What can I do to help my alcoholic parents?
Here are some tips for helping alcoholic parents.
Set healthy boundaries.
Accept that there is nothing you can do to change your parents. Getting healthy is up to them. Their behavior is completely out of our control. Trying to control or manipulate their behavior can create codependency. On the other hand, our own behavior and attitudes are areas we can change for a good influence. Learn to discern where you begin and others end. When it comes to our parents, this is often difficult but crucial. In the measure that we take responsibility for our own actions and life, we will be better able to help others. You can be a friend to them and pray for them, but accept the fact that changing has to be their choice.
We can help our alcoholic parents by loving them.
The most effective thing we can do for our parents is pray for them. The Bible says, “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you” (Exodus 20:12). When we face challenges, we are exhorted to “Keep on praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Pray for their healing, their recovery, and for an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them. Pray that the Lord will penetrate their hearts and set them free from the bondage of addiction.
Realize that your alcoholic parents are human with frailties.
Acknowledge their failures, forgive them, and release them from unrealistic expectations. “. . .clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14). Why are we called upon to forgive our alcoholic parents? Because God has forgiven us and He expects us to extend that grace to our parents. Forgiving others sets us free in many ways.
Adult Children of Alcoholics - Find Help!
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