The destructive effects of addiction reach far beyond the life of the addict. Addiction bleeds deep into the families who hurt just as much, if not more. Addressing the student’s character and behavioral issues is only the beginning. There are also issues to address in many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and extended family. Many loved ones fall into the difficult trap of enabling. They often possess the right heart to help their loved one, but provide the wrong help; prolonging the cycle of failure & suppressing any desire to change their life.
Enabling is a set pattern of behavior usually set in motion early in an addict’s life. It pains the families to see their loved one experience the terrible consequences of their irresponsible behavior. A parent may promise discipline for their young child’s bad conduct at school, but rarely deliver. They begin to blame “the other trouble-making kids”, for their child’s troublesome behavior. As adolescence rolls around, run-ins with the police become frequent, and bailout is made every time. Beginning to dabble in drugs, they move out only to call home frequently asking for money. Instead of living on the streets, the addict is invited back to stay in their parent’s home, to “keep them safe”. All along, a soft cushion is provided whereas the addict is never motivated to cease their behavior. They never stop, because they are not allowed to feel the pain of their irresponsible behavior. In Luke 15, the story of the prodigal son shows a father releasing his son into the care of the Lord, allowing the boy to experience the natural consequences that came with the life he had chosen. Eventually the son came to his senses, repented, and came back home to realize the love of His Father! God, help us in rescuing the entire family from the snares of addiction!