A place to find Hope

Tag: drugs

You Are Never Too Old to be a Parent. Be a Good Example

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I have seven grandchildren. They are all Christians. All my children and their spouses are Christians as well. Can I retire from the world and sit in my rocking chair?

OF COURSE NOT!

You never stop being an example to others, no matter what your age may be. I am 81 years old, and feel I need to do much more than I did when I was a young dad. My family still looks to me for comfort and advice.

That is quite a responsibility.

As parent we need to nurture our children and raise them in the way God would want us to raise them. No, they don’t have to be perfect. You and I aren’t perfect. We just need to show them what is right and wrong, and keep reminding them of the important things in life.

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I saw some frightening news the other day. It showed people beating up defenseless people just for the fun of it. It also showed cops being attacked until they were unconscious.

What is happening to our country? Why are we heading in this direction? It seems it is OK to strike anyone you want and then get away with it.

The world is changing, and I am afraid it is changing in a very wrong way.

What can we do to stop the raging river of hatred?

  1. It starts at home. Your/my job is to instill into our children that it is not OK to show racism to anyone.
  2. We have to be the great example for them, because Monkey see and Monkey do. Whatever you do they will do. You take drugs. They will take drugs. If you drink alcohol, they will drink alcohol.
  3. It is hard, at best, to be a parent, but this is what we have chosen to do and we need to do it well.

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I was a teacher for 22 years. I loved my students, but some were a full load for me. It never failed…when I had parent conferences the parents of the trouble kids, were also trouble. They demand more. They expected special things for their children. They expect their child to excel in school.

I realize that most parents want these same goals, but the approach these parents used showed me why the children were they way they were.

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How do you think you are doing as a parent? No matter what your age you are still a parent. Do your children respect you and love you, or do they try to avoid you?

Lean on God to find the right path to being a good parent. The perfect example of love is Jesus Christ. I pray every night for Him to guide me on how I could be more like Him.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Don’t be a Father Doing Drugs and Alcohol. Monkey See Monkey Do

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I heard the story about King David from the Bible and his son, Asbolum. It is a story about a father not paying attention to his son, and the son plotting against him to try to be the king.

Where was David was the question. Why didn’t he see what was going on and correct his son?

This made me think that our lives as fathers. Since Father’s Day is coming up a good discussion would be, where are we with our children?

Satan can be a huge detriment when it comes to being fathers. He will say, you can stay and have beers with the guys after a round of gold, instead of being home and playing with the kids.

He lets people hear what they want to hear. “It’s OK to forget your family and have fun.”

What I came up with is a guide for father s as to how they can be a good father:

  1. Love the mother of your children.
  2. Let your children hear you pray for them.
  3. Bring your children to church.
  4. Get home from work on time to be with family.
  5. Do not work when off work.
  6. Spend the majority of your free time with family.
  7. Play with your kids often.
  8. Say, “I love you,” every day.
  9. Put yourself on “time out,” when you are angry.
  10. Quickly admit to your mistakes and say, “I’m sorry.”

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Here are some shocking results of a survey held recently:

  1. 22% of adults stopped going to church since the pandemic started.
  2. 50% of millennials have stopped going to church.
  3. Podcasts and Tik Tok, lead people away from the church.

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How do we guard our hearts from Satan?

  1. A serious pursuit of holiness.
  2. A serious pursuit of worship.

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So where do you stand in all of this? Do you go to the bar and forget about your family? Remember…Monkey see and monkey do. Your children will end up bars too.

Do you do drugs and alcohol too much? Monkey see monkey do.

Do you play golf every chance you can to get away your family? Monkey see monkey do.

Don’t be that kind of father. Put your family first, and love them with all your heart.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Garbage in Garbage out, or God in God Out

It seems like our country is on a pace of complete disarray. Rioting, shootings, burning buildings, people getting beat up.

How did we get to this point?

As retired teacher I can say that as each year went by, the students became more aggressive. I would talk to their parents about it and they would say, “They are just being kids,” and shrug it off.

If children aren’t disciplined properly at home. They grow up to be those who are on the streets causing havoc.

They have lived their lives with garbage in and garbage out. All they hear is garbage, and it is planted in their brains. Therefore garbage out, is what comes from them.

How do we turn this kind of problem around? We need to start in the homes. We need to teach what is right and wrong.

If there is a Godly home, the family will have a God in and God out. They will teach their children about God. Make sure they grow spiritually, and get them involved in a church.

As they grow, they will see that their lives are much more acceptable to others, and keep growing.

How about you? Do you talk garbage in, garbage out, do you have God in and God out at your home.?

I look at it this way. It is the monkey see, monkey do theory. If you guide you children and the proper path and be a good example. Your example will have then saying, “I want to be like them.”

But if you do drugs, drink heavily, and use bad language in your home Your example will have your children also wanting to be like you. Garbage in garbage out.

Take inventory of your life. See if your path is the right path for your children to follow.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

A Mother’s Love

Linda Clare shares with us again the battles she faces in her family with addictions. 

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A Mother’s Love

By Linda S. Clare

He was her baby, after all. Coming off a binge, all he wanted was a dry spot to sleep and some Taco Bell. For three days, the mom fed and sheltered her addicted adult son. Then, he’d melted back onto the streets, and she settled into familiar guilt and worry. Her biggest fear? By providing food and shelter, she’d enabled him.

His addiction had crushed her countless times, but loving nurture still guided her. A fast-food meal or three. A couple of days sleeping in the guest room. The inevitable fresh heartbreak the moment he said goodbye. And sadly, the guilt of being branded: Enabler. Codependent. Tough Love failure.

For decades, Tough Love has been standard advice to families. In theory, you kick the addict out, he hits bottom and asks for help. In reality, Tough Love is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

I can’t judge others’ circumstances—especially when Tough Love is used to ensure safety or sanity. Some recovering addicts say they couldn’t see the light until their wife, sibling or parent turned them out into the cold.

But it’s hard not to feel as if we’re at war. One side believes Tough Love is the only way, even when evidence doesn’t back it up. The other side argues for Just Love—staying in relationship—even when loved ones are mistreated or manipulated. Neither side wins.

It’s time for a ceasefire.

Addiction is awful enough without judging those caught in its crossfire. We’d make more progress if we stopped blaming loved ones for what they do or don’t do in dealing with addicts. Kicking out your addict may be right for you. But not kicking out the addict isn’t always wrong.

We’re all doing the best we can.

I’ll never forget the day a treatment center director looked at me and said, “You’re as sick as your son is.” In her eyes I was a codependent enabler—helping, rescuing, tolerating my addicted son. I deserved blame, the theory goes, because enabling makes possible an addict’s continued use and prevents him from “hitting bottom.” As if enablers feed off addicts’ failures and help the poor addicts so they can be heroes. As if enabling causes addicts to stay addicted.

Carrie Wilkens, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Motivation and Change in New York City, specializes in evidence-based therapies and sees it quite differently. “There’s an implicit assumption that the codependent is getting something out of it,” she says. “Like the desire to be a hero or rescuer or benefactor. But that could not be farther from truth.”

I’ve thought long and hard about my role in my three adult sons’ addictions. I believe in Just Love, showing mercy and compassion. I want my boys to get better, so yes, I feed them. I hate seeing them suffer but I need to know they’re alive, so I shelter them. I love them so, yes, I keep loving them. Do I make mistakes? Of course. But I don’t believe I’m a hero—or that I’m responsible for their decisions.

Where does loving Parent end and destructive Enabler begin? If you’re a parent of an addict or alcoholic, you know how blurry the boundary can be. You’ve tenderly cared for your child since birth. Now, he’s grown, but it’s hard to stop nurturing—to stop momming or dadding. Especially if you feel wrong no matter what you do.

All the choices are terrible. Employ Tough Love—toss out an addicted adult son or daughter, and the pain of not knowing where they are can be too great. Some parents suffer for years, not knowing where or even if their son or daughter lives. Too often, our worst fears come to pass without even a chance to say, “I love you” one last time.

Yes, sometimes Tough Love is the only way. An adult addict who behaves in ways that make a mom or dad fear for their lives can’t be tolerated. No one should be subjected to continual abuse from an addict, or anyone for that matter. But not every family is the same.

Whether you favor Tough Love or Just Love, labeling addicts’ loved ones as enablers only sucks all the hope out of the room.

And hope is really what this fight is about. It’s about holding onto hope when no answers emerge, or when people treat your family as if it’s diseased. For instance, a few years ago, a Christian woman told me that because my sons deal with addiction, I must not have raised them right. I was speechless, picturing a giant toilet flushing us worthless Clare addicts right down where we belonged. What I heard was, not only are your kids hopeless, you are too.

Since then, I’ve set some rules: I try to limit my “help” to basic needs like food and shelter. I don’t hand out money. Addiction is still alive and well in my family, but I can sleep at night knowing I’ve acted in love.

I’m still searching for the perfect response to my sons, but I’m surer than ever that each addict’s family is as unique as the addict. There may be no “right” method to parent an addict, but I take a few cues from my faith.

If God ever kicked me out so I could hit bottom, I’d have no hope. If you’re an addict and even your mom gives up on you, how much more difficult will it be to keep hope alive?

That’s why I venture into my sons’ jungle of despair—to reassure them of my love and blow on any embers of hope they may have left. I offer my addicts the same compassion I’d show a stranger or an angel unaware.

We who care about addicts should be able to provide a hot meal, a place to sleep, a kind word without being blamed as enablers. To gently offer open hands instead of closed fists. To stop blaming and start listening.

“Faith, hope, Love, these three abide,” the scripture says. “But the greatest of these is Love.” The mom who nurtured her addicted son with cheap tacos and a place to rest showed her son that her faith in him is alive. She still hopes for him and in him. And she loves him as only a mother can.

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