When you are behaving in a codependent way, you are trying to get your needs met through a drive to “do it all” or to be another person’s “all-in-all.” However, you can “travel the road to recovery” by releasing your desire to control or to change the person you love.
- Recognise that you are overly dependent on a person and instead place your dependency on God: Admit that your codependency is a sin. Pray that God will give you the desire to put Him first and to please Him in all your relationships. Determine to look to the Lord to meet your needs for love, for significance, and for security. Realise that God did not create you to meet all the needs of another person. Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
- Examine your patterns of codependent thinking: Don’t believe that pleasing people is always Christ-like. Don’t think that you should always assume the role of peacemaker. Don’t fear losing the love of others when you allow them to suffer the consequences of their negative actions. Don’t say “yes” when you really believe you should say “no.” Psalm 51:6 “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”
- Let go of your “super responsible” mentality: Confess that you are trying to be like God in the life of another person. Trust God to be actively working in the life of your loved one. Realise that you cannot make another person to be dependable or responsible. Rest in God’s sovereign control over all people, events, and circumstances. Exodus 18:17–18 “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.”
- Extend forgiveness to those who have caused you pain: Reflect on any type of abuse you have experienced in the past either if it is verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual. What has been unjust and painful in your life? Whom do you need to forgive? Would you be willing to release this person and your pain to God? Choose to forgive again whenever your angry feelings resurface. Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”