Codependence Is Not Oneness: What Christians Get Wrong About Relationships
Some Christians – most conservative ones – teach something called “Gender Complementarianism” which instills codependent behaviors in girls, and also encourages adult women to behave in a codependent fashion, which is not healthy for relationships. But complementarians like to insist this is “biblical,” but it’s really not.
Of course, secular culture – Hollywood in particular – love to teach people that they are incomplete until and unless they find that one special “someone,” a romantic partner, and get married. So, secular culture is not necessarily any better at this than Christian culture.
Most Christian dating or marital advice is horrible, but this page was pretty good.
BY DEBRA K. FILETA
JUNE 6, 2018
4 MINUTE READ
Many people believe they have fallen in love, only to realize their “love” is based on need—a need to be wanted, a need to be valued, a need to be affirmed. A need to be taken care of, to be nurtured, to be kept safe.
“Need love” drives you toward someone out of desperation, insecurities, and fear.
It fools an empty person into thinking this relationship can somehow fill them up. But in the end, fulfillment never comes. In the end, their desperate need causes them to feel more and more depleted and more and more alone.
… Need Love Vs. Real Love
“Need love” takes root in the hearts of men and women long before they get married. It’s birthed out of feeling incomplete, unfulfilled, and inadequate while standing alone. It’s rooted in the false assumption that a relationship will “fill me up” and complete that missing piece.
Too many people go into marriage hoping it will complete them, only to be gravely disappointed in the end.
… Codependence Is Not Oneness
…It was eventually referred to as a “relationship addiction,” because it was seen in individuals who would do just about anything to maintain a relationship, no matter how unhealthy, toxic, one-sided, or abusive that relationship was.
Codependent people look to others for approval, for affirmation, for validation, and even for worth. They feel uncomfortable or helpless when they’re alone and go to excessive lengths to get support from others, to the point of doing things that are unpleasant. They are drawn into relationships because of what they “need” rather than what they have to give. Being alone is almost impossible, because they need people to feel affirmed and valuable.
….The part I find most fascinating is that many of these traits are seen within the context of Christian relationships, and Christian marriages,but often fail to be identified.
Some of these very characteristics are perpetuated and unknowingly encouraged within the walls of the Church at large.
… I was recently visiting a Christian college for a speaking engagement when one young woman came up to me for a chat after my talk.
She was rather perplexed hearing me share the concept that a relationship can’t complete you. She had been raised to believe that getting married was the only way to fulfill her God-given purpose, and that becoming one with her future husband would complete the big picture of the meaning of her life. This is the very problem I see. Far too many people mistake the concept of codependence with oneness, yet they are so completely opposite!
Read the rest here.