Helping a Codependent Friend
"Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne." Matthew 11:29-30 AMP
Thoughts for Today
Codependent people often feel guilty because they believe that they did something to cause their loved one to go out of control. They see that their efforts have not cured the person, and they think that somehow if they try harder, they can control the person with the life-controlling problem. The misbelief that we can "fix" other people leads to a painful cycle of failure and loss of self-worth.
If you are trying to help a friend who has become codependent, help your friend understand these truths.
- They did not cause their loved one's problem. Their loved one is responsible for the choices that have led to addiction, no matter what the circumstances may be.
- They cannot control their loved one's behaviors. Trying to control the struggling person through manipulation, domination and guilt only leads to a greater loss of energy. They cannot fix their loved one—only God can do that.
- They cannot cure their loved one. Encourage them to give their anxiety to the Lord. He doesn't want us to suffer through this kind of struggle. He has promised us that his burden is light.
Codependents need encouragement to examine their own lives. Because of their own delusions, they usually cannot see their addiction to another person. It takes friends from the outside to point out this reality to them. You can help your codependent friends by
- Taking them to a Living Free Concerned Persons group
- Encouraging them to focus on Christ instead of on their loved one
- Modeling an honest relationship with respect and boundaries
- Care-fronting delusion
- Encouraging them to accept responsibility for their own actions
- Praying for them
Father, guide me in helping my friend. Help her understand that she can't fix her loved one … that your yoke is easy and your burden is light … that she can trust you with her loved one. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:
Part 1: Learning to Live Free
- Defining Life-Controlling Problems
- Mastered and Trapped by Issues
- Walls of Protection
- Family Influences
- Helping or Harming?
Part 2: Helping Others to Live Free through Small Groups
- The Small Group Strategy
- Effective Facilitation and Communication
- Launching a Living Free Ministry
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