Families, churches, and employers increasingly have to cope with the downstream impact of angry young men who grew up in dysfunctional homes. And some of these men are not so young anymore. A first step to disciple a man who grew up in a dysfunctional home is to understand what a dysfunctional home can do to a person.
In the ground-breaking book, Adult Children of Alcoholics, author Janet Woititz found a common set of thirteen characteristics among adults who grew up in alcoholic homes. But these characteristics have also been found to have a much broader application, like other compulsive behaviours (gambling and overeating), extreme religious attitudes, toxic homes, abusive homes, and dysfunctional foster homes. Adults who grew up in such homes…
- Have to guess at what is normal behaviour.
- Have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
- Lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
- Judge themselves without mercy.
- Find it difficult to have fun.
- Take themselves very seriously.
- Have difficulty with intimate relationships.
- Over-react to changes they don’t control.
- Constantly seek approval and affirmation.
- Feel like they’re different from other people.
- Are super responsible or super irresponsible.
- Are extremely loyal, even if it’s obvious the loyalty is underserved.
- Are impulsive.
If you truly have a man who grew up in a dysfunctional home, or if you are that man, normal discipleship may not be enough. Sometimes a professional Christian counsellor or recovery group can help a man toward self-understanding and healing in a way that an untrained layman just can’t provide. The only way to find out is to give it a try. I went to a counsellor and found five sessions turned my world around.
Culled from Patrick Morley’s blog