Christian Counseling for Substance Abuse & Addiction
Christian counseling can help you or a loved one come to terms with your powerlessness as only faith-based counseling can.
Counseling can help the alcohol and drug abuse sufferer turn his or her will and life over to God. Even secular treatment centers focus on a Higher Power so faith-based counseling is in many ways part of the typical treatment center.
There is a great need for Christian counseling, and through faith-based counseling those whose lives have been upset by drugs and alcohol can find the greatest help, hope and Christian counseling from our Savior Jesus Christ.
Christian Counseling is often necessary for those of us who feel like we are in control of most of our lives. Perhaps you earn a decent living, have a family and go to church regularly.
It may be very difficult and humiliating to admit that alcohol or drugs have gotten the upper hand and you cannot quit on your own.
We often only reach out for help when the pain and depression seem too overwhelming to bear. Sometimes we feel confused like we are being punished no matter what we do.
Christian counseling will help you discover that what seems like the end of life is actually a glorious beginning.
By admitting powerlessness and that life as we chose to control it became unmanageable, we can then make the necessary room available to let God take over.
Christian counseling and the 12 steps of recovery guide us to the understanding that trusting our lives to God is the only answer for recovery from drugs and alcohol.
We must become helpless before God to become strong in the face of temptation. We must take honest stock of our situation and past in order to move forward in recovery.
Christian counselors can accomplish this goal through individual assessment and counseling.
Residential in-patient treatment has been proven to be the most effective when coupled with long-term commitment to follow-up care and the 12-step recovery program.
Christian counseling combines the latest in medical treatment, therapeutic counseling, family counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention and education. You or a loved one could benefit greatly from Christian counseling.
Everyday throughout our lives we are constantly confronted with decisions to make and emotions we feel.
How we choose to deal with them and handle them is what makes us who we are. Many can become triggers to use alcohol or drugs to ease the stresses and trials in life.
Marriage is God’s idea. He has put into the human heart a longing for a permanent, loving relationship.
However, most couples have to work hard to experience a loving, contented relationship. You have probably discovered that the “I do” in the wedding ceremony didn’t mean “It’s done!”
Commitment is the first requirement for a long-lasting marriage.
Commitment is the attitude that no matter what happens we will work together to resolve the problems we face in this marriage.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13: 4 & 7, Love is patient, love is kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Your marriage needs the elements of faith, hope and love to keep it vital and alive.
Is Your Marriage Drifting?
Perhaps your marriage isn’t in crisis, but it isn’t very exciting either. Picture your mate and you in a boat leisurely drifting down the river.
Where are you going? Will you reach your destination and achieve your goals if you just keep drifting? Couples in a drifting marriage feel bored, dissatisfied, and unhappy. There’s no vitality and excitement in the marriage.
Just think, it only took six stress fractures to sink the Titanic. How many stressors is your marriage experiencing today?
- Chronic Busyness – Both of you are working, running kids to events, and eating meals on the run.
- Unrealistic Expectations – Do you expect your spouse to meet all of your needs at all times?
- Unresolved Conflict – Have you argued over the same dumb stuff for years?
- Selfishness – Are you committed to serving each other or is it “all about me?”
- Debt – The number one conflict in marriage is money.
- Communication – You only talk about surface subjects. There is no talking about “us.”
- Pursuing Individual Goals – You make decisions about what you need, not what is good for both of you.
- Negative Comparisons – Do you want your spouse to be like you or someone else other than who he/she really is?
If any of the above statements applied to you, your marriage could be sinking. Regardless of your present marital condition, it is not too late to build a happy relationship. It takes recognition that there is a problem- and a willingness to change!
If there were problems in your marriage, at what point would you be willing to seek Christian counseling?
- When you feel little love from/for your mate.
- When you cannot work out specific problems on your own such as finances, children, discipline, work.
- When your conflict increases.
- When the two of you stop talking.
- When you first consider separating or getting a divorce.
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you . . .and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
Experiencing guilt is from our conscience knowing spiritually we have broken God’s righteous law.
The first step for us is to confess our sin to God. This means that we honestly agree with Him that we have done wrong.
Then godly sorrow helps people turn their back on the past and start planning their future. Godly sorrow motivates us to make permanent changes that can break the cycle of guilt and sinful behavior.
Godly sorrow is a choice that relies on God’s mercy.
But when we think we have to do something to deserve forgiveness we are saying that Christ’s work on the cross wasn’t enough. True repentance takes away the guilt of our sin and this brings true freedom from our sin.
False guilt is based on personal feelings rather than facts.
With false guilt, Satan causes forgiven sinners to live a defeated life by accusing them and bringing to mind the former things they have done or not done.
Satan wants to make us believe that God is as disgusted with our behavior as we are and that we are hopeless.
When we begin believing these lies, we need to read and believe what God says in Romans 8:31-35 “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?”
Has guilt kept you from living a victorious Christian life? Have you truly repented? Ask God to help you change your thinking and believe His promises of forgiveness and restoration.
Go to the Bible and read: Psalms 51 and 103; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 11:28-30; Isaiah 1:18; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Psalms 139:23-24; Psalms 32:1-5.
“For God did not give us the spirit of timidity (fear) but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Healthy fear is an emotion that warns us of danger and prepares us to respond. But when a spirit of fear comes over us, it disrupts life, drains spiritual strength, and clouds our judgment.
The word “power” in this verse means the inexhaustible strength that comes from God.
“Self-discipline” is a behavior of moderation and good judgment. Paralyzing, controlling fear is never from God.
There are 366 “fear nots” in the Bible. God is not condemning us for being afraid. He is telling us to turn to Him when those fearful times come.
He is there for us in the middle of the fear-causing situation. Fear saps our energy and robs us of joy in life.
Fear comes from within us and then is attached to people and problems outside of us.
Our many fears can be reduced to a few categories:
- Fear caused by hurtful memories
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of failure
- Fear of losing control
- Fear of sickness and death
- Fear of the future
All of this fear in our life can cause a paralysis in the present so that we cannot do today what God wants us to do.
What fears are you battling today? Write them down and consciously give them over to God in prayer.
Go to the Bible and read: Psalms 27; Joshua 1:9; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Isaiah 12:2, 41:13, 43:1; Philippians 4:6,7,19; Hebrews 13:5 & 6.
“Forgiving each other, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Forgiveness is not a feeling; it’s not forgetting; it’s not pretending you weren’t hurt; it’s not trusting the person again; it’s not even reconciliation.
Forgiveness is a DECISION you make to obey God.
No one, not even God can make you forgive someone. You must decide to give up your right to hurt the person back. I forgive those who hurt me because God has forgiven me for the hurts I have caused him.
Forgiveness protects the forgiver from him or her self.
Forgiveness cancels a debt like Christ canceled our debt.
Forgiveness is a process, it takes time, but it is an act of grace that reflects God’s treatment to us. When I forgive, I release God to work directly on the other person.
When I refuse to forgive, I create a barrier between God and me and I can’t pray. When I don’t forgive I’m saying that what that person did to me is more important than going on with God.
I know I have truly forgiven when the love of God can flow through me to the person who wronged me. When my decisions are not controlled by the other person’s behavior, I know I have forgiven. When I am free from the pain, anger and hatred towards that person and experiencing God’s peace, I know I have truly forgiven.
Do you need to forgive someone? Is lack of forgiveness keeping to from serving God today?
Go to the Bible and read: Psalm 66:18-20; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 6:14; Matthew 18:21-35; Romans 5:8; Colossians 2:13 & 3:13.
Some people fail to heal because the grief process is blocked or buried.
Reasons for this include the lack of a supporting friend, multiple losses in a short time, a traumatic unanticipated loss (suicide), or failure to face reality.
Things You Should Know – Christian Counseling
- Grief will take longer than you think.
- Grief will take more energy than you ever imagined.
- Three months after the loss your grief may be worse than it was after the initial event.
- Places, smells, music, words, may cause you to feel “ambushed by grief.”
- Men and women may grieve in different ways, which sometimes causes great misunderstanding in a family.
- There is no set limit on how long you should grieve. Others may expect too much of you too soon. Give yourself time.
- You did not have a choice about this experience happening to you, but you do have a choice about how you respond to it.
- Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning
Steps To Healing – Christian Counseling
- Realize that God knows your pain and He longs to comfort you. Honestly tell Him your sorrows, fears, and hurts.
- Face and accept the reality of your loss.
- Take charge of your life and your grief. Find new ways of functioning without the lost person/thing, but preserve your memories of what you had.
- Seek to find meaning in life again in spite of your loss and pain, and allow yourself to feel the joy of life again without feeling guilty.
- Seek God’s love and care.
- Talk to your pastor. Return to church and other enjoyable activities.
- Seek counseling if you need extra help dealing with this loss.
HOW TO KNOW GOD’S WILL
God’s Word clearly indicates that He is willing to give guidance to His children in both the big and the small areas of life. (Psalm 32:8; 37:5, 7, 23; Proverbs 3:5-6)
Basing your decisions on just one source of direction can often be risky.
It is better to look at several indicators to gain a more balanced perspective when trying to determine God’s will in a particular matter.
The following five indicators can help you in making that determination.
- God’s Word – “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel.”
(Psalm 73:24) Read it and study it. Let the Holy Spirit guide you through both specific principles and general precepts presented in Scripture.
- Prayer – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally.” (James 1:5) Ask God for wisdom. Ask Him for the answer to your dilemma.
- The Counsel of Mature Christians – “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted.” (Acts 13:1-2)Consult with some mature, godly people asking for their counsel. Listen carefully to what they have to say.
- Circumstances – “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” (Psalm 37:23) Look at the circumstances surrounding the situation. How do they line up with what you are considering?
- Peace – “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
(Psalm 37:7) When you are following God’s plan, you will have peace and assurance in your heart. Wait for that peace. Do not proceed until you have it.
Use all five of these sources of direction as you seek God’s will for your situation.
It’s helpful to keep a Spiritual Journal for several weeks, if possible.Then review your notes and you will gain a more balanced perspective in determining God’s will in a particular matter.