The Roles of the Enabler & Codependent in Families with Substance Abuse
Today were going to look at how an Enabler or Co-Dependent plays a very crucial role in an addict’s recovery.
Supporting a loved one in recovery comes in many forms. There is one that seems to be rather unpopular and few choose to follow it. The reason we find this principle of high importance is simply for the fact taught to us in Romans Chapter 14 verses 13-23. Verse 21 states, “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.” Who wants to be a stumbling block for their loved one? I’m sure no one does. Yet this stumbling block is something we see happening with families in recovery from addiction more often than not.
How can loved ones support those in recovery?
One of the strongest ways that a family member can support a recovering addict is by also giving up their right to use substances socially. This includes legal and acceptable forms such as alcohol. It may be true that the family member may not have an addiction and can control their own use of alcohol, but the very presence of alcohol in a recovering addict’s environment is not conducive to the addict’s recovery. It gives room to temptation along with other forms of unnecessary psychological, physical, and spiritual battles. The recovering addict may even suggest that they can handle it because it was not their “drug of choice” or that it doesn’t affect them. This is both irrational and completely inaccurate. In fact, this path leads to relapse.
Not everything is beneficial
First Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23 says, “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is edifying.”
We have to ask family members these questions:
1) Are your actions beneficial for others?
2) Are your decisions edifying your loved one?
We understand that this stance is not well received among many people, but we see firsthand the devastation it brings to families. It is real. It takes the willingness of the family member to humble themselves and to deny themselves at the expense of someone else’s weakness. The loving and supportive family members are often the main source of influence for those in recovery.
Recovery is not an easy road, but it is one that can be filled with victory and freedom as God’s power is manifested.
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