Although there is certainly no improving on the original Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20, I have developed a helpful “top ten” list of commandments (or suggestions) when it comes to breaking the enabling cycle.
The Lord gave us Ten Commandments as foundational principles by which to live our lives. Combine them with the ten suggestions below, and you will be well on your way to gaining SANITY in the insane world of enabling.
- You shall take care of your own spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, and financial health.
- You shall remember to express love and attention to your spouse and other family and friends in addition to the troubled adult child.
- You shall not accept excuses.
- You shall understand that a clear definition of right and wrong is imperative for a disciplined society. There is no room for gray. Don’t make excuses for what you believe.
- You shall make fact-based judgments without excuse and feel OK doing so.
- You shall uphold standards of behavior that protect your morals, values, and integrity.
- You shall give unconditional love and support without meddling and without money.
- You shall listen to music and read books that will focus your mind on God.
- You shall celebrate life and love as often as possible—even in times of trouble.
- You shall consistently practice the six steps to SANITY.
It should come as no surprise that the first commitment we must make is to stop this enabling cycle, whether large or small. It means overcoming the guilt, the fear, the regrets for past mistakes and anything else that has caused us to become enablers of our adult’s child’s destructive lifestyle.
Excerpt from Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, (c) 2008, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon