A lot of things run through my mind when I find out that a man I know has relapsed into his addiction and his family is once again devastated. I am so brokenhearted for the family and I cry out to God on their behalf. I can only imagine how hurt they must be going through this all over again. It was already the hardest thing they've ever done the first time, and now they're back at ground zero. And then I start to question, “How can this be!?” They were doing so good and everything seemed “perfect”. He knows how much this hurt his family the first time, how could he ever go back to it? A beautiful wife that stood by his side through the worst of it, great kids that adore him, a job that depends on him, and yet he chose to go back to his addiction. It just seems so unreal. And then I start to question my own husband. I believe with every fiber of my being that he would never go back to his addiction. But when I hear about so many men falling, I am flooded with doubts. My husband has a wife that stood by him, kids that adore him, a job that depends on him, could he ever choose to go back to his addiction?
The answer is, yes. It's possible that my husband could relapse. We spoke this morning and he assured me that he has remained faithful. He is not struggling and has been victorious through Christ at this point. And I have no reason to believe that he is not living in complete freedom from his former addiction. But a part of me is still in a fog about it all. I talked to a dear friend tonight about my fears and I told her that I don't want to be accusatory towards him and act as if “it's only a matter of time” before he falls too. And at the same time I don't want to be naive about the reality of relapse and just wake up one day and my world is crashing in. It's hard to balance victory and fear. Then she said something that encouraged me. She said, “...it does not good to borrow fear or trouble from tomorrow... determine to not let [yourself] dream up scenarios and put [yourself'] in anguish. I wish we could learn the art of separating ourselves from their sin.” She is so wise. She is paraphrasing Scripture from Matthew 6:25-34 when Jesus tells us not to be anxious. He tells us to consider the birds of the air and the lilies of the field; how God cares for such small, seemingly insignificant things. And we, his most prized creation, how much more will he care for us? And then Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and to not worry about tomorrow because today has enough trouble on it's own. Why borrow more trouble? Why borrow more fear?
So according to my wise friend and to my wonderful Savior, I should quit worrying about this. And I am trying. I really am. I won't say that I have completely overcome my fear. But I am trying to trust in the Lord and trust my husband. One thing that has helped me in all this is to think about how I am just a susceptible to falling as my husband is. (Does that sound crazy?) The truth is, we're all just one decision away from destruction. In fact, we're all addicted to something...
If we are all honest and looked at our own hearts and actions, we would all have to admit to being addicted to something. We all struggle with idolatry; having those uncontrollable desires to satisfy ourselves with something or someone instead of using all our heart, soul, and strength to love the Lord our God. If we are honest we will admit that we all need to go back to the basics and work on removing that one thing that is killing us spiritually: IDOLATRY.
An addict is someone who persistently does something that they know is harmful or damaging. We are all that man with a beautiful wife, adoring kids, and good job, who chooses to go back to our addiction. Our addictions of food, money, appearance, alcohol, sex, gossip, television, video games, social networking, anger, power, etc. We all struggle with things that have a destructive affect on our family and our Christian walk. And we all need to pursue our own personal holiness. It's not my job to keep my husband from relapsing. It's my job to glorify God in all that I do. So instead of borrowing fear from tomorrow and worrying about what my hubby may or may not be doing in secret, I can focus my heart on Christ and my own behavior! And maybe, just maybe, I can finally take to heart the Scripture that I always tell my friends...
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: addiction relapse fear trouble pornography pain healing worry anxiety philippians 4:6-8 matthew 6:25-34 jesus wisdom
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