Dear Esther :: May 23, 2016

Dear Esther,

I am writing about an issue I believe is hampering my husband’s ability to come to salvation in Christ. Mike (not his real name) used to smoke marijuana but quit when we had to move to another state for a job that does random testing. Well, he found a substitute in a manufactured substance. It’s illegal but he can still buy it at certain smoke shops.

Esther, it’s changed him. His memory is bad! He says I’m the one who has lost my mind!! When we talk the only way it won’t end up in an argument is if I agree with everything he says. I asked him to quit smoking and he said he would after that bag was gone, but he didn’t. I asked him again and he flat out said he didn’t want to. I’ve been praying for him Esther, but my patience is wearing thin. Please pray for me, I need help too.

God Bless you and this website.

A sister in Christ Jesus

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My dear sister in Christ Jesus,

You can surely count on my prayers. I am so sorry you are going through such a trial and ordeal. When substance abuse is involved so many factors come into play. I am sure you are feeling like no matter what you do or say, it is a useless endeavor. Exhaustion and frustration are reaching a point where you are wondering if your life will ever have any semblance of normalcy. Your emotions and nerves are worn to the max.

I remember hearing the testimony of a well-known pastor. He described what he was like before got saved. His life had been totally out-of-control with severe drug abuse, physical violence and vicious verbal abuse along with a number of other crude manifestations of degenerate behavior stemming from a godless lifestyle.

His family was in a constant state of distress and living in fear every day. Their lives were frequently threatened. The situation seemed extremely hopeless but God intervened and the man was totally delivered from his evil ways.

If I had heard about this person before he was saved I would have said to myself, “That man will never change.” Our limited minds might assess a situation in a logical way but our great and mighty God knows the end from the beginning and is able to turn an impossible situation into something so great and extraordinary that everyone can see that only God could have underwritten such a remarkable change.

I pray the same will be for you. As a woman of faith, continue to use all your godly principles and petition the Lord to intervene on your husband’s behalf in a miraculous way. I do not suggest going to any secular treatment centers or counselors, but I urge you to seek out Christian counseling where those in charge are strongly equipped with God’s Word and are very experienced with such situations. Some treatment programs for substance abuse do exist that are run by genuine Christians.

If you are involved with a good church I would start by speaking with your pastor and hopefully he may know of some people who can assist you in reaching through to your husband, and also give you the love and support you need so very much.

Stay close to your prayer closet and never underestimate God’s ability to turn even the worst situation into something incredibly good. I also know of someone personally who was addicted to marijuana for decades and when he was in his early fifties the Lord saved him and he was instantly healed from smoking pot, never to touch the stuff again. He is now about 86 years old and has been serving the Lord full-time through a television ministry.

Whatever happens, remind yourself that you cannot control what other people do or say. Remember that you are already victorious in Christ because you are saved. You are in a very tough situation. By the outside world you are seen as a married “couple” but behind closed doors it is so lonely and like living with a self-absorbed stranger much of the time.

Nevertheless, don’t let your spouse or others rob you of the joy available to you through Christ. Even when we are surrounded by chaos and a world of self-centered opportunists we can have the joy of Christ in our hearts.

I strongly suggest reading the apostle Paul’s Epistles (the Pauline Epistles) especially Philippians. It is hard to fathom that Paul is writing from prison with chain’s strapped to him. He expresses such an attitude of joy even from prison. The words joy and rejoice are used in Philippians about sixteen times.

God understands your every heartache, your every tear. He loves you so very, very much. You are not alone. He is right there with you. He promised never to leave you or forsake you. Hold onto to Him and know that He is going to get your through this. I pray that one day you will have an incredible testimony to share with others. God bless you and strengthen you.

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

In God’s love,

Esther

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:11-12).