I have two brothers with drug addictions; one is in recovery, the second brother died from an overdose. Life-controlling problems so often turn to life-taking addictions. Each day I live with the guilt of not having done more to help the brother I lost.
Talking with a friend or loved one with a life-controlling problem can be like talking to a brick wall. But that wall can be broken down … brick by brick.
Does someone you love struggle with a life-impacting mindset or behavior? When you try to talk to him or her about it, do your words seem to bounce back at you, as though they’ve hit a brick wall?
Try this; picture a person behind a brick wall, becoming trapped but continuing to lay brick, building the wall higher and higher. In his/her mind, each brick is a way to defend themselves…but in reality, the wall is trapping, not defending him. Denial has blinded this loved one to his real condition.
David Augsburger in his book Caring Enough to Confront uses the term “care-fronting.” This is a communication technique that combines love and caring with confrontation. Caring confrontation can chip away, bit by bit, the wall of delusion that hides reality from your loved one…the reality of the reason they are spiraling and the reality that an answer does exist to turn the spiral the other direction. When you are able to get rid of anger and replace it with caring, confronting your loved one with the truth can actually be the most loving thing you can do.
The bridges thru the wall are made of care and really are derived by us growing our relationship with God first to shine His love and care to our trapped loved one. As God grows in us, His forgiveness of us will melt our hurt we feel from our loved one and allow us to see him through Godly lenses so real care…love can happen.
So today, make a commitment to confront your loved one, to speak the truth in love…not in anger or condemnation…in order to help him tear down his wall of defenses, brick by brick, until he is able to see himself as he really is…someone made in God’s image, who God loves and sent His son to die for. God wants to use us to deliver that message, first modeling it, then saying it. Never give up.
Click here to share with the Stepping Stones community your perspective on “Care-fronting”.
Dear Father God, Lord, help me be more honest with myself and with this person I care about so much. Help me look beyond his fault to his need … and then to express the reality of his situation to him…in love. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I may speak as Christ would speak. I pray that love will make me tell the truth. I pray this in the name of the One who took my wall down, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.