What If My Kids Struggle with Drugs?

What If My Kids Struggle with Drugs?

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.” Genesis 15:12-13

I’ve been asked many times over the years about my family’s history of addiction. There’s nothing to tell. Neither of my parents struggled with chemicals. Why does everyone keep asking me that? It’s because modern medicine believes that the factors contributing to an individual’s substance use disorder are 50% genetic and 50% environmental. This worries me. My addiction means my kids are more likely to struggle with addiction. It’s always hard to watch your children struggle with anything, but if they’d struggle with drugs, it would be my fault. That’s a painful thought.

So, I pray for my kids every morning. It’s tempting to pray that God would protect them from all of life’s trials. I want them to have joyful, problem-free lives. The problem with that kind of prayer though, is that it’s not realistic and probably not even healthy. I wrote yesterday that I’m thankful for my addiction because it’s made me a far better person. If I’d never have struggled, I’d still be stuck in a life of following me. I’d certainly have no interest in going to jail or helping the addicted. I got to where I am because of my struggles.

In today’s passage, God promised Abram that his descendants would be blessed – but that they’d also go through some very hard times. God told Abram that his offspring would number the stars, inheriting the promised land. But then God caused Abram to fall into a dark and dreadful sleep, promising Abram that to get there, his children would have to go through their own dark and dreadful times.

Whether we like it or not, we grow through trials. We aren’t transformed when we’re fat, dumb, and happy. We grow through difficult, painful experiences. If I want my kids to mature and if I want them to be spiritually healthy, knowing the joy of a relationship with God, then I can and should expect that they’ll endure trials. So, when I pray now, I don’t pray that God would eliminate all their trials. Instead, I pray that God’s will would be done. I pray that when my children encounter trials – even if it’s addiction – that they’d turn to God in their distress. My kids will struggle with something. My prayer is that in their struggle they will seek God and his will, leading them to the joy and peace that I’ve found in my faith through my own struggles.

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