Marriage is a gift, but it’s not always perfect or stress-free. As with everything in life, marriage is a test from God. As such, He offers trials and tribulations when He knows you can withstand them. Still, if your spouse is struggling with an active addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may feel as though you are facing an uphill battle with no end in sight.
Several parts of the Bible address active addiction and its consequences. Using and abusing substances is a sin, of course, but their effects extend to the addict’s loved ones as well. In fact, it may feel as though you are suddenly yoked with a new partner. As James 1:14–15 states, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” Seeing your spouse give into temptation is heart-breaking, but that does not mean you should turn your back. Marriage requires an eternal commitment, a dedication to helping your husband or wife every step of the way.
If you are facing active addiction in your marriage, faith is essential. Here’s what you can do to provide Christian support to a spouse in need.
Stay True to God
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
—2 Corinthians 5:17
Addiction doesn’t wipe away the person you married. With repentance and acceptance, it’s possible they can return and you will be reunited with the person you fell in love with. In order to help your spouse to recover in a way that yields a healthy outcome, you need to stay true to your relationship with God.
Dealing with active addiction doesn’t mean you have to lose faith. Instead of allowing the cycle of abuse to drag you down as well, keep your eyes turned to the Lord. Even in the darkest of times, He will keep your heart pure, helping you to make choices that are best for everyone.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” —James 5:15
Prayer is an immensely powerful tool, providing a way for Christians to communicate directly with God. Speaking with God in the midst of an active addiction can feel futile, but keeping these lines open is a critical part of recovery.
Even if your spouse is feeling abandoned by God or afraid of His reaction to addiction, prayer is vital to rehabilitation. Urge your spouse to kneel with you, pray with you, and ask God for help with you. With diligence and dedication, it’s possible to find the strength necessary to move forward.
(Read more on The Power of Prayer in Recovery in our recent blog)
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” – 2 Corinthians 5:14–15
Your spouse is your confidant, your best friend, and your true equal, no matter how tough times get. Sometimes, you just need to be there, to be available, for your spouse when rock bottom becomes hard to avoid.
Being available for someone in need can manifest in many ways. It may mean making a delicious, comforting meal after a long day’s work, or sitting and listening to thoughts and ideas about the realities of addiction. No matter the gesture, whether big or small, find a way to show your spouse your love and faith without judgment or disdain. God sees the sin: it’s not your place to enforce His will.
“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13
Addiction is a horrible affliction, and no one is immune. Losing your spouse to the grips of active addiction is extremely painful, and when it gives way to anger, hatred, or abuse, it can be almost impossible to forgive. However, forgiveness is the way of the Lord, and you owe it to your spouse to find love and forgiveness in your heart.
Forgiveness is one of the longest, hardest journeys most addicts take. In order to facilitate recovery, your forgiveness is paramount. It’s okay to feel hurt or angry, but promoting healing requires forgiving your spouse in the eyes of the Lord.
(Read more about Addiction & Forgiving Yourself in our recent blog)
Continue to Love
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8
According to the word of the Lord, marriage brings two individuals together to create one mind, body, and spirit, a parallel with Christ’s relationship with the church. This means that despite the challenges that lie ahead, you should continue to show love to your spouse the same way Christ has for the church.
Love is at the center of your relationship with one another, and also your relationship with God. No matter how hard times get, you need to stay pure in your love for both your spouse and the Lord, working hard to exemplify the characteristics of a good Christian in order to promote faith, care, and healing. With love, all things are possible.
Handling addiction as a Christian is desperately hard, especially for those who feel as though they aren’t worthy of the love and support of God. Road to Freedom is here to help, providing a Christ-centered approach to detox, rehabilitation, and therapy for those in need. Contact Road to Freedom at (844) 402-3605 to get the help you need. (Read more about Supporting Christians in Active Addiction in our recent blog)
(The Bible is clear about circumstances in which separation from your partner may be necessary, should you ever feel in danger to yourself or your family do not hesitate to contact the proper authorities).