by Trish Birskys, Board member Sanctuary International
If Christ is not our Source; someone else will be! This is idolatry
Emotional Dependency is a place where friendship and love flows over the banks and there are no boundaries!
Transformation is part of our Christian walk. As we go on with Christ, every day choosing that relationship with Him as the most important, it confirms that He is our first love; then the ‘blessed assurance’ for us can be a guarantee of a transformed life. This is a life that can include healthy, balanced relationships and friendships.
The issue of Emotional Dependency applies for man to man; woman to woman; male to female or female to male. The issue is having someone in the place where only Christ should be and being driven to be totally hooked into another person; with all these warm attractions and connection.
The question for the ‘struggler’ with Emotionally Dependent behaviours and leanings is, "will I choose to be Christ dependent or other dependent?” "Will I choose to live a Christ centered life, or an ‘other’ centered life?” We are not supposed to have idols in our lives, however the Emotionally Dependent person will have the other person in that position being absolutely focused on them and waiting for them to tell them how to be.
When you are Emotionally Dependent you just want to have that one person all to yourself. There will be a preoccupation with lots of romantic and sexual feelings and fantasy and the Emotionally Dependent person cannot plan a day, without having some contact with the focus of their obsession. The other person is supposed to give love and security and there can be no room for anyone else or anything else. This is toxic, unhealthy and leads to destruction when in its lowest expression.
The Emotionally Dependent person needs to have the daily battle of seeking intimacy with Christ; instead of intimacy with the person who is the focus of obsession. Every time the choice for intimacy with Christ wins out we take another step forward in our recovery and restoration. The fruits of spiritual growth, change and purpose will become more and more evident. We don’t have to be perfect we just need to be choosing His strength, His Word and His Will over our own weaknesses, lies and will. In some cases this may have to be done minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day.
There are steps that a ‘struggler’ can take everyday to keep walking with Christ. It is important to remember that Christ loves us as we are and that we are forgiven, but He doesn’t want us to stay where we are. We don’t do this journey on our own! The focus has to shift from the other person and transfer all these feelings to Christ. It is recommended that prayer becomes a foundation in your life and to listen to praise and worship music. The Word of God is the truth, so soaking yourself in it is a major key in one’s recovery and restoration. There are many wonderful resources available to read and listen to. (e.g. The book: Emotional Dependency by Lori Rentzl )
What else is helpful is, Friends, Friends and Friends ….not those who support you in your dependency; but a few who walk alongside you, pray for you and with you, that you can be accountable to. The most helpful friends are those who encourage you and with whom you can build mutually balanced and healthy