Being the parent of an addicted child isn’t easy. It’s like driving down a bumpy road in unknown territory. Ouch! Fortunately, the Bible is filled with sound advice for any stressful situation you might encounter.
For example, let’s look at the relationship between unconditional love and addiction. As loving parents, your first instinct is to rescue your addicted children from their destructive choices.
But that’s not how God demonstrates unconditional love. He operates by His Law in the Bible. God created us in His image and gave us free will. We can choose to follow God’s Law and reap blessings. Or we can ignore His Law and reap curses. It’s our right to choose.
God gave us the sacrament of confession for those times when we mess up. If we use our free will to ask for forgiveness and make a sincere effort to change our ways, God’s blessings return.
How can these Biblical principles help the parents of addicted children?
Let’s say one of the requirements for your son’s probation is employment. But he hasn’t gotten a job. He refuses to ride the bus to work.
God doesn’t rescue us when we fail to abide by His Law. Likewise, you shouldn’t rescue your son. Don’t offer to drive him to work every day. Unconditional love means teaching your son the importance of taking responsibility for his mistakes and following the rules (in his case, the requirements for his probation).
Maybe your addicted daughter wants to come home. She apologizes for the mess she made the last time she lived under your roof and promises to do better. But you don’t know if you can believe her.
God forgives us when we repent. But only if we change our ways and commit to following His Law. The same applies to your daughter. Apologies are great, but she must agree to follow your house rules. If not, she’s out. Unconditional love means requiring her to follow through with her promises when she asks for forgiveness. Talk isn’t enough. She needs to walk it.
God loves His children more than anything. But He’s no doormat, and neither are you. Practice unconditional love by setting healthy boundaries and requiring your addicted children to walk their talk.
That’s “real” love. Ask God. He knows.
Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke can help. He’s an Addiction Coach and an internationally recognized speaker. Let him show you how to create an action plan that will move you, your family, and your addicted child back on track in a healthier direction. Contact Dave today for private coaching. Go to http://www.100pedals.com/coaching/ for more information or email dave@100Pedals.com.
Are you on Dave’s email list? If you’d like to receive his monthly newsletter for the parents of addicted children and weekly blog post notifications, email firstname.lastname@example.org