Let’s talk a moment about what codependency is as well as how the traits are displayed. We will also have some solutions for how you can move forward.
- You are overly concerned about what the other person is doing, thinking, and feeling. Often displayed as caring, this codependent trade leads you to believe that if you don’t take care of this person, something bad is going to happen to either you or them as a result of their behavior. Scripture tells us that each should carry his own load. You can find that in Galatians 6:5. So, it is biblical to allow others to make choices and mistakes. God certainly does it for us.
- Your need to fix or rescue now becomes controlling. You attempt to control the other person’s behavior through criticism, ultimatums, nagging or giving unsolicited advice. This typically is a result of having no self-control, which is your attempt to control them in an effort to feel control of yourself. We are not responsible to change or control others. We’re only responsible for ourselves. Proverbs 25:28 tells us that a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
- You walk on eggshells around the other person. You’re likely afraid of doing or saying something that will displease or anger them or set them off. As a result, you may not express your opinion, share your feelings, or ask for what you want. You may say “yes” to things that you didn’t want to, or they don’t align with your values or goals. Matthew 5:9 reminds us that peacemakers are blessed. There is a big difference between being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper.
- You act like a martyr taking care of everyone and everything but resentful that no one wants to help or take care of you. Matthew 5:37 reminds us to let what you say simply be “yes or no”. Anything more than this comes from evil. Saying “yes” when you would prefer to say no doesn’t make you a better Christian.
- You continue the relationship, even after the other person has repeatedly hurt you physically, emotionally, or financially. Co-dependence frequently makes you believe that they are being loving. 1st Corinthians, 13:7 tells us that love never gives up, never loses faith, and is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance. My friend, God didn’t intend for you to endure abuse and tolerate evil behavior.
- You are afraid of being rejected, criticized, or seen as a bad person. We all want to be loved and accepted tendency crosses the line into needing it to the point of accepting or tolerating toxic behavior as a people pleaser. It’s important to always ask the question in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or God? Or am I trying to please people?” If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Codependency plays out in relationships, but it is also rooted in how you feel about yourself. The focus is often to get the other person to change, but the truth is, you can only change yourself and we can’t even do that. without the help of the Holy Spirit. So, if you want to see true health in your relationships, start by learning how to see yourself through the eyes of God, and get to know yourself as a unique and distinct creation of His head. If you need help with people-pleasing, I have an online course that can help you conquer codependency biblically. I also want to invite you to grab a copy of our free Toxic People Survival Guide.
As always, I hope that this was helpful to you, and remember, all things are possible with God.