Sunday, September 22, 2013

Handling An Addict

If you have a loved one - spouse, child, parent etc. - with an addictive or destructive behavior (e.g. drugs, pornography, anger, stealing, gambling, verbal cursing), it's vital that you do not allow the behavior to continue. You must confront your addicted or destructive loved one, set limits, and provide consequences. Disturb the peace in order to achieve peace.

A way of doing it is by giving an "ultimatum." It sounds harsh or pain-inflicting but it's actually the path of love and healing.  Ultimatum could go like this:  "There are two choices:  you make positive and visible steps to change or there will be consequences. I love you and I want us to have a healthy relationship. But what you are doing now damages your self and our relationship. It's unacceptable and I cannot allow it to continue."

Author C.S. Lewis once remarked, "Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness. Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering."  And I do agree with Lewis when he goes on to explain that love demands transformation into what God created us to be. To me, that means love is tough and there will be times when pain must be inflicted in order to bring about complete healing and recovery.

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