Broken people produce broken relationships. You don’t have to look far to see them. Most of us have, no doubt, been a part of one – or several. One of the most destructive patterns is called codependency, or enabling. This type of relationship is very common, even among believers. The term codependent is defined as, “
Codependent people suffer from a lack of identity; therefore, they take on the identity of caregiver to the other person. Often, the other person is looking for someone to “fix” them, because they are unwilling to take responsibility for their own behavior. They usually have some type of addictive behavior, like drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., that they feel powerless to overcome. These unhealthy actions feed off of each other. The enabler needs to be affirmed and validated, and they seemingly find this by taking care of the helpless one. This pattern produces two victims – the first eventually resents the constant demands and control of the other, the second is allowed and enabled to continue in their dysfunction with no confrontation or requirement to take responsibility.
If this sounds familiar, the good news is that we can find freedom from these unhealthy patterns of relating. The enabler needs to understand that their affirmation, validation, and identity only come from God. The need to feel significant is one of our basic human needs, so He wants to give it to us; we just have to ask. Song of Solomon is a wonderful example of how He affirms us over and over until we become secure in His love and our identity as His beloved.
The person who struggles with addiction needs to know that Jesus paid the price for their freedom. Scripture says that, “…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32) People cannot save, heal or deliver, only God can. These ones must repent for seeking deliverance from someone other than the Lord and turn to Him. They must be willing to take responsibility for their behavior and no longer blame others.
God wants us all to fully depend upon Him for He is our Father and longs to relate to us as one. He alone is faithful and true and will always act in our best interest. People with even the best intentions will let us down. Others can help us along the way, but they cannot be our source for that which only God can give us. He will save, heal, and deliver when we call upon His name!