- Security—confidence of harmony in relationships; free from harm (Rom. 12:16a).
- Support—come alongside and gently help carry a load (Gal. 6:2).
When these needs are not met, soul-wounds can occur, and a prevailing sense of worthlessness may develop. When affirmation is missing and intimacy needs are not met, performance becomes the basis of self-worth. Believing the lie—that love is about what she does, rather than who she is—a leader may crave love and acceptance from God and other Christians. Driven to lead, she seeks approval through spiritual achievement and ministry success. Meeting a need for affirmation and approval, women’s ministries can be used by leaders as a source of identity. Jane is a perfect example of a woman who developed a soul-wound that negatively impacted her leadership.
Soul-Wounds Spilling into Ministry
Jane grew up in an alcoholic family where emotional and verbal abuses were an everyday occurrence. None of the ten emotional needs were met by her parents. Her father was rarely home, and when he was, he barely spoke to her. Overwhelmed by his responsibilities and his wife’s drinking binges, he isolated himself from the family.
Jane’s mom was drunk most of the time, so Jane was left to care for herself with no one to love and encourage her. Often she would come home and find her mom in bed. With no one to greet her, ask her about her day, care about what she thought or felt, or hear about her dreams and plans for the future, her childhood was lonely.
Since her intimacy needs were not met at home, Jane found a way to get her needs met through unhealthy relationships with boys. Eventually she married twice, with both marriages ending in divorce. She simply wasn’t equipped for relationships that required healthy emotional attachments. She sought approval through her job performance, which drove her to work 50 or more hours a week. Her emotional insecurities caused an anxiety disorder which led to binge eating, causing her weight to drastically fluctuate.
One of Jane’s coworkers invited her to church, and it was at this service that Jane experienced the love of Jesus and became a Christ-follower. Ecstatic at the love she felt from her new relationship with Christ, she threw herself into the activities of her local church. The pastor was eager to give some of his responsibilities away, especially when it came to women’s issues. So Jane became the women’s ministry leader. Her need to perform drove her to devote countless hours of ministry with little to no personal boundaries.