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In Christ, we are children of God (see 1 John 3:1). We have His attributes and strengths within us. That means we do not have to fear anyone or anything.
We are free to say no without feeling guilty and yes without feeling angry. We are not constrained by fear of abandonment or retaliation. We are able to confront others in a loving, yet powerful manner. And if they respond negatively, we can hold them accountable with godly consequences.
Breaking free from codependency begins with learning the facts about it and getting help. Codependency will not improve over time. Even if circumstances appear to be better for a season, happiness will be incomplete and temporary.
Extreme codependency can lead to severe depression and even suicide, as well as increasingly poor physical health, especially if addictions to substances are involved. Wounds from the past will become strongholds for pain, bitterness and unforgiveness. And the lives of innocent victims may be in danger.
If you are involved with someone who is codependent, seek professional help. Educate yourself. Read books. Attend support groups. Remember, you are not powerful enough to change anyone--only God can do that. It is the Son who sets us free (see John 8:36.)
But He is more than able to accomplish what needs to be performed--to sanctify the codependent "through and through" and to keep his spirit, soul and body "blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:23). "The one who calls you is faithful," the Bible says, "and He will do it" (v. 24).
Julie Roe, Ph.D., is a Christian clinical psychologist who has ministered to hurting and wounded women around the world. Her private practice is based in Sanford, Florida.
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