If you are the father of an aborted child or have a relationship with a post abortive woman, you are probably dealing with some issues that often seem beguiling, frustrating or even impossible. The first thing you should know is that you're not alone--nor are you without hope.
Following are several steps to dealing with your situation:
Deal with Your Emotions
If you participated in the abortion of a child you may be experiencing some of the same overwhelming emotions as the mother. You may feel like suppressing or ignoring these feelings. To do this will only cause them to surface in other ways, perhaps in uncontrolled anger, self-destructive thoughts, etc. It is important for you to face your feelings in the context of Christ's love and forgiveness. He alone can help you deal with the memories and the subsequent feelings you may be experiencing. If you are not handling your feelings in a constructive manner, seek solid bible-based counseling. There is qualified help available to you. Don't be afraid to ask for it.
Forgive the Mom
Whether or not you encouraged the mother to abort, you need to forgive her for ultimately making that choice. Perhaps she did it without your consent, against your will. If so, you may feel extreme anger toward her. If this is the case, such intense anger can destroy your relationship if it continues. Assess the degrees of your emotions and your ability to deal with them constructively. Again, if you need it, seek outside counseling.
Discover Ways to Deal with Her Emotions (Full Metal Jacket: Be ready for anything..).
If she is in the throws of post abortion syndrome her emotions will likely change from day to day--perhaps even from hour to hour. She may vacillate between feeling blue and worthless, to being angry, to crying uncontrollably without knowing why. There are many triggers that can cause her pain to surface: diaper commercials, a baby's cry, children laughing and playing, the anniversary of the abortion or of the child's probable birth date. Be ready for these emotionally charged times and remember what's fueling them. Encourage her to seek professional counseling. Offer to go with her if she wants you to. Most of all just 'be there' for her . . .
Be There for Her
Listen: When she wants to talk about the abortion or the baby, let her talk. You may feel frustrated, wanting to 'fix' everything for her. Avoid the urge to offer simple solutions or quick-fixes. Even though this may be difficult for you or feel unnatural, try to simply listen to her with patience, compassion, and understanding.
Let her lean on you: Women today are told by society they should be strong and self-sufficient. But a woman going through post abortion syndrome may feel helpless and lost. Allow her the indulgence of being able to lean on you both physically and emotionally. Let her know it's okay to be vulnerable with you and to need you.
Love agape style: Agape love means desiring the best for someone regardless of what they say or do. It is the unconditional love God offers us and that He calls us to pass on to others. The woman going through post abortion syndrome may be incredibly difficult to live with, but patient understanding, loving kindness, and 'going the extra mile' will work wonders for your relationship and will help her on her road to healing. However, be sure to not totally neglect yourself during these periods. Find a positive outlet and don't forget the Source* from which you derive your strength.
Be Patient: A Long and Winding Road
The road to healing from abortion--for both the father and the mother--can be a long and difficult one. Be patient with yourself, not expecting more than you're able to give, and with her, allowing her to go through the grieving and healing process at her own rate. Don't expect complete healing overnight. Give it time. Expect set-backs, but don't let them discourage you.
Prescription: Touch--Without Expecting Sex...
Touch her often, giving her lots of reassuring hugs when you feel she's open to it. But make sure that you don't make sexual advances when she's upset. She needs to know you're comforting her not coming on to her. Give her space when she needs it. As with other things, remember, this too will pass.
A Whole New Ball Game? --Sex After Abortion
Sex after abortion may be different than it was before. If you're not married abstain until such time as you can make that commitment to one another, keeping sex within marriage as God intended. If you are already married, give it time without pressuring her. Let her know you're ready when she is, but be in tune to her 'signals' and don't make your move until you are relatively certain she's ready. Of course she may not have a problem with it at all, in which case the only concern would be in the area of contraceptives.
Meditations for You . . . (* see note below)
When things look impossible:
"...He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9
When you need patience:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-8
When you need peace:
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." - John 14:27
When you need strength:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9
When you need to forgive or to be forgiven:
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." - Psalm 103:8-13
When faced with the anger of others:
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1
, Christian meditation is not like New Age meditation where the mind is cleared of all thought. Meditation for the Christian is prayerful reflection on the Word of God with a goal of application and understanding.
All Scriptures from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.