Christian Counselor Spokane
Lasting freedom from alcohol abuse does not come only from accountability to man, but also to God. Your sponsor cannot follow you everywhere, but the Holy Spirit dwells within you.
Consider the 12 steps to recovery with the Bible in mind:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conflicts? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes? Those who linger over wine, those who go looking for mixed wine. Don’t gaze at wine because it is red, when it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a snake and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and you will say absurd things. – Proverbs 23:29-33, ESV
If you can relate to the above verses, then you have a drinking problem. The first step to recovery is to acknowledge the severity of your issue and the consequences that lie ahead if you continue down this path. The Bible does not just condemn alcoholism, it also offers a way out for the people struggling with addiction. God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, so offer Him your burdens in exchange for His which is light.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV
After acknowledging that you have a problem, it is important to believe that you can get help and be restored. Otherwise, what’s the point of even trying? It takes all of your willpower to start this journey and see it through to the end. But even then, it might not be enough, so you need the help of The Almighty. He is not some metaphorical “higher power,” but a faithful God who offers a way out. Do not resist God’s guiding hand. Meditate on His word and thus learn His will for your life.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. – 1 Peter 4:2-4, ESV
Whereas once your life was given over to drunkenness, now you are giving your life over to God. Going down this path offers a new lease on life, and you may find some figures from your past trying to drag you back down. Now is the time to cut out toxic people in your life and fellowship with like-minded Christians who can stand with you when it gets rough. Dedicate yourself to the process of becoming more like Christ.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. – 2 Peter 2:19-20, ESV
To map out the rest of the steps, you need to be honest with yourself and search your heart. What you find will determine how you proceed.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. – James 5:16, ESV
Darkness and light cannot coexist, so shine a light on your sins by confessing them. Everyone has a “rock bottom” moment. Pawning off a loved one’s belongings to finance addiction, becoming homeless from drinking your rent money, for example. Some are grimmer than others, but it is still not your proudest moment.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit. – Ephesians 5:18, ESV
Alcohol dependence is a futile attempt at filling a God-sized hole in one’s heart. Only God can fill that void, and when you let Him into your life, He begins His work of edifying you.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:10-12, ESV
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. – Matthew 5:23-24, ESV
Alcohol dependency can lead you to alienate your closest friends and family. By making amends, you not only give them closure but also expand your support system.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” – Luke 19:8, ESV
Once you have compiled a list of the people you wronged, take practical steps to make things right. After all, actions speak louder than words.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. – Proverbs 25:28, ESV
The only thing that feels worse than the guilt of falling off the wagon when you’re trying to quit, is the shame of backsliding as a Christian. Painful as it may be, own it, get back up and try again.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. – Luke 6:42, ESV
Christian Counseling for Alcohol Dependence
Counseling for alcohol dependency is not just for the addict. Alcoholism affects every family member, so counseling is a good choice for each person in contact with the addict. If you have a loved one who is addicted to alcohol, you deal with many frustrations and fears every day. Alcoholism is a disease that affects the addict and the entire family, and every family member plays a role in the alcoholic’s behavior.
Alcohol addiction creates complex issues within the family. It’s common for family members to be too close to the problem to know what needs to be done. The good news is that as family members get help for themselves, the situation can improve dramatically. Whether the addict chooses to get help or not, you can receive healing as a family member through alcohol counseling.
It can be helpful for members of the family to learn about alcohol dependence in their effort to understand what alcoholism looks like. You must recognize the significant impacts of addiction to heal from this challenging problem. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, and it slowly destroys the addict and his or her family.
There are three major stages of alcoholism. the first stage is when someone drinks beyond daily recommended limits. This is one drink for women or two drinks for men. Often this type of alcohol dependence starts as binge drinking on weekends or holidays, then gradually turns into a daily habit.
The second stage of alcohol dependence is when the addict must take in more alcohol before feeling its effects. Over time, the body builds up a tolerance for alcohol. The higher the tolerance, the more it will take for the addict to act drunk. At this stage, an addict may function at high levels even if their blood alcohol level is over the legal limit. Daily drinking habits may begin to interfere with relationships, school, or work at this stage.
The third stage of alcohol dependence is when the addict’s body starts breaking down because it can no longer tolerate the heavy load of daily alcohol consumption. Many severe conditions result from long-term alcohol abuse, including heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney failure, and more life-threatening conditions.
It often takes years for an addict to reach the final stages of alcohol dependence. However, family members are negatively impacted by the addict’s drinking at every stage. It’s common for alcoholics to resist getting help because he or she is entrenched in denial. However, family members can start seeking help for themselves in order to change the situation.
Family members unwittingly play roles in an alcoholic family. Each one unknowingly enables the drinker’s behavior and prolongs the dysfunction. Though family members are usually not aware of these dynamics, they place a heavy burden on each person’s well-being. Family members might suffer from anger, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions and behaviors due to the alcoholic’s behavior.
As a family member, you may be able to force the addict to face the facts about the addiction when you set appropriate boundaries against toxic behaviors. For example, if you stop making excuses for the addict because he is too drunk to work, the addict may experience censure or job loss as a consequence.
Another example is refusing to clean up the mess after the addict gets sick and making them do it when they wake up. These boundaries can help your addict take responsibility for their actions and start seeing how their actions affect people in the family.
As the level of alcohol dependence increases, so will the addict’s guilt and shame. However, the addict is unlikely to express those feelings appropriately. Instead, addicts commonly project their guilt and shame onto family members in the form of criticism or anger.
If you are a regular recipient of an addict’s verbal and emotional abuse, your self-worth may be negatively impacted. You can strengthen your resolve and learn ways to cope and set boundaries by seeking a counselor’s help.
Emotional Problems in Alcoholic Families
Loved ones of alcoholics deal with fear every day. You might worry that your alcoholic will overdose, lose their job, get injured, get arrested, lose their driving privileges, act out physically or sexually, or hurt someone else while they are drunk.
As the spouse of an alcoholic, you might fear that your children will become addicts just like their parents. You might worry that people in your extended family, community, or church will find out the truth about your problems. these fears can paralyze you, but God wants to set you free.
When you seek help from a caring Christian counselor you can unburden yourself from these fears. A counselor will guide you along the right steps can alcohol counseling. Though the addict in your family may refuse to get treatment, you can find freedom and hope by attending regular counseling sessions. Your program of treatment will hold practical strategies for changing your thoughts and behaviors, even though your addict may resist the changes.
If you need additional support beyond these Bible verses concerning alcohol abuse, you are invited to browse the online counselor directory to find the best chemical dependency counselor for you. Feel free to contact the office today to schedule an appointment and begin your journey to quit drinking alcohol.
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