web master
Inside and outside the church I have been a friend to too many young men and boys just like those the Consistent Parenting Advice site and Drs. Cloud and Townsend describe.  The way they act out whether Christian or not mirrors one another.  It is heart breaking to those of us to whom they look for friendship and understanding.  And yet, time and time again they go back to seek the approve or empathy of the very persons whose unemotional responses created the quick sand into which their lives are sinking.  More of the same will never fill the void - no matter how many Bible verses they quote or "Christian" standards they appeal to.  Until these young men find secure, gracefilled relationships, they will never be able to live in obedience to God or scripture.  Until they can accept that they can not get from "home" the wholeness they need and crave and learn that that is alright, all parents have flaws, and learn to find the missing pieces in their relationship with God and grace filled Christians, their life, in one way or another continue to churn.
It is time for God's men to adopt these emotionally "fatherless" children and lead them to the rich soil of growth by grace.

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