Tag Archives: sin

You Didn’t Cause It, You Can’t Control It, You Can’t Cure It.

You also don’t have to contribute to it….

There are hundreds of blogs and websites on the internet about marriage. How to improve it, save it, sustain it. Many of them give good advice, many of them don’t. I want to discuss the ones that don’t. I feel that many of the ministries and blogs rely on formulas. If you do A and B you will get C. Christianity is not a formula. What works for one may not work for another. When it comes to dealing with someone who is addicted to something such as  sex, food, drugs, and alcohol, standard marriage formulas or ideas do not work. I am a recovering alcoholic, and I want to share some things and let you know what may work better. I say may, because every one is different. Hopefully sharing what worked in my life, and what didn’t, you will have a better idea of how to deal with a spouse who is an addict.

You cannot make someone recover. You cannot love them enough, yell enough, or cry enough to make them stop. Trying to be a better wife or husband will not change them.  Enabling them to continue in their behavior under the guise of love will not make them stop, it will make the problem worse. Enabling behaviors are calling in sick for them, bailing them out of jail, paying their fines, babying them or having sympathy for them if they are hungover or dope sick.  It’s okay to have empathy, but not sympathy. Sympathy is ‘you poor thing’ and making sure they eat, drink, etc. as if caring for a sick child. Empathy is ‘I am sorry you feel so bad.’ and letting them take care of themselves. However, if they are unable to eat or drink anything and keep it down or have the DT’s you must get them medical attention. I think you understand what I mean.

When I was deep into my alcoholism I had many people begging and pleading for me to stop. We addicts can be selfish though and I believed that they were my problem. If everyone just left me alone and did what I wanted, I would be fine.  When the begging and pleading didn’t work, they enabled me by watching my son, giving me money, bailing me out of jail and more. The more they did to try to ‘help’ me, all the while telling me it was because they loved me, the more I took advantage of their ‘help’.

What actually helps an addict? Letting them hit their bottom. You must pray for them, but it has to be the most dangerous kind of prayer there is. “Whatever it takes God.” You have to be willing to hold them accountable for their actions. The Bible has many scriptures about holding one another accountable, and none of them say ‘unless it’s your spouse, then you can’t hold them accountable for anything.’ (Yes, I have actually heard and read that advice.) Different people have different bottoms. Some lose everything. Some fearing the loss of everything will open their eyes. Standing by them, not saying anything, or doing anything, will only lead them further down a destructive path.

Sometimes, separation is in order. I know many may not agree. However, many children have been taken from homes of addicts, even if only one spouse was using. Many addicts become violent when using, and your child’s safety is paramount, even over your marriage. I grew up with alcoholics, and I can tell you the damage that was done is still being repaired by God, at 42 years old. If you decide to separate, you can ask them to go into rehab or attend meetings before you or they return home. Be an encouragement if they are trying to find treatment or meetings, but don’t do it for them. When they do get into recovery, be their biggest cheerleader, but make sure they have some recovery time under them before you begin restoration. Often what happens is the spouse will attend three or four meetings, the other gets excited and restoration begins, only to have the addict go right back out once they are together again.

Keep praying, and then pray some more. But also be an active participant, don’t just leave it up to God. Often God will not do anything until we take that first step in confronting them. I recommend Celebrate Recovery. It’s a 12 step Christ based recovery program. The addict as well as those that love them are welcome at these meeting. This program has been instrumental at keeping me sober and growing my relationship with Jesus. You can find meetings by clicking on CR groups and info here-http://www.celebraterecovery.com/

Feel free to ask me questions regarding this topic or CR in the comments.

Sand and Stones

This is a short story I have had in my head for a really long time. I have decided to share it with my readers. I hope you enjoy it.

mfBWcki

Sand and Stones

Part 1

A sand storm came through last evening. It covered everything and I must now spend my time dusting off my things and shaking out my bed linens. My guest would not like to leave me and and have to explain where he acquired the dust from, especially when he should not even be in my home. I do not understand why I allowed myself to get in this situation. I do not understand why a man would want me when betrothed to another or when he already has a wife. I dare say that the things I offer fill some desire he has for the forbidden.

I do not like what I do, I have anguished over this and hold much shame and reproach for myself, but to be without a family and to be unmarried in these lands also comes under much reproach. He provides me with food and a pays for a roof to lay under during the cold nights.  The first time I said I shall only do it once, as I was poor and starving. Two Passovers have passed and I am on the same path.

I keep to myself out of fear of being caught, but when I do leave my home I hear of a man that has come from Nazareth. They call him Jesus. Some say he is the Messiah, that he can heal the sick and restore the infirmed. I have not come across him though. If he is who he says he is, I am fearful of what he will think of someone like me. Will he think of me as filthy and undeserving of love? Will he condemn me to Hades as the teachers and Pharisees often do to those like me? They say he preaches love and forgiveness, but I am not worthy of those things.  I sigh…there is so much sand…

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My guest has arrived and it is just before dawn. We spend our time chatting with empty words. We both know why he is here, but we dance around the truth lest the guilt become to heavy. He looks at me and smiles and comes toward me. I only look at the floor. He reaches up and removes my veil, then pulls me into his arms. I turn my face towards the door as I hear shouting outside. Suddenly there is banging on the door, and I am worried we have been found out, as is my guest. The shouting continues as many men come crashing into my home. My guest pushes me away and I fall over the chair beside my bed. The men who have invaded my home home are the local teachers and Pharisees. “We have caught you! You shall be punished under our laws!” They say as they stand over me. Forcing me to my feet, I see them motion for my guest to leave. I know my crime, I am guilty, but I cry out “What about him? Is he not just as guilty as I?” A man tells me to be quiet as they drag me from my home.

 They are pulling me through the streets of the city and walking so quickly and I stumble many times. My arms are sore from the strong grip on them. “Why did you not bring the man with us? Why are you only taking me?” I keep asking and they will not answer. I know what will happen to me. My life will soon be over, and I am terrified.

Ahead I see a crowd gathered at the temple courts and I wonder how could they know? There has been no trial for me. Pushing through the people, we come to the entrance and a man sits on the stairs. Throwing me down at his feet, they state “This woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law says she must be stoned. What do you say?” He says nothing as he bends down and I see him start to write in the sand with his finger. But they keep on questioning him,  so he straightens up and says to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stoops down and writes in the sand.  I did not dare to look up at him.

Holding my breath I wait for the stones to be thrown. I wait for the pain, for death, but the stones don’t come. I slowly raise my head and look around to see each person start to walk away, not understanding what has just happened. After they have all gone, it is him and me alone.  He straightens up and asks, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” I raise my eyes to him. I am afraid to reply, but I do and my voice quivers . “No one, sir.” He then speaks words to me that astound me. “Then neither do I condemn you,” He declares. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Slowly I get up from the ground. I stare at him for a few moments thinking “Is this him? Is this the Messiah I have heard so much about?” Then I turn and walk back to my home.

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Note- I have taken some creative license with this. I tried to convey it as if I were the woman and what would be going through my mind if I were there. Part 2 will be up in a few days.