Most families will have some issues of control, but some children are subject to methods of power and authority that are more extreme than what is considered normal. Usually when a parent is severely and overtly dominant, a child’s feelings are stepped on, and personal expression is stifled. Then an atmosphere of fear invades the family. Children grow up with a negative emotional focus on the offending person, vowing never to be like the father who always broke promises or the mother who was strict and unaffectionate. Although the behaviour of the children, when they are grown, may not be the same as the behaviour of their offending parents, their emotional focus may cause them to develop the same attitudes of resentment and bitterness they so disliked in their parents. That is why the Bible says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:15)
Points to Reflect on for Recovering Abusers:
- Was there anyone in your original family who was overly controlling of others/you?
- Is there anyone in your past toward whom you still harbour resentment?
- Do you bitterly vow that you will never exhibit the same behaviours as your parent(s)?
- Do you have a negative focus on one or both parents?
- Do you still feel the need to talk about the negative behaviour of your parent(s)?
- Are you still angry over the way your loved one was treated by someone else?
- Have you learned to love objectively the parents God gave you in spite of their faults and inabilities to communicate love?
“When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)
When you discover that there might be emotions that rise when pondering these questions, you have to recognise that there are emotional factors that caused you to be who you were. These emotions need attention. More about this in blog posts to come.