The tragedy of abortion sends far-reaching aftershocks into the lives of men as well as women. Even though men's bodies aren't affected by abortion, their spirits are wounded, and the pain they experience can hinder their ability to function well in all aspects of their lives.
God deeply grieves the loss of aborted children, but the men who father them are also God's children, and He stands ready to heal men who come to Him for fresh hope.
If you've lost a child to abortion, here are some ways you can pursue healing from God:
<>Acknowledge the reality of your pain and the power of its effect on your life. No matter whether you encouraged your partner to have an abortion or she chose to do so without your knowledge or consent, you have lost a child. Burying the pain won't make it go away.
Openly communicate about your grief and regret to God and other men who you trust to support you in your healing process. This will likely be uncomfortable at first, but God will give you all the courage you need if you ask Him in prayer. Remaining silent about your pain will only intensify it, but talking openly about it will help you begin to break free of it. You may also want to seek support from a professional counselor or another individual trained in helping people deal with abortion's aftermath (such as a volunteer affiliated with a crisis pregnancy center).
Confess the sins of your involvement with abortion. Pray for God to forgive you through your faith in Christ, who died for the sins of everyone. Trust Christ to transform both you and your life.
Ask God to help you envision yourself as He sees you -- a son whom He loves. Know that you can be a leader, a protector and a teacher, and that you can relate to others with genuine compassion. Envision God as the ultimate Father, and meditate on how the fatherhood He models shows you some of the qualities He wants men to have.
Commit to change the flawed ways in which you have related to people in the past -- such as by shunning intimacy and commitment or expressing anger in unhealthy ways. Train yourself to think differently so you can make better choices whenever you're confronted with temptation to fall back into an unhealthy behavior pattern. Read your Bible frequently to immerse your mind in God's Word. Pay attention to your thoughts, and when you detect thought patterns that don't align with Scripture, pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind.
Be a "father" to others by seeking to bless other people in your life. Think of ways you can help others, and make it a regular habit to do so.
Realize that your healing is a process that will likely take time, but that you will be able to see daily progress. Be patient with yourself, and ask God for fresh grace each day.
Adapted from Fatherhood Aborted, copyright 2001 by Guy Condon and David Hazard. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, www.tyndale.com, 1-800-323-9400.
The late Guy Condon was president of Care Net, one of the largest affiliations of crisis pregnancy centers in the United States. David Hazard is a veteran author and editor who has also counseled postabortive men for several years.