A Christian Way to Cope with a Loved One in Rehab
When your parent, sibling, another family member or friend is going through rehab, you can’t help but let it effect you. Feelings like anger, hurt, sadness and even joy aren’t uncommon when someone you love is suffering from addiction. As a Christian, you can’t just ignore the person who is struggling. Instead, you must use this opportunity to strengthen your faith and to help your loved one find the path of righteousness that leads to God.
What is Addiction From a Bible Standpoint?
Addiction isn’t a choice that your loved one made. No addict wakes up one morning and decides to become addicted to drugs or alcohol on that day. Addiction occurs when a person falls into one of the devil’s traps. In Genesis, Eve is just living a normal life when the serpent convinces her to eat fruit from the one tree in the entire garden that God forbade her to eat from. Eve even takes things a step further and gives a piece of the fruit to Adam. It is likely that Eve was hungry, which made her weak. In her weakness, she succumbed to the clever ways of the devil.
Your loved one was likely hungry or thirsty for something when he or she tried that first drink or that first hit. The devil seized the opportunity to place a stumbling block in your loved one’s way. He decided to whisper to your loved one that he had a way to make everything better. He said that he could stop the hunger and quench the thirst. In the weakened state of hoping for something to make things better, your loved one fell for the devil’s lies.
If your loved one has already entered a rehab program, he or she has already taken the first step to getting back on God’s narrow path. It is important that you support your loved one in a Christian way to help him or her continue along the path toward everlasting life.
Christians Must Love
It isn’t always easy to love people, but as a Christian, you must love everyone. Matthew 5:46 imparted to us, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” It is likely that your loved one hurt you at some point during the course of his or her drug or alcohol abuse. No matter what happened, you must forgive him or her for whatever happened. Forgiveness is a big part of love, and you can’t fully love your loved one until you forgive him or her.
As your loved one moves through the treatment program, he or she will need your support because recovering addicts with a strong support system are more likely to remain clean and sober for longer than those without strong support systems. You can write, visit or accept calls from your loved one to show your support.
Let God Carry Your Burden
Having a loved one struggling with addiction is physically, emotionally and spiritually challenging. If you let all of the worry and other feelings overwhelm you, it isn’t likely that you will be able to help to support your loved one. You may have to take a little time to yourself to truly deal with your feelings and that is acceptable. If you don’t have your mind, body and spirit together, you won’t do any good for your loved one.
Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” This is God’s promise to all Christians. If you just let God take care of anything that is bothering you, He will make sure that you have what you need to keep going.
It isn’t easy to just hand everything over to God; however, if your loved one is in a Christian drug or alcohol rehab program, you may be able to speak with the staff members and clergy at the treatment facility about your feelings. Most Christian drug rehab programs have therapy sessions and opportunities for family members and close friends of the addicts to get help with some of the things they are struggling with so that they will be ready to help the addict when he or she gets out of rehab.
Pray for Anything You Need
Prayer is an integral part of making it through this situation. If you don’t know what to pray for, just pray for God’s will to be done. You can pray for strength, comfort, guidance, discernment, forgiveness, acceptance and peace, as well as anything else you feel you or your loved one needs. John 14:13 shared with us, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” That means that Jesus will grant your prayers as long as you are praying with sincere motives for something that will glorify God in accordance with His will.