When you are codependent, you are trying to get your needs met through a drive to “do it all” or to be another person’s “all-in-all.” You can recover from codependency. How?
- Appropriate your identity in Christ: Learn to live out of your resources in Christ Jesus. Know that you can be emotionally set free because Christ lives in you (when you are a Christian). “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). You can change your dependency on people through the power of Christ. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). Nurture only healthy, godly relationships because you have been given Christ’s divine nature. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3–4)
- Set healthy boundaries: Communicate the necessity for change by saying something like – “I realise that I have not been responding to you in a healthy way. I have been far too dependent on you to meet my needs. And I have sought to meet all of your needs. I am committed to having healthy relationships and to putting God first in my life. I know that I have had negative responses to you, and I intend to begin having positive responses by making decisions based on what is right in the eyes of God.” Then establish what you need to ask forgiveness for by saying – “I realize I was wrong for (not speaking up when I should have, not being the person I should have been in this relationship…). Will you forgive me?” After this establish what your limits of responsibility will be. You can say something like – “I feel responsible for… But I am not responsible for (making you happy, making you feel significant…). I want you to be happy, but I don’t have the power to make you happy.” Then establish your limits of involvement by saying something like – “I want to do…with/for you, but I don’t feel led by God to do…” “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 27:12)
- Exchange your emotional focus for spiritual focus: Make God and your spiritual growth your first priority. Attend an in-depth Bible study in order to learn the heart of God and to grow spiritually with the people of God. Memorise Scripture and put God’s Word in your heart and learn the ways of God. “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (Psalm 119:35–37)
The cure for codependency is rooted in developing an ever-deepening relationship with the Lord. Your increased intimacy with Him will conform you to His character. When you let the Lord live inside you, you can live in His power. Christ was not codependent, He will help you to have His power to overcome codependency. John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”