Tag: Addiction Help


by: Gregory Kirk

What an interesting word.  In fact, I am pretty sure I just made it up. However, my definition of demandingness is an “expectation that our demands will be met either by others or God.”

  • We demand that people treat us in the way we believe they should.
  • We demand that people support us in times of trouble.
  • We demand that no one comes close to hurting us in the way that we might have been hurt in childhood.
  • Wedged tightly in the recesses of our heart is this ugly splinter that, if not removed, will produce a poison that will infect every part of our lives.

The life of an addict is one of demand.  I want what I want, and I want it my way, in my time.  We see this demandingness in the life of Jacob.

Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear,
and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the LORD will be my God.  Genesis 28:19-21 (CSB)

Here Jacob says:

  • If God be with me.
  • If God watches over me.
  • If God helps me with this journey.
  • If God provides food and clothing.
  • If God allows me to return safely.

If God does all these things, then He will be my God.

Jacob is probably one of the clearest biblical illustrations of a demanding spirit.

  • He insisted on having his father’s blessing for himself and took advantage of his brother’s hunger, buying his birthright for a plate of stew.
  • Jacob went through a kind of half conversion, making God his God and giving Him a tenth, but deep in his heart there was still residing this spirit of demandingness.
  • It shows itself again at Paddan-aram where, after marrying Rachel, he worked out a scheme to make himself rich at his father-in-law’s expense (Genesis 30:41-43).

He was still Jacob—the man who demanded to have his own way.

He had talked about himself in terms of honesty—”my honesty will testify for me” (Genesis 30:33)—but it was nothing more than above-the-waterline honesty. His mind was changed, but not his heart.

Only when addicts overcome the self-centerless that addictions bring will they see healing and hope for a new life.

*adapted from Butlers Daily Bible Readings: Holman Pub 2014

Gregory Kirk resides in Ellsinore, MO.  He currently serves as Pastor/Executive Direction of the United Gospel Rescue Mission and Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, MO.  The UGRM offers a Transformed Life one-year residential program for men who are seeking change.  The Mission also serves a public meal daily at noon.  Gregory has been married to his beautiful wife, Pamela for forty years.  He is the father of three and grandfather of twelve.  He holds a BA Th from Fairhaven Baptist College, MA Pastoral Clinical Counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and MA Christian Resources From Union University, Jackson, TN.  He is currently a D.Ed.Min candidate at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  Greg has been in ministry for thirty years serving as Youth Pastor, Asst. Pastor and Senior Pastor of churches in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri.  Greg is a Registered Alcohol and Drug Counselor (RADC) and Medically Assisted Treatment Specialist (MATS) for the State of MO.­­

Why I Wrote “How Not to Raise an Addict”*

by: Mark Shaw

Focus Publishing produced my booklet, How Not to Raise an Addict, to help parents to raise children that love God. Obviously, parents are not in control of their children’s hearts or their children’s decisions to follow Christ, but they can learn parenting skills that instill a humble, Christ-like mindset rather than an addicted one.

How Not to Raise an Addict was challenging to write because all parents, except for God the Father, are flawed and inadequate without the grace of God. I think this booklet helps parents in three ways:

  1. Kids are responsible for their choices but parents are responsible for their actions as parents. There are ways parents can either change or strengthen what they do in their parenting regardless of the age of the child.
  2. It is urgent that parents learn biblical principles for parenting to instill the mind of Christ in their child so that when temptation comes the child will be ready to say “no.” Based upon two passages of Scripture, I examine five mentalities of an addict which are subtle when a child is young but so pervasive in our culture today. One additional note is that each mentality often leads into the subsequent mentality, yet the goal for parents is to instill the mind of Christ in their children.
  3. There is no guarantee. This is not a book of legalistic to-do lists but rather a booklet to reflect upon mentalities that either need to be discouraged or encouraged in parenting.

Portions of this booklet were excerpted from my larger book, Addiction-Proof Parenting, released in 2010 in English and in 2013 in Korean. The larger book offers general parenting strategies and a fuller look at the mind of an addict versus the mind of Christ. God’s Word offers us incredible insights into parenting in ways that are loving, full of truth, and full of grace.

This book can be used in several ways:

  1. Counselors can assign it as homework for counselees to reflect upon their attitudes in parenting, examining where they can improve as well as what they are doing well.
  2. Pastors and church lay leaders can lead a short, six-week class on parenting using this booklet. Each of the five mentalities could be discussed weekly with either an opening week of teaching or a closing week. Six weeks is a good time frame for a parenting class.
  3. Those who counsel and work in the addiction field will gain valuable insights about the nature of addictive thinking and how it can be instilled not only by parents but by other authority figures.
  4. Anyone can read the booklet and glean parenting insights or even in general, how a Christ-follower can learn to think more like Christ. It could benefit any reader.

God’s sufficient Word has much to offer us in the realm of everyday problems. My hope is that parents will be helped and encouraged by this booklet even though it may be convicting at times. Conviction for the believer is good because it provides an opportunity to grow spiritually for the ultimate goal of glorifying God.

TAC Staff Note: This article was originally published at BiblicalCounselingCoalition.org on September 15, 2017. View the original post here.

About Mark Shaw

Mark E. Shaw (D. Min.) is President and Founder of Truth in Love Ministries and The Addiction Connection. He resides in Florence, KY, with his wife and children. The author of 20 publications including The Heart of Addiction, Addiction-Proof Parenting, and Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts, Mark enjoys speaking, training, and traveling for the purpose of encouraging and edifying local churches in their outreach to hurting souls.

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