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Alcoholism/Drug use

Submitted: 1/14/2005
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Question: How do I deal with a person who has the above problem? This person is a backslider and has a wealth of knowledge from God. He knows and seems to understand the Bible. He does not trust any Pastor I know, enough to just go and talk. I know he is depressed, disapointed, and angry because of some past issues. What can I do to help him? I know he uses something besides alcohol, because he can go in the garage and be there only a few minutes and be so high he cannot move on his own. Or if we don't check on him if he is out there too long, he may have fallen. This has happened several times. How can I help my husband? I am almost empty.

Answer: We feel great compassion for you and your husband. This must certainly be very draining for you. Sadly, no one can help a person who does not want to be helped. Not even Jesus can do this. In John 3 He spoke of those who won't come to the light because they love their sin. People can choose to stay in sin if they want to.

Having said that, here is what you can do: 1) Pray earnestly for him every day. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous woman avails much. 2) Live as an example of true godliness before him night and day. Make no compromises in your faith. Be strong and immoveable. 3) Gently encourage your husband as opportunities arise. Let him know how much it hurts you and your other family members to see him like this. 4) Form a small group of close friends who will support you and provide encouragement. Meet with them regularly (weekly if possible)for worship, prayer, and mutual edification. 5) Give up on the idea of your husband talking to a pastor or some other 'official person.' If he begins to open up a little, encourage him to talk to your group of friends. They should be preparing for this eventuality.

What you and your husband need to know is that because we get hurt by other people, it is only by other people that we can get better. Sooner or later your husband is going to have to trust someone. It does not have to be a pastor; it can be anyone who is compassionate and full of the Holy Spirit.

If he begins to make changes, he will then need strong, up-close accountability.