Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Sunday, October 17, 2021
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
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            Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Zondervan Publishing



            Drs. Cloud and Townsend are Christian psychologists who are very well known in the Christian community.  They are popular speakers and co-hosts of the nationally broadcast New Life radio program.  They are best-selling authors of a number of books, including the very popular "Boundaries" series.


            The authors explain how the mother you had (and have!) influences the adult you are today.  They help you to transform the effects of the past and re-build your adulthood, which may or may not include your mother.  Feelings of resentment, sadness, anger and grief are not resolved by denying them, they must be processed and worked through.  We must watch out for our tendencies to resist adulthood, freedom, and equality and to return to the child position with our mother figures.

            Different types of mothers and their emotional problems and effects on us are discussed in detail, as well as how to deal with them.  These include the China Doll Mom, the Controlling Mom, the Trophy Mom , the American Express Mom, and the Still-The-Boss Mom.

            Inappropriate reactions of other relatives are included.  For instance, in the China Doll Mom chapter, we are taught that any attempt to communicate directly with Mom about your relationship is fraught with danger because she will often be in tears, upset, or out of the room before you have completed your first sentence.  "The adult child feels guilty for ‘hurting mom,’ especially if other siblings fuse with mom’s self-victimization.  The rest of the clan is often unable to understand the control and manipulation behind mom’s demeanor.  The siblings will then unite against the "black sheep" who is so mean to mother.  In this way, they are able to displace their own frustration with mom onto a safe target: the child who tries to reconcile honestly."

            There are a number of Scriptural references to teach us how to respond, for instance, challenging or rebelling against improper authority, taking stewardship over our own lives, and understanding that we do have choices which, although they may disappoint or anger others, are the best options for our own welfare.   Although we often inwardly disagree with our mothers’ behavior, "It is important to outwardly disagree, confront, refuse evil, and stand against wrongdoing.  You can learn to change your silent no to an audible one."

            There are many suggestions for improving our adult relationship with our mothers, setting boundaries, learning to say "No", and protecting ourselves.  We will understand that these actions are Biblically based and NOT un-Christian-like.  The child needs to discover God’s path for herself, not her parent’s preordained plan for her life.  Some mothers overestimate their role of authority- God created an authority structure from HIMSELF on down.  A grown child no longer submits to her mother’s authority.  GOD WILL ULTIMATELY BE THE CHILD’S ONLY PARENT.

            If Mom is not interested in seeing you as an equal, you will be taught to set limits, including limits on how much exposure to Mom you will endure, what subjects you will or will not discuss, etc.  The Mom Factor gives us permission to accept and be at peace with our mother’s anger at our growing independence. She will be frustrated because she can no longer control you, and you will learn to "Let her be who she is: someone who wants something she cannot have."






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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues. 
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships.  We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.