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Can You Snort Hydrocodone
Can You Snort Hydrocodone?
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March 2, 2023
Can You Snort Hydrocodone
Can You Snort Hydrocodone?
February 1, 2023
Addiction Group Topics
March 2, 2023

What Does the Bible Say About Enabling?

There are two sides to enabling: the positive sense of empowering others or the negative sense of encouraging dysfunctional behavior. Today, we’re going to focus on the negative form of behavior, in which an individual protects someone from experiencing the full impact and consequences of their actions. Enabling can be applied to many situations, with one of the most common being addiction. As a Christian drug rehabilitation center, this is a problem that we see in many of our clients’ relationships. For this reason, we’re answering the question “What does the bible say about enabling?” as well as the red flags of enabling behavior.

What Does the Bible Say About Enabling Bad Behavior?

It can be difficult to watch a loved one suffer, whether it’s from addiction or any other bad situation. Enabling is often done as a way to help and is rarely done with poor intentions. For instance, a parent may keep taking their adult child into their home every time they lose a job because they feel bad for them. Or the mother of an alcoholic may continue to bail them out of bad situations they were caught in because of their drinking.

While it’s not wrong to care for our loved ones, and while it may be done with good intentions, the bible discourages enabling any kind of dysfunctional, unhealthy, or unhelpful behavior, as it will only further hinder the individual. With that said, there’s a big difference between enabling and helping someone.

Helping is doing something for someone that they’re unable to do. On the other hand, enabling is doing something for someone that they can and/or should do. But how do you determine whether you’re being a helper or an enabler? As a Christian drug rehab, we like to turn to scripture to better understand the problems we are presented with.

Below is what we found about enabling in the bible and how it may apply to your situation.

Enabling doesn’t want what’s best for the other person

Galatians 6:7 reads, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” This means that a bad choice will almost always result in a bad consequence. When we want what’s best for someone, we might believe that the best way to help them is to take care of this bad consequence. However, as is the case when raising a spoiled child, removing the consequence will only foster more bad decisions.

One of the best examples of not enabling is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11 – 32. When the son demands his share of the inheritance so he can live how he wants to, his father grants it to him despite the pain it caused him. Eventually, the son hit rock bottom and realized he was wrong. When he came home, his father forgave him on the spot and welcomed him with open arms. In this story, we see how the father allowed the son to make his choices and experience the consequences and then was willing to forgive when the lesson was learned.

This story shows us that we aren’t truly loving someone when we enable harmful behavior. Rather, we truly love someone when we allow them to learn from their mistakes and improve themselves.

Enabling encourages idleness and lack of responsibility

God celebrates the virtues of hard work throughout the bible and chastises those who refuse to pull their weight. Some common bible verses about enabling drug addicts to remember include:

  • Galatians 6:5: For each will have to bear his own load.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12: For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
  • Proverbs 10:4: A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Enabling encourages a person to remain idle, lack responsibility, and become entitled because they’re always being taken care of no matter what they do. As you can imagine, this can support addiction and other harmful behaviors.

Love always speaks the truth

When you love someone and want what’s best for them, you won’t sit idly by when they’re doing something wrong or harmful. Love rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). We can admonish or lovingly call out a loved one when they’re doing something wrong without supporting their actions because encouraging the truth and exposing the bad are ways of truly loving others.

Love recognizes that suffering with consequences can be necessary

We tend to think that suffering is always a bad thing, and we want to protect our loved ones from it at all costs. Parents, in particular, are notorious for enabling their children because they hate to see them suffer, no matter what caused the pain. However, when we intervene and don’t allow someone to take responsibility for their actions, we prevent them from learning a valuable lesson and make it so they’ll likely make the same mistake in the future. Hebrews 12:11 explains it beautifully, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Why is expressing emotions important in dealing with someone's addiction?

Expressing emotions is a crucial aspect in dealing with someone’s addiction because it can lead to fostering open and honest communication. By sharing one’s thoughts and feelings, it can help in creating a supportive environment where the individual struggling with addiction feels heard and understood. This can also assist in breaking down barriers and addressing underlying issues that may be contributing to the addictive behavior. Moreover, expressing emotions can aid in initiating interventions or seeking professional help in a compassionate and effective manner, ultimately guiding the individual towards the path of recovery.

How does the inability to express emotions contribute to enabling behavior?

The inability to express emotions can contribute to enabling behavior by preventing individuals from effectively communicating their feelings and concerns to their loved ones. This lack of emotional expression may lead to making excuses for the behavior of the person they are enabling, rationalizing it as a means of keeping them safe. Without the ability to openly discuss their emotions, enablers may find themselves trapped in a cycle of avoidance and denial, masking their true feelings behind justifications and explanations for the destructive behavior they are enabling. This fear-driven behavior can hinder their ability to confront the situation directly and seek the necessary help for both themselves and their loved ones. Ultimately, the inability to express emotions can perpetuate enabling behavior and hinder the process of addressing and overcoming it.

How can ignoring shifty behavior indicate enabling behavior?

Ignoring shifty behavior can indicate enabling behavior by allowing harmful actions to continue unchecked. For example, overlooking signs like sneaking out without valid reasons or consistently missing work without addressing the underlying issues can enable destructive behavior associated with addiction. Avoiding confrontation or denial of problematic behaviors may inadvertently support and perpetuate the negative consequences of addiction. By turning a blind eye to these warning signs, individuals may inadvertently facilitate the progression of harmful habits, hindering the chances of intervening in a timely manner. It's crucial to acknowledge and address concerning behaviors promptly to prevent enabling behaviors that may contribute to further adverse outcomes.

Enabling doesn’t provide true satisfaction

Just as enabling prevents the development of character and positive change in behavior, it also contributes to a lack of satisfaction. When enabling an addict, for instance, the act of enabling allows the individual to continue engaging in a behavior that only provides them temporary satisfaction. Because they never go through the consequences of their actions, they never learn the seriousness of their situation. In the end, this further prevents them from finding true satisfaction in sobriety and other improvements.

Dangers of Enabling Addiction: Are You an Enabler?

In addition to what the bible says about enabling, we also wanted to share some of the typical ways that you may be enabling a loved one:

- Blaming yourself for the person’s behavior

- Covering up the individual’s behavior

- Denying to others that the individual has a problem

- Finding it difficult to ever say no to the individual

- Frequently bailing them out of jail or paying for their fines or legal fees

- Giving them money to buy drugs or alcohol out of fear that they’ll resort to stealing or dangerous means of getting them

- Letting them live with you without paying rent, contributing to the home, or doing housework

- Lying to protect the individual from consequences

- Paying for their expenses while they remain unemployed or they spend their money on unimportant things

- Putting your life on hold or neglecting your well-being to focus your time and attention on the addict.

Recognizing these behaviors in yourself as a loved one of someone with an addiction is the first step towards positive change. It is important to seek support and guidance to break free from the cycle of enabling. Our Christian-based rehab offers family therapy sessions that aim to help loved ones understand the gravity of addiction and learn effective strategies to stop enabling. By taking proactive steps towards self-awareness and seeking professional help, you can provide genuine support to your loved one and prioritize your well-being as well.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there are resources available to guide you towards healthier relationships and boundaries.

Why is it important for family members to set boundaries with a substance user?

Establishing boundaries with a substance user is vital for family members because addiction not only impacts the individual but also significantly affects their loved ones. By setting clear boundaries, family members can protect themselves from the chaos and manipulation often associated with addictive behaviors. These boundaries help maintain a structured and stress-free environment, reducing the likelihood of enabling and promoting healthier relationships.

How can controlling behaviors towards an addict worsen their addiction?

Imposing control over an individual struggling with addiction can exacerbate their condition. When family members exert authority by setting excessive constraints or demeaning the addict, it may push the individual away, increasing their reliance on peers who engage in similar substance use behaviors. This can deepen their addiction, as they feel alienated from their support system and more connected to environments that encourage substance use.

In what ways do family members minimize the seriousness of addiction as a form of enabling?

Family members often downplay the severity of a loved one's addiction by rationalizing that it isn't as bad as it could be. By viewing the addiction as a temporary problem that will resolve itself over time, they indirectly support the continuation of the damaging behavior instead of confronting it directly. This reluctance to acknowledge the gravity of the situation effectively enables the addiction by avoiding immediate and necessary intervention.

What corrective actions can be taken for ignoring shifty behavior?

When facing shifty behavior, one effective corrective action is to confide in a trusted individual within your family or close circle. By discussing your observations with someone else, you can gain an outside perspective on the situation and determine if your concerns are valid. This approach not only helps in validating your observations but also prevents you from inadvertently covering up or misrepresenting the behavior in the future if you have already discussed it with someone else. Communication and seeking an external viewpoint are key steps in addressing and potentially resolving issues of shifty behavior.

How can individuals fully commit to the treatment process in supporting a loved one's recovery from addiction and codependency?

To fully commit to the treatment process in supporting a loved one's recovery from addiction and codependency, individuals must embrace the concept that recovery is an ongoing journey involving both the addict and their family. It is crucial for family members to be actively involved by participating in joint therapy sessions. These sessions are important as they educate families on how to forge new, constructive ways of communication and interaction that do not trigger relapses but rather support sustained recovery. By doing so, families not only aid in the recovery process but also work towards their own healing and development of healthier relationships.

How do family members often enable addicts without realizing it?

Family members sometimes unintentionally support addictive behaviors by assuming blame for the addiction themselves. In trying to compensate for their perceived role in the addict's struggles, they might provide financial aid, overlook negative behaviors, or devote excessive personal resources. This collaborative denial and rationalization of the addict’s condition prevents them from acknowledging the reality of the situation and seeking appropriate help.

Get Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Addiction can be difficult for both the individual and the people closest to them. Whether you’re searching for rehabilitation for yourself or a loved one, we’re here to help. Faith in Recovery offers Christ-centered addiction treatment for various types of substance use disorders, as well as medical detox and therapy programs.

To learn how we can make sobriety possible, call us today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information, and one of our admission specialists will reach out to you.


Related Reading:  

Signs You’re Dating a Drug Addict

Importance of Family Support for Addiction