God wants to give you the courage to break free from your dependencies — so you too can embrace true freedom and pursue the abundant life He so graciously has prepared for you.
“ I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:1-2 (NLT)
There are a lot of things we can become overly attached to, even obsessed with, but the one we are going to focus on today is our attachment to people. There is a big difference between healthy attachments and unhealthy attachments. While God designed us to be in relationships with one another, He never intended for us to become desperately dependent on other people.
God wants to be our one and only Savior and when we place other people in that position, we attempt to fill God’s intended role. We know God wants us to be dependent on Him and Him alone, but we must also accept that we live in a fallen world where we are highly susceptible to becoming dependent on people.
When I entered into counseling with a Christian therapist several years back, I was introduced to the term co-dependency. Almost immediately, I began to recognize and understand some of the underlying issues I had struggled with for most of my life. Co-dependency is, simply put, an unhealthy attachment to another person. It’s often associated with those who find themselves in relationships with loved ones or friends who are controlling or struggle with addictions.
But, it doesn’t necessarily start there.
Co-dependency is often birthed as a result of past trauma and pain. For me, it began at a very young age and was the result of a dysfunctional childhood where I regularly observed my mother covering-up and compensating for my dad’s unpredictable behaviors. Speaking from years of experience, countless hours of counseling, and extensive study on the subject, co-dependency is not something we choose. It is a legitimate issue that must be dealt with so we can overcome it.
Co-dependency is like a disease. Left untreated, it can spread throughout our life like cancer. Yet unlike cancer, it only consumes the individual who has it. Co-dependency can be handed down to our children and can be a growth agent for the issues and struggles of loved ones as we enable, rescue, and care-take them. Left untreated, stuffed, denied, or underestimated, like I did for years, co-dependency will continue to grow and maintain control over our lives — until we reach our breaking point.
In order to overcome it, we must admit we have a problem and submit to the process of dealing with the trauma or relationship that brought it on in the first place.
God understands our struggles and meets us right where we are. He sees past our pain and hurt and desires that we heal so that we can return to a right relationship with Him as Lord and Savior of our lives.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (NASB)
If you have an unhealthy attachment to a person, place or thing — join me today in taking the first step toward freedom — admit your struggle to at least one safe friend and ask them to join you in praying for wisdom and discernment regarding the next steps you should take. If your attachment is serious or life-threatening, don’t wait — seek help immediately from a Christian Counselor or godly friend. God wants to give you the courage to break free from your dependencies — so you too can embrace true freedom and pursue the abundant life He so graciously has prepared for you.
What steps will you take today to free yourself from unhealthy attachments?