You Can't Do It Alone
Making positive decisions and taking corrective steps can be very difficult when helping a person who is influenced by a life-controlling problem. As a helper, not to become a part of the problem is often a challenge. Ecclesiastes 8:9 says, “There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.”
There are some key points to consider when battling for a loved one’s life.
Rid yourself of the messiah complex
Although we may not want to admit it, we want to see help come so much that we take on the role of God. For example: “If something happens to her, it’s my fault,” or “If I had been there that night, I would have spared him the embarrassment.” We simply need to take a deep breath and realize that He is God. Call time-out. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Prepare for the “put-downs"
You can expect put-downs from your loved one and from Satan. It is important to keep the put-downs from your loved one in perspective. These are often temporary and not lifetime. When in the grasp of a life-controlling problem, a person will often toss put-downs at those they love the most. Although it is difficult, try not to take it personally. Remember, they are probably blind to their problem and the communication is with the life-controlling problem, not the person you may have known in the past.
Beware of false guilt and shame
As for Satan, we need to understand how to deal with him. There are two important things to remember. (1) He is the “accuser of our brothers (and sisters), who accuses them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). With this in mind, we need to be alert to his accusations. (2) He will always look at your faults and remind you often. When you are serving Christ, always remember any voice that puts you down is never from God. Even in correction, the Holy Spirit will convict and lead us to Jesus. The Apostle Paul writes about “the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down” (2 Corinthians 10:8).
Search your heart
Ask the Lord to give you clear thinking and remove any obstacles that may exist between you and Him. Although David was a poor role model for a parent or husband, he is a Bible character that is well-known and respected. To his credit, he was always quick to make things right with his heavenly Father. God gave David quite a compliment when he said, “I have found David . . . a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22).
Perhaps you have made some poor decisions or used bad judgment as a helper. God is there to help you get on the redemptive track. Join with David’s prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Join a support group
As the old saying goes, “I can’t see the forest for the trees.” This is often the case with those who are affected by a loved one’s life-controlling problem. Find a church that has a group that understands your problem, is Christ-centered, and meets regularly. This can become added family during a difficult time in your life. There will be times that this group may see things you cannot see and lovingly support you through this challenge.
Don't give up
Take things a day at a time
Remind yourself every day that life is a journey. Each day is just one day in the span of this life. “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by” (Psalm 90:4). When trying to help a loved one, there are some days, if not many, that it seems hopeless. Live each day focusing on Him, and God will work things out in your life some way or some how. “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end” (Psalm 48:14).
Material adapted from Close but not too Close a booklet available in the online store.