When children come into the world their primary emotional need is the love and affection of their caregivers, their mother and father. Unfortunately, all too often in my counseling career, when sitting down with a young man, one scenario repeats itself. When I ask “Did your father love you?” they look quizzical as they contemplate the question. “Well, sure. My dad always made sure that we had a roof over our heads. Gosh, he worked all the time. I wish he’d had more time to go to my baseball games, but he did what he needed to do. We never went wanting. Yeah, it would have been nice if he had been home more often, but, hey, what are you going to do? You can’t have everything, right?”
I repeat the question. “Take a minute, there is no rush to answer. I asked you if your dad loved you.” The pause that occurs as they contemplate the question for a second time is quite telling. All too often the response cycle goes something like this. A look of confusion, as if to wonder why I asked the question again. They often look down for a moment. The message is sinking deeper. A look of slight anger registers on their face; next comes sadness, then the realization. Now they really understand the question.
I’ve gone through years of psychology classes. I understand the theory. I know why counselors and therapists are told to maintain a healthy distance from those they counsel—I get that. As the tears of realization flow from the eyes of the biggest, proudest, toughest guys you might imagine, I am not worried about containing myself. They need to understand that I understand, and more importantly that God understands. On many occasions I share in the grief and loss they experience in that moment of time—the moment they recognize that the need for love was never met. At which point my goal is to get them realigned with the Father who never ignored them, nor left them.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16
What is evidenced in that scripture is this: God loves you and wants nothing more than to spend eternity with you!
©2016 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.