Day 10 — Fussy Parents Make Insecure Children
31-Day Parenting Devotion
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. — (Proverbs 12:18)
Jenny couldn’t get a handle on her insecurity. Burdened by a failed marriage, teenage children in rebellion, and too many relational conflicts to count, she was frustrated, angry, and bewildered at how “the same old things keep happening to me.” Though she recognized she had a lifelong problem with anxiety, fear, and insecurity, she did not understand it or why it had such a stranglehold on her life.
As we began to chat, it quickly became apparent where her fear initially took a grip on her life. Jenny was the product of parents who had ongoing, unresolvable conflict. Jenny had fussy parents!
Kids know they need their parents to protect them. Though they cannot articulate this truth as we can, they can sense when things are not right in the home. And when they do, they become afraid. I have heard many “adult children” talk about how their fussy parents left them feeling alone, vulnerable, and scared that something bad was about to happen. Because they were Adamically wired to fear, they panicked when bad things did happen, in particular between the only two people in their world who could protect them.
Jenny said she panicked on the inside, but had no one to share her fearful thoughts. She internalized them because her primary “protectors” were on the verge of a marital breakdown. She said there were many nights she would ball up and cry herself to sleep as she listened to the verbal sparring on the other side of her bedroom wall.
Her parents told her that no one in their church was ever to find out what was going on in the home. Jenny kept her mouth shut, which only exacerbated the fear that was slowly sucking the life out of her. She lived with an ever-present insecurity that one day she would come home only to find her parents gone.
Because she was not able to understand her chaotic home life like an adult does, she drew the worst kinds of conclusions about the problems in her family. Jenny said most of their arguing was about money. (One of the more frequent arguments between couples.) Though it seemed like all roads led to an argument, it was money that kept coming up again and again.
After awhile, she stopped asking her mom for things. Whenever there was a new fad toy or dress fashion, Jenny never said how badly she wanted what all her friends had. Her mom never picked up on the knot in Jenny’s soul that was twisting tighter and tighter. By the time Jenny was a teen, she had begun to look for security through any means possible, but she did not have the courage to try out for anything like sports or cheerleading because her fear of failing was too intense.
Her avenue of “escape” was through boys. And that was the path that would prove to be the total unraveling of her life. Her craving for protection and love was so intense that it blinded her to any common sense she should have possessed. She knew all her boyfriends were using her, but she dismissed this because of her fifteen years of pent-up cravings for affection that was uncontrollably lapping up any affection and approval she could find. She was easy picking, and she was glad. From her perspective, manipulating love from others was the path to freedom.
Time to Parent
Jenny’s story is fictional, but it’s also too true for many boys and girls. The young people are now adults and the fallout still lingers in their souls and relationships. If you have a fussy home, you must repent right now. Do not delay.
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Originally published at Rick Thomas.