1. If I don’t help them, who will?
God will. By getting out of the way and letting an addict feel their consequence, they have an opportunity to make a change. If they do not feel it because someone is helping them too much, they have no opportunity to learn from it. Trusting God means trusting him to love and help other people instead of trying to control or carry the responsibility of someone else’s life ourselves.
“Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” –Proverbs 3:12
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” –Luke 9:24
2. If I refuse to help does that mean I’m not being a good Christian?
Actually, being a good Christian has sometimes come to look more like codependence than like Jesus. If you want to know what it really means to be a good Christian, study every move that Jesus made. Every confrontation he had, every religious leader he humbled, every time he told people that if they weren’t ready to leave it all behind, they weren’t fit to follow him. Remember that God is love and Jesus is God in the flesh, so everything you see Jesus do and everything you hear him say is loving!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” –2 Timothy 1:7
3. What if I set boundaries and trust God and they still don’t make the right choices?
In this life, God gives each of us free will and has natural consequences in place that are supposed to teach us the way of righteousness. We can choose to follow Him, or we can choose a different path. He will let us experience even the most severe consequences along the way in order to get onto His path and into His will, because He loves us and wants the best for us.
“For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” –Galatians 6:5
4. Am I all alone in this?
You are never alone in this. God is always with you, even in your hardest moments. He is waiting on you to call on Him for direction. I found the best thing for me is to dive into support groups and Christian theophostic counseling.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –Deuteronomy 31:8
5. Does my peace and happiness really matter?
You matter!!! Your peace matters. Your kids’ peace matters. God asks us to love others as we love ourselves, not more than. Jesus didn’t die on a cross for us to live a life of misery.
“’So love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” –Mark 12:30-31 (MSG)
6. How does living with an addict affect my kids?
Kids feel the effects of living with an addict so much. They may not say it, but by living in this situation, they are learning either how to become an addict or how to enable one. As hard as it is to justify removing a parent from the home, in many situations it is the lesser of two evils and God will support you in it.
“You steal the shirts right off the backs of those who trusted you…You have evicted women from their pleasant homes and forever stripped their children of all that God would give them. Up! Begone! This is no longer your land and home, for you have filled it with sin and ruined it completely.” –Micah 2:8-10
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of your Life
by John Townsend and Henry Cloud
The New Codependancy
by Melody Beattie
7. What steps do I take to get out of this?
Ask the Lord for the next right step, and take it, one step at a time, until you find yourself on His path of peace! Then keep asking Him for the next step, to stay on that path. He will reveal answers to you through his word and listening in prayer, through other Christian leaders and believers whose counsel he directs you to, and through other Christian books and resources on this topic.
“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” –Psalm 23:3
8. What if my church does not support me divorcing my spouse because of their ongoing pattern of addiction?
Do what you can to educate your pastor or leaders about the dangers of having an active addict remain in your home. Be as authentic and detailed as you can in explaining the ill effects on your children and the hopelessness you are feeling. Ask them for Biblical alternatives to your situation. It is great to have them pray for you, but prayer must also be accompanied by an action plan. Most importantly, seek God’s heart and his truth for your situation as he is the one you will ultimately have to answer to.
“But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, ‘You must remove the evil person from among you.’” –1 Corinthians 5:10-13