reaping what you sow

by Laura

My son from a previous marriage who is 29 years old, had a long past of drug abuse from age 13 to age 21. Although he is off of all the drugs, he still has made so many wrong decisions such as a divorce with two small children, a DUI resulting in a suspended lic. then lost lic a second time for having no insurance, to dating a girl for 4 years who was mentally unstable. This ended with him being stabbed 3 times by her brother, permanent damage to his hand and the loss of his job. During all of this because of his past he was charged with domestic violence, probable wrongfully charged but who could blame the courts with his past. He has two felonies on his record from his drug abuse days and is having a terrible time finding a job. Now for the hard part as a parent. Through all of this we practiced tough love and made him face all consequences, jail time, rehab, walking to work, whatever he had to do. But for the last 2 years he has really been trying. being a great dad to the kids, very active in their lives, worked every odd job including recycling and babysitting he can get his hands on. He has litterally been homeless and sleeping in the streets with no food or shelter. He knows he put himself there and only blames himself. My question is I have been looking him up and taking him food and making sure the kids get to see him. Is this enabling of rewarding good behavior finally?

Signed, Waiting for son to finally be on his feet. P.S. we are very much a christian family seeking strong biblical advice. Thank you.

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Mar 07, 2012
Fine Line
by: Don

Hi Laura,

Sometimes there is a fine line between being a good Christian and being Codependent. I don't think it is a question of "right" or "wrong" as much as it is a question of being helpful or unhelpful.

It is helpful and Christian to show compassion and help with basic necessities. But buying things, bailing them out (of money trouble or jail), making excuses, buying into their excuses, etc. is unhelpful.

It is important when answering the question "am I being helpful?" to look inside yourself at your motives -- Ask yourself am I being a good Christian or am I needing to be needed?

Jesus often asked people a question before he healed them -- "Do you want to be well?" It must have been an important question. Some think that even He couldn't help if that person didn't really want to get well.

Pain eventually makes us want to be well. If we relieve their pain, then they might not get there (to their bottom).

Now if that person is going to recovery meetings and abstaining from use, then helping is by all means OK to support those efforts - without doing things for them that they can and should be doing themselves.

Hope this helps!

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