You pick up the stone on a Friday. At some time over the weekend, you’re supposed to put it down.
The stone can represent many things–your sin, your bitterness toward yourself, toward someone else. It’s the burden you’ve been carrying. It’s been the rock in the pocket of your heart for years.
But over the next few days, you’ll finally be able to put it down. And you’ll finally find healing you didn’t know was possible.
Such is the experience of many men attending a retreat to heal from abortion.
A typical situation begins with two people who come together in passing or in love–but always in passion.
She becomes pregnant.
He doesn’t resist when she says she’ll have an abortion–even though she may be hoping he will take a stand on behalf of their child–that he will choose to stand by her.
Or perhaps he pushes her to abort the baby.
Or perhaps he will learn of the abortion only after it’s already happened.
He’s often the neglected one in such situations.
Since before Roe v. Wade, we’ve heard that abortion is between a woman and her doctor. It’s nobody else’s business.
Except it doesn’t work that way–even though it may take him years to understand that the wound from abortion is the stone that has been weighing him down.
In The Tears of the Fisherman, Kevin Burke writes:
“[Many men] do not associate the symptoms they are suffering [depression, addiction, inability to maintain relationships] with that abortion event in their past. Even if a man is aware that he is hurting from participating in the death of his unborn child, there is no safe place to share that burden.”
He has no place to go–either because no one else knows about the abortion or because those who do know don’t want to discuss it.
Burke explains why healing is so important:
“When you went through that abortion experience the natural need for you to grieve the loss of your child and your parental relationship with your son or daughter was also aborted. For some men and women, forgiving self and letting go of the burden of self-condemnation feels like letting go of the only real connection with their unborn child or children.”
Yet there is hope–for both men and women. Hope comes, not in forgetting, but in honoring and remembering. Healing ministries provide the opportunity to remember, to name the child, to repent, to find forgiveness.
Burke’s book lists the following:
Abortionforgiveness.com is part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
Menandabortion.net helps men find healing and works to raise awareness of men’s abortion pain in counselors, pro-life workers, and society at large.
House of Esau offers weekend retreats for men seeking healing from abortion.
And Rachel’s Vineyard is a ministry for married couples, parents, and grandparents. This ministry provides the stone that symbolizes the burden of abortion.
Burke quotes an attendee of a Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat: “After I picked up my rock, I was inspired to share with the group. ‘I’ve been carrying this rock for 14 years. I’ve been emotionally dead for that long.’”
He is dead no more.
Laying down the burden of death brings new life.
22 Replies to “Men Healing from Abortion”
More and more crisis pregnancy centers are offering male peer counselors to encourage the fathers while the female peer counselors meet with the mother. Since our local center began this ministry to the fathers we’ve seen significant results!
That’s good to know, Ava. Thanks and God bless.
You’ve brought an important topic to light, Nancy. I haven’t seen much, if anything, about men affected by abortion.
Thanks, Annie. They are often ignored in the discussion. God bless.
Thank you for reminding us that men suffer grief, too. We mostly read or hear of the woman’s point of view. Men are affected, too.
Abortion affects men deeply. We just don’t hear much about it. Thanks and God bless, Melissa!
Praying for the men hurt by this awful decision. Thanks for bringing the situation to my attention.
Thank you for your heart for these situations, Yvonne. God bless!
Powerful. Your post reveals a side of this terrible blight on society that has been long overlooked. It made me stop to consider what stones I’ve carried in my life.
A year ago, my husband and I threw some stones in a river in Colorado (unrelated to abortion). We can all do with some consideration of the burdens we’ve shoved aside. Thanks, JD, and God bless!
Beautifully written and very helpful. Thank you.
Thank you, Janet Ruth. God bless!
What a powerful piece. I have to admit I haven’t often considered the pain and loss MEN must feel around abortion. Because they don’t carry or birth the baby, the assumption is they can be taken out of the equation, but this is NOT true, and it’s disrespectful and wrong not to consider them, too. Thank you for opening my heart to this, Nancy.
Thanks, Jessica. The trauma is real for men too. Father’s are too often shoved aside in these situations. God bless.
Having come of age a few years after Roe v. Wade became law, I witnessed many guys in my high school whose girlfriends aborted, for everyone was too young and they wanted to hide what they had done. No one talked of it. And yet, the pain of those experiences weighed the boys down as much as the girls. Thank you for writing about this.
I was a senior in high school when the decision came down. We knew very little of abortion and its effects. Thanks for your input, Melinda. God bless!
Several years ago, my friend’s son fathered a baby. The girl got an abortion without considering any other alternative. Her son (and his parents) wanted to raise and love the infant. How sad the father’s wishes were not part of the equation.
I’m happy to learn about resources developing for these daddies.
Thanks for your concern for these hurting men, Candyce. God bless!
Wow. I had no idea. This was excellent. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I have not thought much about men healing from abortion. As always, it was excellent Nancy.
Thanks, Sylvia. God bless!
Great message, Nancy. We focus on the pregnant woman and forget about the man involved, like brushing him aside as if he doesn’t have a say or doesn’t matter. I like how you said, “Hope comes, not in forgetting, but in honoring and remembering.”
For 49+ years, men have had no say although many have pushed their wives/girlfriends into abortion. No matter their role, they have trauma. Thanks, Karen, and God bless.