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How can I help an alcoholic?

Submitted: 2/24/2009
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Question: How can you help a person who is depressed and disappointed because he knows that his wife is a characterless lady. Due to this, he drinks too much and abuses people after he drinks. He is my father. Please could you give me some suggestions?

Answer: Alcoholism is an addiction, which in biblical terms is a bondage. Paul described bondage when he wrote in Romans 7:15, 'For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.' The question is, does you father want to stop? Does he want to be free? Some people don't. Jesus said, 'And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed' (John 3:19-20). Some people love their sins and are not interested in being set free. In such cases there is nothing you can do except try to protect yourself and others from his abuse. On the other hand, if he wants to be free, then he must come to the light of Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote, 'O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!' (Romans 7:24-25). This is the cry of the desparate man who has given up on himself and has turned to Jesus for salvation. For more on how to come to Jesus, please see our article called 'What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ' on Shelf 1 of the Apostolic Free Library on this website.