How can I be a good friend to a guy that has lots of problems with drugs and drinking?
So long story short, I was led into the life of a guy with a lot of problems (drugs and drinking). I got to know him as a friend and he expressed how much he would like to change. I started talking to him more and he attended church with me. He wasn't perfect after that by any means, but he was changing.
After a few months of getting close to this man, we expressed feelings for one another but eventually found it safer for us both to just stay friends. It hurt and still hurts that we can't really date for the big fact that he isn't really a Christian and I really am. He believes in God but doesn't do anything outside of that to show he is a Christian. As a matter of fact, he isn't saved. Besides that, we have chosen to stay friends, but because of our different moral beliefs and the different types of friends he has, we have found it even harder to stay friends.
He asked for help in changing. I got him off drugs, but he still drinks and parties. His other friends see nothing wrong with this or one-night stands. I'm emotionally attached to this guy and I'm looking for the best way to be his friend and not get too close. I would love nothing more than to be with this guy, but it's a bomb waiting to go off if we got together. It's not me that can change him, I understand that. I just need advice on how to be the best Christian friend to him, how I can do my best not to judge and convict him but still direct and guide him.
I know without a doubt that God has brought me into this boy's life for a reason. He himself said it, but I also prayed for a challenge and for God to take me where my feet would normally never go and a few days later I'm in this guy's life. I can't give up on him; we've both tried walking away, but we work together, and we miss each other too much. As lame and cliche as that may sound it's true and I want to be the best friend that I can be to this guy even it means not being together.
There are two verses I want you to always keep in mind:
"Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits"" (I Corinthians 15:33).
"Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).
You are not immune to temptation. It is wonderful that you've made a difference in his life, but realize that it is easier to follow him into sin than for him to follow God. So far you are keeping your guard up, but there are hints that you are on the edge of compromising. I gather that he has on more than one occasion tried to get you to do immoral things.
A guy who used drugs is always vulnerable to relapse, especially since he is still using alcohol which lowers a person's inhibitions. He also hangs around with drug addicts, so eventually, peer pressure will pull him back into the trap. It isn't that I don't think he can turn his life around. Quite the opposite. I think he can make a dramatic change in his life (II Corinthians 7:10-11). However, he isn't seeking a dramatic change, and that is where the danger lies.
The best thing that you can do for him is to encourage him when he makes changes in the right direction and scold him when he does the wrong thing. He needs clear definitions of what is right and wrong, even when he doesn't agree with them. There should be times when he doesn't like you because you don't approve of what he does; yet, he will continue to come back because you always encourage him when he does do what is right.
But for you, you have to emotionally pull back. As he currently is, he is not good boyfriend material, let alone good husband material. He hasn't conquered the world's desires through Christ, so he will frequently and sometimes tragically make bad decisions. You can't control his life. You can't make him live righteously. He may be a nice young man, but his appeal is more to your maternal instincts. He is like a boy who needs a firm mother and that makes for a poor husband and wife relationship.
Thank you, for your response! I reached out to fellow Christian friends who had similar things to say.
I haven't had much contact with my friend because I've found it best for me to not put myself into his temptation. You were right about me falling into his bad temptation before any of my godly desires. I've found that out the hard way, but I've been able to avoid being in any situation with him that could lead me astray. This has caused a void in our friendship, but for the time being, I think it's best to keep clear of him until I can heal, and learn to be a friend without any feelings for him.
Thank you, again for your help! It's been very helpful.