Do you enable others?
Time after time I hear stories of how family members and friends have enabled those that are hurting.
The person hurting often becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol or is abusive. However, there loved ones have no idea how to stop this destructive path.
Our society is full of examples of this and no better example can be found than in our celebrities. How many celebrities have died tragic deaths due to drug addiction, addiction to pain killers, or living a life of destruction.
We hear reports of interventions in which the celebrity was able to easily oust those that had their best interest and replace them with individuals who would allow them to continue in their current mode of operation.
So, what do we do when those we love are hurting and taking advantage of those of us or those we love? Do we give in and enable those that are hurting and destroying their lives?
- First we have to decide where our boundaries lies. What are we willing to put up with and what are we not willing to put up with.
- Second, we need to lay out our boundaries and stick by them. This is not easy, especially when it means our children, parents or loved one may be forced to be homeless or worse.
Third, we need to take steps to protect ourselves and our family. For everyone, the challenges and concerns are different but we have to take an honest assessment of the situation and decide what steps we need to do to stay safe.
Next, we need to stay strong. This isn’t easy when our hearts are hurting and we witness someone we love hurting himself or herself.
Pray, we pray throughout the process for our loved one. We pray that God will watch over and protect our loved one and reach out the needed olive branch.
Remember, sometimes we have to get out of the way to allow God to work.
Sometimes, our loved one has to reach rock bottom for God to transform their heart and life.
Watching from the outside this is not easy. Knowing when to step back in and be for our loved one can also be difficult, after we’ve been hurt so many times. This should only be after we see a very real change.
Psalm 40:1-2 says, “I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”
As one day passes into the next, we fear our prayers will never be heard and we will never see change. For me, it was three long years that I was lost, but I’ve heard of some families that pray for their prodigal for five, ten, fifteen, twenty, or even thirty years. Yet, the Lord is faithful and He does hear our prayers.
Do you enable someone that is hurting? Are you trusting patiently in the Lord?