Help for Christian Parents of Drug Addicts
Few things are more devastating for Christian parents than having their sons or daughters end up as addicts. Not only is there the agony for the child’s troubled condition, there is the personal shame and the constant questioning: Where did we go wrong?
The family will have a long road of recovery ahead, but there is help for you and the situation is not hopeless. God is good and He has the power to heal your family. Recovery begins with looking to Him and relying upon His wisdom and grace.
Let Go of Shame and Blame
Christian parents of drug addicts are often steeped in shame over what has happened to their child. They question themselves, they look for a place to lay blame and they reconsider every decision. This is normal, but it is not helpful. Parents need to break through any remaining layers of denial in order to honestly look at the problem, and then release the feelings of shame.
Part of this process is accepting God’s grace. Yes, there may have been things you could have done better, but any parent could say this. There is no easy way to explain why your child became an addict. Accept that you did the best you could in raising your child, and now you will do the best you can in helping him or her to get well. Wallowing in shame doesn’t help the family move forward.
Look to God
Just as the addict will have to embrace Step Two when he or she begins to recover, the family will also have to believe that God will restore them to sanity. Addiction is not just the addict’s issue, it is a family issue and all who have been touched by the addiction will need God’s grace, power and love in order to walk through it.
There is a wealth of biblical wisdom on addiction, and this can provide great comfort for the family members of addicts. The Bible is clear that addiction and temptation are real forces, but the power of God is strong enough to conquer them. It is also strong enough to overcome the sins, shortcomings and struggles of the family. Hope abounds.
Getting Help for the Family
Though your church may be exceptionally sensitive and supportive as you walk through this difficult time of life, you need the fellowship of other parents and families who are going through similar trials and who understand the unique struggles of having an addict son or daughter. You can’t walk through this alone. Seek help wherever it may be found. The health of the addict, as well as the health of the other members of the family, depends upon it.
The other thing to note is that while addiction has many causes, some of the causes stem from dysfunctional patterns within the home. While it can be uncomfortable to face these hard truths, it is essential to the addict’s recovery. Christian Al-Anon and related programs are a wise place to start. There you will begin to better understand the addiction and how you may be helpful to your child without further enabling the problem.
There is hope for the parents of an addict. Continue to reach out to your church and your local recovery community for the strength and support you need. Remember, the Lord cares for you and your child. Trust in Him.
Choose a better life. Choose recovery.