What Does the Bible Say about Codependency?

No other verse in the Bible is better at helping us set our priorities straight and put our relationships in the right order as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5). We must put “first things first” or else we, in our relationships, will never have the fulfillment that God has planned for us.

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

It seems as if Scripture contradicts itself in Galatians 6:1-5 – Notice two thoughts in this passage that seem to be in opposition to one another. “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.

Verse 2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens,” and verse 5 says, “Each one should carry his own load.” Since these two clear-cut directives seem contradictory to each other, which one is true? When you carefully analyse what is being said, there is no contradiction. Verse 1 Gently encourage another person to change from negative behaviour, but beware of your own temptation. Verse 2: The Greek word for “burden” is baros, which means “weight,” implying a load or something that is pressing heavily. When you help carry what is too heavy for someone else to bear alone, your caring response fulfills the law of Christ. Verse 5: The Greek word for “load” is phortion, which means “something carried.” Clearly, when you carry what others should carry, you are not wise. You are not called by God to relieve others of their rightful responsibilities.

Those who are codependent try to get their needs met by carrying loads that others should be carrying. To move out of a codependent relationship, both individuals need to quit trying to be the other person’s “all-in-all” and instead encourage each other to take responsibility for their own lives and to live dependently on the strength of God.

 

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