Do you know people that “cover up” mistakes, or try to put the blame on someone else when they mess up? Or do you know people that when this same person messes up and wallows in self pity when they do mess up has an enabler in their life? And this enabler NEVER ever rebukes them or gives this person if a Christian the right Biblical and scriptural meaning to send them on the right path of God, instead, always enables and makes excuses? (Sadly examples are all around us in the world -Even to our politicians who SHOULD be setting an exampple.)
So what happens to the person who has been enabled all their life? They never change! They never grow in Christ, and they never see their own faults or look within their own heart and being. They never come to a point of saying, “search my heart oh Lord to see if there be any wicked ways in me?” Instead, this person stays as a child and never grows up even when they have their own children. They are in essence emotional cripples, that continually rebel, do their own thing and wallow. They don’t trust God, because they don’t know how to submit.
My focus here is not on the one that wallows, but the enabler. I already did the blogs on “Confronting Sin”, ” Letting Go” and the “Jezebel Spirit”. They all tie together. But the enabler? The enabler is being manipulated and used and doesn’t understand. Perhaps, they are a sister or brother, but, regardless, they don’t want to “rock the boat”, stir up or cause dissension. Maybe they don’t see this wallower very often, of maybe they just enable as one gives a dog a pat on the head and says “good boy” now leave me alone. So, they tell this person a lie in essence because they do not want to jeopardize the friendship. They have no idea what they are doing. For they are not providing the Bible truths for this person to dig down into the roots and see where they were wrong and grow. Enablers are hinderers. They are also a stumblingblock and we know what the Bible says about stumblingblocks? “It shall be like a millstone hung around your neck.” They stunt any growth from the word of God. Just like many on drugs, or alcoholics have an enabler in their life, someone that makes excuses for them. Doesn’t point out they need help and counseling. Just even lies perhaps to an employer, “oh , so and so is out sick today, when they’re in bed hung over. THAT is an enabler.
When I was a young Christian many years now, I had a good friend, Kay, that is now with Jesus. I thank God for my Kay. She was like my adopted mother. You all who attend church regularly, must have gone through this, when a pastor was preaching, you look at the person (maybe your husband) next to you, and give them the elbow, (in other words , this is for you..). Well, for many years I experienced Kay’s elbow. She never allowed me to wallow when I was having such a hard time with my young bi-polar son, (who I didn’t know was bi-polar at the time). She was an encourager, but, she told me the Biblical truth and scriptures to back it up. Kay never let me get within myself, but to take responsibility for any errors in my walk with Christ, and to change. You can’t change another person, only we can change ourselves. But, an enabler prevents that change for the good from ever happening.
One afternoon this father went in his son’s room, and walked over to the window to close the drapes so the sun wouldn’t fade the furniture. He did not notice that on the floor was a marble chess set of his sons. He inadvertently stepped right in the middle of the chess set and sent the pieces flying, then said to his son, “why do you leave things on the floor like that and not put away?”
Later the son went to his father and said, “do you realize you walked into my room kicked over my chess set which nearly broke, scolded me, walked out and never said you were sorry? That is what happens when an enabler doesn’t call attention to what the sinner and wallower is doing wrong. For the wallower then has no excuse to look deep in his own soul, and apologize. Fortunately, this father did apologize to his son.
Some parents attempt to hide their mistakes. Usually, they are trying to protect the image they feel responsible to portray…ie..perfect parents who have their act completely together and who can handle anything at any time. The fact is, however that we should not be afraid to admit our failures or mistakes to our children. I made plenty the first time around. I had reasons, from the abuse of my ex-husband then. But, I did make mistakes. But, when an enabler is in the picture, always making excuses and covering for this person, they are really hurting them emotionally. That’s why there are Al Anon groups to counsel family members of alcoholics, so they don’t become enablers. How on earth can a druggie or alcoholic get it together and quit, if they are being enabled? They can’t. Sometimes, too, in churches, perhaps grace is carried on too much for these people who are in bondage. For it becomes like that little pat on the head with that dog, “ok, you messed up, we still love you as Christ” which is true, but, what about tough love? What about that person taking responsibility?
When an enabler inhibits the growth, repentance, and soul-searching of a wallower and does not exhibit tough love and scriptures to back up, it sends a mixed signal. So the person continues going on their merry little way, doing their own thing and perhaps blaming someone else who did all the right things trying to get them in the right direction to stop sinning. The enabler runs on emotion too. But, tough love also requires admitting when you are wrong!
When this enabler cannot admit they are wrong, and the wallower hears a correct teaching or scriptures somewhere else, sooner or later distrust is going to develop. For if the wallower has any sense at all, they will know they lied to the enabler, and knows only too well that sooner or later they have to face the music. So, when the truths arise and the wallower finally gets it, where will the enabler be? Out in left field! It is wrong to cover up a lie. If this wallower is not following Christ after being saved, and still doing drugs or drinking or fornicating the enabler is doing them a great disservice. In essence then they are twisting scripture, and enabling this person to fail to take responsibility for their own actions! THAT is what is wrong in today’s whole pop culture. No one takes responsibility for their own actions anymore. Sin is prevalent, because we’ve become a culture of enablers that look the other way.
It is difficult to trust any person when they cover up and lie, and wallowers always lie. They have secrets, and a secret life to cover up. And the enabler is just that, enables them to continue in their secret life. So the wallower never grows to eat meat, and stays on pablum his whole life, with no growth, no change for the good in God’s eye. When families are in this mess over one persons bondage’s and wallowing, it splits the family right down the middle. One person might be speaking Biblical truth so the wallower “gets it” and gets his act together. And on the other hand the enabler makes excuses for this person, and the family is torn to pieces.
So, i’m saying this to enablers: YOU get your act together too. If its alcoholism or drugs go to Al Anon etc. You will learn to keep you hands off the wallower, alcoholic, and let them fall flat on their face! Stop making excuses for them. It’s called tough love! Admit you are wrong! Tell the person the other family member who tells the truth, and scriptural help, is right, and tell the wallower they need to straighten out. For many people admitting an error is no easy task. Something deep inside flares up in defense of our decisions when they are questioned. That “something” is the flesh. Individuals who are walking after the flesh (the wallower) will do anything necessary to keep from looking bad. (They know their dirty little secret of drinking, drugs, fornicating etc.). They twist the truth, and manipulate and believe me they know darned well the enabler is there to give them the pat on the head like a puppy dog, and say “Oh , God loves you and we are all cracked pots of clay.” Hogwash! God loves us, but, He hates sinning and wants us told the truth! STOP ENABLING!
I’m convinced that half of psychological problems are the results of enablers. I mean too, we have become so politically correct, that no one can fail anymore. Schools limit this, that…If one doesn’t fail and fall down, or loose a game, etc, they just become selfish ingrates in a gimme gimme “I want” I , me, mine world, thinking everyone owes poor me, the wallower! Get it? People walking after the flesh like this wallower, are, by the very nature of flesh, insecure. They look only to themselves for a sense of identity and worth, but since the creature has no real significance apart from the Creator, there is a general sense of insecurity. If people look only to themselves for their sense of significance and security, the natural thing to do when confronted about a fault (the wallower) of some kind is to DENY it because accusations are direct threats to the security and the false sense of self-worth of the individual. And the enabler keeps them in this same place while the one that told the truth to get their act together, is seen as a threat. Therefore, they can’t submit to God, after all the enabler gave them a pat on the head, enforcing the idea, they are ok, and God loves them in sin. That is really pathetic. This person will be an emotional wallowing cripple for the rest of their adult life. Instead of the wallower going to the Bible for scriptural help even saved, they call up this enabler to make them feel better. How that must grieve the Lord Jesus. Stop enabling! Admit you are wrong!
We need to understand each others weaknesses, struggles, and failures, which we should all understand as we have plenty ourselves. Admit your errors, and don’t enable another person, but, tell them in tough love, that yes God loves them, but, sin is sin, and they need counseling, Bible programs, and have to change else they loose their salvation, and remain an emotional cripple on pablum all their lives. Step up to the plate and tell them Biblical truths and be an enabler no more.
If the finger of sin is pointed at you and you are a wallower, get in the word of God, get counseling and get help! Leave the enabler alone as they are only hurting your problems. Have some guts to face your own weaknesses, for your children will imitate you. For the enabler? Let go and let God, and let this person get help, else you will find yourself under God’s scrutiny. Of course God loves us, and of course his grace is sufficient, but, the wallower AND the enabler need to take responsibility for their own actions. The need to be accountable! Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”.
Proverbs 1:24-31 “Because I have called and you refused I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded” (the whole of humanity is set apart in two camps: those who follow God given wisdom, ie the Bible, and those who reject God’s wisdom) “But you have set at nought all My counsel and would have none of my reproof” (the one that told the truth to the wallower while the enabler sets aside God’s counsel and truth).”I also will laugh at your calamity: I will mock when fear comes. When your fear comes as desolation and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish comes upon you. THEN shall they call upon Me, but I will NOT answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me.” (while it is certainly true that God will hear any and all who earnestly cry out to Him, still the sense of this Passage is that a late call cannot undo the irreparable harm done in a misspent life.) “For they that hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord” (there is a choice that everyone has to make the wallower and the enabler; those who ‘choose’ the wrong path do so because they HATE KNOWLEDGE.)
Is this you? Are you a wallower living in a secret life? Or are you an enabler, hindering this wallower from growing in Christ. Which ever you are, or if you have these people in your family, print this and present the love in Christ yes, but tough love too, to take responsibility for their own actions and lifestyle.
*Parts of this came as an inspiration from a short article by Charles Stanley 2004, Biblical parenthesis from the Expositor’s Study Bible