“Nothing is wrong, but something ain’t right.” Hmmm! Does anyone else live in this state of being?
For years, I spent my married life living in a state of hopelessness because I knew something was not right in my relationship with the man I married. I was looking for my basic needs of security, love, affirmation, and praise to be met in my husband. My husband, Jack Frost, today would basically be called either an emotional abuser or a bully.
When Jack and I married, we both were looking for love that is talked about in all the books and movies. We were looking for an unconditional love that would allow both of us to live within our own individuality. Was this kind of love realistic in the world I lived in? I thought so.
Growing up with a kind father, I simply assumed that when I married I would marry a man who had the good qualities I saw in my earthly dad. A man who would create an environment, a home, where I would be the most important thing in his world. A place where I felt safe to grow in my relationship with him; the result would be amazing children and life lived in a state of perfection.
To me perfection was not having all the perks of this world but living in an environment of safety and acceptance. Had I known what was in Jack’s past house of origin, I might not have married this man.
Jack lived in a world of abuse. His alcoholic parents caused his world to be filled with fear; just the opposite of what a home should represent—affirmation, security, acceptance, warmth, feelings of belonging and protection. Instead, Jack’s house of origin was filled with negative behaviors from two very wounded individuals who took their pain out on him. Jack affectionately called it his “House of Pain.”
Living in this state of being caused Jack to develop an orphan mindset early in life—a mindset where you never feel you belong so you are constantly looking for a place of love and unconditional acceptance. Living from the woundedness of this house caused him to become a person he never intended to be.
No one in our circles back then knew what an orphan mindset was about. So we began to form a relationship based on this pain that was rooted in behaviors modeled to us. It caused us to become individuals whom neither of us liked, much less loved.
Living out of the pain of our past hinders every relationship in our future when we are not willing to identify and overcome the root problem in our own wounded hearts. I spent over 20 years looking for some sort of love that may not even exist, or so I began to believe. Thus the feeling of “nothing is wrong, but something is definitely not right.” I began to live in a state of hopelessness, believing that my situation would never change.
When change does not occur, many people, myself included, begin looking for their needs to be met in all the wrong places. Our basic needs of security, love, affirmation, and praise, when left unmet, will send you spiraling down a slippery slope of finding those answers in places we call “counterfeit affections.”
Counterfeit affections, simply stated, are the need for security, love, acceptance, and praise found outside of the source of our healthy relationships. Passion, power, praise, position, people, places, and possessions are where we often look for this love need to be met. Seeking counterfeit affections only produces a temporal fix. Our basic needs are still going unmet. Why? Because we are looking in all of the wrong places for the right answers. Until we begin to look at the source of all love, love never comes. As long as I went to Jack to meet my needs, then I could not find “love without a hook in it.”
Love without a hook in it—and ladies especially, you know what that hook looks like—simply means love that lays down its own needs, desires, and wants to meet the needs of another without expecting anything in return. Again I ask you the question, is there such a love?
I seriously doubted that until my husband actually found it and then brought it home to his family first.
This kind of love is what everyone is searching for. No one wants to live their life feeling like an orphan. We are all looking for a home; even the Father in Isaiah 66:1 asked the question where is the home—that place that makes us feel loved and valued as children in a family with a Father who has a nurturing heart that wants to bring healing to dysfunctional family life.
It is possible! I know this from personal experience of living life with one man whose pain began to outweigh his shame, so he started a journey to find the change that would bring love into his relationships.
Jack had an encounter with a healing love that changed his heart so much that he was able to begin to believe that he had value in a Father’s heart. Jack shared this experience with his family. He brought healing to the lives of those he wounded and taught us to live life motivated to always bless, to love unconditionally (that does not mean we tolerate abuse), and to love without our own personal hooks.
Jack taught us through example. He positioned himself first to receive love (a task that is very hard for those who have been told they are un-lovable) and then give it away to first his family, then the world. He also taught us how to die. Die first to our flesh, then to our mindsets, will, and emotions so that others’ needs will become the priority of life. Jack followed Jesus’ example.
This kind of love is what Jesus modeled for us while he lived in this imperfect world. Jesus’ life and death make it possible to experience this type of setting that we all long for—a place of belonging, at the bosom (in the presence) of a Father’s love for all eternity.
- Trisha Frost, co-author of Spiritual Slavery to Sonship