When addiction gets into the family system, the thought of holiday family gatherings, conversations at dinner, and other events that functional families experience rapidly fades. Our perceptions of normal life, as we once knew, all but disappears. Emotions become tense and fearful that the addicted family member will get arrested, hurt someone else, or even die because of the intensity of the habit. As loved ones, we become as involved with the addiction as the addict. Most hopes and dreams for a normal family life almost entirely disappear. What most parents do not realize that the non-user or family member becomes just as involved in a life-controlling situation as the user. This makes any hope of an immediate restoration tough. The past continues to linger on even though the addiction to drugs/alcohol may have ceased.
As believers, the Bible gave us the answers but will never see the solutions unless we apply them. Our goal is to tear down the barriers before we move...
The bible tells us that forgiveness is not an option for a Christian,
Eph.5:31-32. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."
But one thing that we often separate from forgiveness is reconciliation.
They are not the same. This is a process that goes way beyond forgiveness and may always take time to jell.
The bible also tells us that as Christians we all are in the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:19. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We see that God did two things for the Apostle Paul. First, he reconciled Paul to himself through Christ, and second, he gave Paul the ministry of reconciliation. For the unbeliever, the same principals should still apply. ...
“This can’t be happening!”
“There is no way my kid would do that.”
“I taught them better than this. I mean they know better.”
“He grew up in the church.”
“She’s always been so responsible.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
These are many of the statements that parents rehearse when they find out that their loved one is trapped in addiction.
You tell yourself stories to avoid the grief associated with that child now being stuck right in the middle of a problem that controls their life. A problem that if not dealt with could cost them their life. It’s pretty dangerous.
The truth of this, just like with any grief. You deny the problem. It’s the first step in coping with a reality that has smacked you hard in your face.
“My Kid is an Addict.”
As a loving parent that prognosis is not one, you want to accept. So the initial gut-check response is to deny it or ignore it.
So, here we are. It's day four, and you know, I'm feeling kind of good. In a strange sense, It's a little easier to do this time around because frankly, I know what to expect. I know how my body is going to respond and how long it's going to take to feel normal again.
But yet, of course, there is that voice of regret in the back of my mind as well. It's the voice that's inwardly scolding myself for not getting it right the first time around. The voice that's saying..well why weren't you just strong enough to stick to what you started in the first place. So each day I feel that I am living in this tension, on one hand, knowing that the cravings and the achings in my body will eventually pass and once this new routine is habit I will be feeling fantastic and back to where I was before in no time.
Last May, I started a diet program that many of my close friends at our home church were doing, and they were having a lot of success.
At first, I didn't think I needed to change, but then I...
I'll never forget the last pull I had on a cigarette. Back in 2005, I had been in Teen Challenge for quite a while and was having a terrible day. We were out participating in a door-to-door fundraising activity in the suburbs of Long Island. Nothing went right about that day. Every attempt to raise money ended with one resounding no after the next. To make it worse my fundraising partner was just altogether angry at life in general. My day was conspiring against me to make sure nothing went right.
After a few more hours of misery and rejection from every house I went to, I found myself in a conversation with my fundraising partner about how nice it would be to have a cigarette. It seemed that after of 6 months of not smoking this stress was enough to merit breaking the streak.
After a few more houses my fundraising partner chased me down with a lit cigarette in his hand and informed me he had been successful in finding one.
Without a second thought, I grabbed the cigarette from him,...
And we ended by asking how to deal with the guilty feelings that come with such strong expectations. We feel like we’re being un-Christian by not “helping.” So, how do we deal with these negative emotions and truly help the ones we love overcome their struggle?
Let’s look at how Jesus handled the situation and see what we can learn about addressing these feelings in ourselves as we move forward.
In John Chapter 8, a group of religious people brought a woman they caught cheating on her husband to where Jesus was. The law said to kill her for what she did. The leaders asked Jesus what he thought they should do. Jesus pointed out the fact that none of them were perfect. Embarrassed about their own shortcomings, they all left. Only the woman remained there alone with Jesus. So, he asked her who was there to condemn her for her crime. She said, She said, “No one, Lord.”...
I came across a 10-year-old photo the other night. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and this one certainly had that effect. It was a photo that reminded me of the first of many milestones I had accomplished as a man who has beat drug addiction.
I’ll never forget the nervousness of moving back into my hometown and attempting to re-start my new life. It had been a year since I faced that spot. It was the same place that when I was last there, I had contemplated suicide.
Many people that I talked to questioned whether returning home was a great idea. Lots of friends were still doing the same old’ thing. Lots of terrible memories and really nothing, but a lot of temptation. Yet something told me on the inside that I needed to go home.
So I did what I knew I had to do and, against the advice of many people, jumped right into my hometown and attempted to work with dad and do the unthinkable - help more drug addicts.
See this kills conventional wisdom....
What do you do when someone you love has an addiction and needs your help?
“Hey, I’m struggling to pay some bills and need some spare cash?” they ask. Or, “Do you think you could help me out just this one time?”
As a Christian, you want to help. You want to be that light, that love.
But how much help is too much? When does helping become enabling?
Enabling, in the context of us and the addict we love, simply means that we give the struggling addict what (s)he needs to fuel their addiction by trying to help.
And there is a danger to enabling an addict. What happens is that (s)he gets worse because (s)he has the means to fuel the addiction. We feel lied to and taken advantage of. The addict wants more fuel for the addiction so (s)he manipulates us to get it. We feel guilty for “not helping” and the negative emotions make us uncomfortable. So, we try to “help” to ease the pain/guilt. The cycle repeats itself. And both parties lose....
Addiction is a very real problem that hurts many people. The addict, his or her family, and extended friends suffer along with the person struggling with the addiction. And, unfortunately, many of those loved ones feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness?
Have you ever asked yourself, “What can I do to help?” Have you ever said that nothing you do works? If so, you may be struggling to figure out how to help a recovering addict to overcome the addiction that is hurting you and your family so deeply.
The truth is that you can help. The situation is not hopeless. And there are several things you can do to support the person battling an addiction and help him or her to overcome the struggle. Let’s look at 3 ways you can help.
1. Believe FOR the Person that Hope Is Possible
Just as you feel hopeless, so too does the person you love who is struggling with the addiction. (S)he feels as though it is impossible to overcome. And (s)he must believe that there is in...
Figuring out how to help a recovering addict can be a daunting task. Where do you start? What do you say? Will the situation ever change?
The truth is that there are many people who have helped their loved ones to recover and are now enjoying a better life with them. So, what can you do to help? Let’s explore the #1 most important thing you can do to get involved and get results.
Introduce Them to a New Social Circle
Our social circle is basically the places we go and the people we associate with. And we tend to find the people and places that are most like us, the ones we are comfortable with. Thus, addicts tend to form friendships with other users and frequent the same places as those users. So, overcoming an addiction is not just about no longer using or drinking. It is about revamping the entire social circle. But how does an addict just drop all of that and make new associations? In most cases, (s)he doesn’t. And that’s where you come in.
Enabling is offering the wrong kind of help!
Download this free report to learn the questions to ask to determine if you are enabling and how you can start offering the right kind of help today.