This article was written by Lisa Sitwell and published by Home of Grace
When an addiction takes hold, there aren’t any aspects of life that it doesn’t impact. One of the more significant areas of life that it can harm is the relationships you have with your loved ones. The good news is that those relationships don’t have to stay damaged forever. You can still work to rebuild those relationships through Christ.
It’s easy to focus on yourself when you’re in the middle of an addiction. All your attention is given to yourself and your needs, often at the expense of those closest to you. Whether you meant to or not, there is every chance that you hurt them deeply. According to Cleverism, it’s important to apologize and ask for forgiveness. While the Bible teaches that we will be forgiven if we forgive others (Matthew 6:14), you cannot force someone to forgive you. All you can do is repent so your sins are blotted out (Acts 3:19) through the grace of God. If you can show your loved ones that you are truly repentant, in time you may earn their forgiveness.
Addiction often lives in a world of lies and deceit which is definitively destructive to relationships. One of the keys to rebuilding relationships with your loved ones will be rebuilding the trust between you. This will require complete transparency and honesty. Remember that one of the Ten Commandments can be summarized in two words: don’t lie (Leviticus 9:11). Be as understanding as you can about how your loved ones feel. They still love you, but may not have been able to fully trust you for some time. According to GoodTherapy, rebuilding that trust will take time and effort. You’ll need to be patient with both yourself and your loved ones as you start to rebuild that trust and prove to them that it isn’t misplaced.
Finding Pure Love
God has commanded us to love one another (John 13:34). It is difficult to feel pure, Christlike love towards others or even yourself when you’re struggling with an addiction. As you navigate the aftermath, finding that pure love, that charity again is essential in rebuilding those relationships. It’s important to feel that love for yourself too. According to Fight the New Drug, addictions that damage a healthy perception of love don’t discriminate against anyone, which means everyone can be susceptible to them. Remember that true love is patient, kind, selfless, enduring, believing, hopeful, and never-ending (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). As you feel the pure love of Christ for yourself and your loved ones, you will be more sensitive to emotional needs and be better able to respond to them in a positive, uplifting way. Over time, your relationships will heal and you’ll become closer through Christ.
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). He can help you rebuild your relationships in the aftermath of addiction by helping you seek forgiveness, rebuild trust, and find pure love in your relationships once again. Healing will take time for you and your loved ones, but through the Master who promised peace and healing for the wounded soul, you can reforge those relationships so they are stronger than before.