“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV
It is hard to imagine love enduring with all that a parent goes through with an addicted child. While every parent has a different range of personal, painful experiences with their child’s addiction, the ultimate outcome of this journey is pure hurt. With every chaotic episode come feelings of rejection, failure, and loss. I know that ultimately we are eventually hurt by it all.
Through it all, we still continue to try to find ways to show our love. Even though some parents eventually quit trying to show their love, they never stop loving their child. That is the power of unconditional love.
Imagine what our heavenly Father experiences as he watches us in our lives. He teaches us, empowers us, encourages us, and loves us. Yet, despite all that he does to help guide us, we still make incredibly stupid decisions. We reject him. We disown him. We ignore him. We even forget about him. Despite this, he is always there. When we recognize how lost we are, he answers our call for forgiveness and guidance. He doesn’t remind us how irresponsible we have been. He doesn’t point to the times where we did something stupid or hurtful. Instead, he openly receives us and offers direction to move forward from here.
I have made a commitment to love my children by this example, to the best of my flawed ability. I empower them to live as they choose. I sometimes suffer with or am confounded by their choices. And, I pray to God to speak to their hearts and minds as they walk on their path. When asked, I engage in a loving, encouraging conversation about where they are, where they desire to be, and what choices and commitments they might make to get there. I can’t tell them what to do; I can only help them determine what they will do.
It took a long time, but I finally discovered that my son’s choices in his addiction were not in my control, they were not about my parenting skills, nor was I responsible for changing the course of his life. While I always feel the pain and heartache of a life that has gone awry, I know that there is one thing I can always offer him, my unconditional love.
I remember a radio interview my son and I did together a few years ago. When the host asked my son what advice he would give to other parents dealing with a child’s addiction his response said it all. “I would tell them to do what my dad has done, love the heck out of them!” Unconditional love is the only lasting gift we can offer a child lost to their addiction. Make sure you never stop giving it. It may not change the outcome; but, I know it makes a difference!
Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are you trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke can help. He’s an internationally recognized speaker who has made it his commitment to minister to parents struggling with addiction in their families. His powerfully insightful, faith based approach to the challenges of addiction have inspired and educated thousands across the country.
Contact Dave today to book him to speak at your church, parent’s group, business organization, or neighborhood association. Go to http://www.100pedals.com/speaker-dave-cooke/ for more information or email dave@100Pedals.com.
Dave is riding his bicycle across the country in the Summer of 2016. The mission of this trip is to bring healing to families suffering from the addiction of a loved while moving the addiction conversation out into the open where it belongs. He may be coming through your city. To invite Dave to speak in your town or to support this mission go to: http://empowermentride.com
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