"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Enablers work hard to shield their loved ones from the consequences of self-destructive choices. As a result, the enabler brings pain upon themselves that really belongs to their loved one.
In their well-intentioned efforts to help, enablers may
- lie for their loved one
- allow abusive behaviors
- hide the truth from relatives and friends
- defend their loved one when others point out problems
- help them with legal difficulties
- change the home environment to accommodate the person with the problem
- refuse to discuss the problem with anyone
It is difficult to stop enabling a loved one because we don't like to admit that we have no power to change another person. As we take on responsibility—and control—of our loved one, our focus is on "fixing" them. But only God can transform lives. This is a God-size problem, not one we can fix. And we need to step back, to give our worry and anxiety to God, and to trust him.
If we don't come to the realization that we have no power to change another person, enabling will progress to a condition known as codependency. Codependents take ownership of another person's problems, get their sense of well-being from managing the behavior of the dependent person, and end up being controlled by the person they are trying to help.
Father, forgive me for trying to take your place in my loved one's life. I realize now that I cannot change anyone's life. Only the power of Jesus can do that. I commit my loved one to you. I pray that he will turn to you for help in making right choices. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:
Part 1: Learning to Live Free
- Defining Life-Controlling Problems
- Mastered and Trapped by Issues
- Walls of Protection
- Family Influences
- Helping or Harming?
- The Small Group Strategy
- Effective Facilitation and Communication
- Launching a Living Free Ministry
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