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  • Debbie Howell

I Thought I Might be Tempted

When you are living with a family member who battles addiction there are mindsets, stinkin’ thinkin’, that can be frustrating if you haven’t set up healthy boundaries.  Here’s a story to illustrate my point.


One day as a young boy was headed off to school his mom made it clear to him that he was not to go swimming after school.  She told him that it was important that he come home as soon as school was finished.  After telling his mom that he wouldn’t go swimming he left for school.


Later that morning his mom went to his room and noticed that his swimming suit was gone, so when he returned home late from school with wet hair she knew exactly what had happened.  As she confronted him she asked him, “I told you not to go swimming after school so why did you take your bathing suit?”  He replied, “I took it because I thought I might be tempted.”


When someone is not ready for change but the people who care about them are ready for them to change it can begin years of unhealthy cycles that mire you deeper and deeper into “muck”.   By trying to force boundaries on others we become both powerless and stuck.  It’s time to look at our own lives; to recognize what’s our responsibility and what isn’t.   In the book “Boundaries” the authors write “We need to set mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives.”


When we don’t set our own healthy boundaries we end up spinning our wheels.  Here are some points from “Boundaries” that  shows us when we are stuck:


  1.  Trying harder isn’t working

  2. Being nice out of fear isn’t working

  3. Taking responsibility for others isn’t working

There’s an expression that goes “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again expecting different results”.  That’s exactly what the cycle looks like.  You’ve approached the addiction in every wrong way again and again hoping that this time you will have better results.  It’s time to find a better way, one that God has laid out for us in His Word.


“And I will live a life of freedom because I pursue Your precepts.”  (Psalm 119:45)


“To be in touch with God’s truth is to be in touch with reality, and to live in accord with that reality makes for a better life.”


(Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend)

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