Guest Post by Dave Wernli
Jim couldn’t shake it. He’d had break-ups before. Why is this one so different?
Shauna, who he lived with for nine months, had been getting more and more distant. Jim couldn’t figure out why. He tried his best. He bought flowers. He cancelled a fishing weekend. He even talked about his feelings. He did everything he knew she liked. Nothing worked.
One day he came home and she’d moved out with a curt note. Fine. I can handle this. He and his buddies got hammered that night. And the next. And the next. After several weeks, he was still telling himself, I’m drinking way more than I should, but I’m alright. I got this, I’m in control. Anything to stop the pain.
But the pain didn’t stop. He’d really begun to think that Shauna was the one. Maybe that’s why it hurts so bad, he thought. I let myself get too attached. I’ll never make that mistake again.
So Jim sabotaged his subsequent relationships. He sabotaged his job. His sense of identity was shattered in shards of overwhelming failure. No one can ever know, must hide the shame of the failure I am, was the unconscious thought he didn’t consciously realize he was living out. He tried in vain to medicate the pain that just wouldn’t go away.
Even after becoming a Christian, he sabotaged two marriages, kept falling back into drinking and porn, and was afraid to chase his dreams. There was a logical reason, and it all went back to Shauna, but Jim never knew it. That reason kept him from the life God created him to live. Because even though he was forgiven, he never got healing.
What was the reason Jim never knew? Several months before she left him, Shauna was pregnant. Terrified she’d lose him, she never told him and got an abortion. But something the abortion clinic never told her, she still had 500,000 cells from the aborted child communicating about that pregnancy at a cellular level.
She couldn’t ignore it. What reminded her of the abortion more than anything else? Looking at Jim. Being with Jim. Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore. She threw away the relationship she’d had the abortion to save. 80-90% of relationships that experience abortion fail within 12 months. The clinic didn’t tell her that, either.
So what happened with Jim? While he didn’t know Shauna was pregnant, by 4 weeks his body did. Her pheromones changed. She smelled different, and his body picked up on it.
Unknown to him, his hormones changed. In particular:
Jim’s hormones were telling him, “Hey, this is the one!” He experienced God’s design, transformed from aggressive hunter into protective provider.
Jim is a fictional, but realistic, composite profile of a common post-abortive man, although not all post-abortive men experience all of these symptoms. This story is not unique. One out of four women have had an abortion. Do the math. That means one out of four men have fathered an aborted child. And like Jim, many never know it.
God has wired men to protect. Fathering an aborted child shatters a man’s sense of identity to the very core of his being. Even if he doesn’t consciously know the abortion happened, his spirit does. He’s left with an overwhelming sense of failure where his self-confidence used to be.
So what’s a man to do?
First, if this is you, get healing. There is healing after abortion, but you can’t find it yourself. God brings healing in the context of an accepting, non-judgmental, loving community. Local Pregnancy Help Centers (PHCs) offer one such a community. Call your local PHC, ask for their next post-abortive class for men, or to recommend one in your area.
Second, be the answer. Start the conversation. Talk about it. Of women who have abortions, 70% identify not only as Christians, but as regular church attenders. Abortion needs to stop being the scarlet letter in our churches and become instead a common topic of conversation. And not just about pro-life political activity (although that’s all good), but about healing and acceptance for the hurting in a safe place, the arms of a loving church family.
So what do you think? Have you been down this road?
Talk to us in the comments and tell us your story.
Dave Wernli is an author, blogger, and speaker. He and his wife Janet help Christians stuck in brokenness live the God-given adventure God created them for. Dave and Janet have a passion to see the Body of Christ walking whole and set free. Visit their blog at www.IdentityInWholeness.com. Dave and Janet live in Stafford, VA.