The Danger of Codependency Between Ministers and Churches - Merianna Neely Harrelson
And what are the characteristics of a codependent relationship? causes that pushed us into the abusive relationship with our former pastor. The symptoms of codependency have a remarkable parallel with the symptoms of Codependency at its essence is an addiction to a person or to a relationship. . That means it's important to find a therapist, sponsor, pastor or friend who. Codependent pastoral leaders have a tendency to surround themselves with of our true responsibility to others; a serving of our relationships.
Can Church Leaders And Church Members Become Codependent? - Spirit Filled Christian Living
Care must be taken for the church in doing this, just as David cared first for the men who were too weary to continue. The codependent must eventually turn all judgment over to God, instead of judging themselves or allowing other people to judge them. Codependents are devastated emotionally by their own judgments of themselves and their perceptions of the judgments of others.
They need to learn to accept God's judgment of them; that they are very good and that there is nothing they can do to change that, good or bad. David and Abigail's son was named Daniel which means "God is my judge. The codependent must deal with her own codependency or their children will also become codependent. What we are is passed on to the next generation.
Possibly Chileab was too codependent, or maybe Bathsheba convinced David to choose Solomon, and Abigail did not protest. We do not even have an indication that Abigail protested about David's adultery.
Maybe, like many codependents, she felt too unworthy to be treated with respect; or she had so many boundary violations in her marriage with Nabal that she did not know how to assertively stand for her rights. Recovery from codependency is a process that usually takes a significant period of time. One secular counselor has estimated that it takes a period of five to six years.
With God's help and answers, we usually expect therapy to last at least six months and that the client should remain in a support group for one to two years. After helping the client understand what codependency is and identifying her particular type of codependency, I always encourage them to start attending church and support group meetings immediately.
Learning from others who are recovering or have recovered from codependency builds hope that recovery is possible, and provides the relationships and a source of unconditional love to assist in the recovery process. I believe it is more appropriate for the codependent dependent rescuer while Love is a Choice Hemfelt, Minirth, and Meier, is more appropriate for the codependent dependent passive.
I conduct Marriage and Family Therapy for couples, and some time during the recovery process, I assign the book Boundaries Cloud and Townsend, and its associated workbook This helps the client develop healthy personal boundaries useful in correcting current relationships and developing new healthy ones. Steps for Overcoming Codependent Dependent Rescuing 1. The root of the problem is over-dependence on people instead of God to meet personal needs.
The codependent is desperately seeking love and approval because of a low self-image and will control, manipulate, rescue others, or allow the violation of personal boundaries in order to get her needs met. She will do for others what they should be doing for themselves, become overwhelmed with all she is attempting to do, and eventually become bitter when other people do not meet her needs in return.
She tries to overcome feelings of inadequacy by people pleasing, rescuing, or enabling. She believes that if she could just fix her mate then he would meet all her needs. She must understand that controlling others is sin and learn to use personal boundaries to develop healthy relationships with others.
Codependent Independence The pursuit of prominence is a problem that pervades our entire society. As I have become more experienced in the area of codependency, I have identified this form of striving for prominence as codependent independence.
This person copes with feelings of low self-worth and inadequacy through performance, people pleasing, over-achievement, and rescuing. He is or wants to be the proverbial "knight in shining armor" looking for a damsel the codependent dependentcorporation, or cause to rescue. As a general but almost absolute rule, a codependent usually marries another codependent. Every damsel needs a knight to rescue her from the dragon of life, and every knight needs a damsel to rescue.
As already discussed, the Amorite tribe represents problems with prominence. The Bible warns us about this problem when it asks in Mark 8: I divide the codependent independent psychological complex into two basic types: Of course, a client will most likely fall somewhere between these two extremes and show some symptoms of each.
King David might be an example of this combination, especially after his adultery with Bathsheba. Codependent Independent Worldly Failure In a competitive world, all will eventually fail. As long as a person succeeds, they will be promoted to more difficult tasks and greater responsibility. Even those who have reached the very top of their field will eventually have to step down due to age or circumstances. However, when failure becomes chronic it is usually due to significant underlying problems.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether the client should be considered a worldly success or failure because of the extensive facades developed by both.
Extreme anger and jealousy are usually the tip-off. Both may be equally competitive and aggressive, but the real difference is how they view themselves. Sometimes they view themselves a success in one area and a failure in another. In looking for a biblical model, King Saul is a clear example of a codependent independent worldly failure. He was the first codependent that the Lord personally identified to me.
Codependent traits are more subtle and harder to detect in the independent type of codependency. This is because they usually develop strong ego-defenses and an elaborate facade to cover any signs of inadequacy.
Only by carefully watching their actions and observing their defenses can we see between the cracks in their carefully built suit of armor. It is usually even harder to see this problem in Christians, because they may have correct Christian beliefs, be walking to some degree in the Spirit which masks codependent symptoms and be using the church and religion as their area of accomplishment. Therefore, counselors inexperienced with codependency may not even recognize it as a problem.
The codependent independent is attempting to become his own god and meet all of his own needs. It is usually very difficult to convince the codependent independent that he has a problem. Let us investigate what the Bible tells us about this problem beginning in 1 Samuel Chapter 9: The root problem is an attempt to deal with feelings of inadequacy through performance. Saul's father's name, Kish, means to bend, which I interpret to mean that he was flexible in his relationships or a people pleaser—one of the main traits of codependency.
Kish's father's name was Abiel God is my father and Abiel's father was Zeror bundle or complex. The asses of Saul's father were lost, and he was sent to find them. Asses or donkeys symbolize capability to do work. Therefore, Saul's father sent him on a quest to prove himself capable or useful to his father. Although this may seem to be reading too much into this situation, I believe that these events, at a minimum, show Saul's feelings of inadequacy and his attempt to meet these needs through performance—the very basis of his problem.
Without any question, he was being taught to be a rescuer. The codependent independent looks very good on the outside to compensate for the emptiness within.
In his appearance, Saul was a head taller that everyone else. Saul looked good on the outside, which is another possible indication of codependent independence. Many codependent independents become an over-achiever to compensate for how they feel inside. Many times in stories, the Bible uses the locations where the person travels to indicate something about the person himself.
Finally, after many failures, Saul began to worry about his dad's possible disapproval of his continuing fruitless search and suggested that they return home.
Possibly, for Saul, as with many codependents, continuing to try and fail seemed more emotionally damaging than just giving up. Saul's servant suggested that they inquire of God about the location of the asses.
As with many codependents, Saul believed that he must do something to get the favor of God and the prophet just as codependents try to please people to get their needs met and, therefore, felt he needed to give money to the prophet. The prophet Samuel told him that his father's asses had been found indicating that seeking God will result in an answer to any problem.
In fact, the ultimate answer to codependency is believing that God will meet all of our innermost needs. Every person is called by God to help others, but not to help them in a codependent manner. God had told Samuel that he would send him someone who would "save my people out of the hand of the Philistines. The codependent's fear of being inadequate conflicts with his desire to "be someone. The fastest most effective method for recovery from codependency is to walk in the Spirit.
Samuel anointed Saul's head with oil, which represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The codependent must take steps to acquire the power of the Holy Spirit, which are outlined in the verses that followed this event: Quit trying to meet his innermost needs himself. Obtain a revelation of God. Acquire the ability to speak for God the spirit of prophecy 1 Sa From this time on until the Spirit departed from Saul because of his disobedience, Saul became a fairly good king and avoided most of his codependent tendencies.
Even after he was rejected by some Israelites at his coronation, he did not take revenge but held his peace. The codependent needs to learn to listen to spiritual leadership instead of trying to do what he wants. Saul was directed to go down to Gilgal the church and await direction from Samuel. The underlying feelings of inadequacy cause the codependent to oscillate between overconfidence pride and a fear of failure. Saul hid in the baggage when he was to be crowned king.
This is a clear indication of his inner feelings of inadequacy. God, Himself, had to reveal where he was hiding. Although God understands the codependent's emotional problems, He many times chooses to use him anyway. Codependency is actually idolatry. At its heart, codependency is an attempt by a person to be his own god and rely on himself to meet his own needs in his own strength.
Therefore, it is a rejection of God. At Mizpeh, Samuel accused the Israelites of rejecting God because they wanted their own earthly king. This is exactly what the codependent does. The choice is between serving the vain things of this world or God. Samuel said in 1st Samuel Codependents usually refuse to acknowledge their ever-present fear of failure.
This is clear from the actions of the people when the Philistines pitched at Michmash hiddeneastward from Bethaven house of hollowness. All the people "followed him trembling. When God does not do things in the way a codependent desires, the codependent will usually make it happen himself. Because Samuel was late and the people were deserting him, Saul decided to offer the sacrifice himself.
The codependent has an inner tendency to want to do it himself so he can get the credit and feel good about himself. The tendency of the codependent is to use God to meet his needs rather than to serve God. Most codependents try to use God as their genie. They tend to blame others for their mistakes. Saul blamed the people and circumstances for "forcing" him to violate Samuel's directions.
In Chapter 14, when Saul put a foolish curse on anyone who ate food before they killed all the enemy soldiers, he was willing to kill his own son Jonathan who had not heard the curse and ate something rather than admit he had made a mistake. Only the people kept him from killing the very person who had brought the victory.
The children of the codependent will be like him. The names of Saul's children hint at codependent traits: Jonathan Jehovah has given—sees God as someone who is to give to himIshui he resembles me—prideMelchishua my God is wealth—relying on richesMerab increase—what he is striving forand Michal who is like God—what he wants to be. Codependency is a sin that passes from one generation to the next.
The codependent avoids crucifying the flesh and his pride. When called to utterly destroy the Amalekites and all they had, he left all the good livestock and King Agag pride alive. Amalek stands for the flesh where the very root of codependency resides. Pride is usually a defense mechanism for low self worth.
Saul did not want to completely destroy the flesh, just as the codependent has a very hard time "crucifying his flesh. People-pleasing is one of the most prominent traits of codependency. Saul tried to deny his failure by saying it was the people who did it, and that they had taken the sheep and oxen for a sacrifice to the Lord.
Samuel then got to the heart of the issue: When the Spirit of God departed from Saul, an evil spirit took over codependency. Because codependency is a work of the flesh, the absence of the power of the Holy Spirit allows it to dominate the soul. Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. However, this help only continues as long as the client maintains a close relationship with God.
Extreme jealousy and domestic violence are many times manifestations of codependent independence. In 1st Samuel Chapter 18, David was given more credit for victory in the songs of the women than Saul. He even threw a javelin at Jonathan, his own son, because he thought that Jonathan had sided with David.
In 1st Samuel Chapter 22, he killed Ahimelech, the priest, all his relatives including women and children of Nob; because he thought they had supported David. Underneath his facade, the codependent feels less than others. When in 1 Samuel Many times the codependent believes God is against him and blames God or others for his failures. The codependent quickly forgets his insights into his own feelings of inadequacy and his promises to change. In 1 Samuel Distance must sometimes be used as a boundary against codependent behavior.
The real issue is righteousness—making unbiased, just decisions and being able to carry them out. Righteousness, especially in this case, includes having the right amount of dependence or independence from each person or thing. Either faith in God will overcome our codependency or the codependency will overcome our faith in God.
Saul got to the point where he could no longer hear from God at all. His trust in God had turned to fear. He finally went to the witch of Endor to learn his future 1 Samuel Saul had preciously ordered all witches to be executed. The key issue in codependency is a battle with the flesh.
Saul was told by Samuel or a familiar spirit impersonating him that he and his sons would die in battle the next day. Codependent Independent Worldly Failure will eventually result in self-destruction. In spite of the prophecy that he and his sons would be killed in battle the next day, he chose to go into battle anyway in order to save face. After being wounded, he asked his armor-bearer to kill him and when the armor-bearer would not, he fell on his own sword.
Many codependent independent worldly failures eventually resort to self-destructive behaviors like alcohol, drugs, or suicide. Codependency is a generational sin. Codependent independent worldly failures are difficult clients to counsel. They usually come to counseling only after a major failure or when their family is threatening to leave them. They have a difficult time admitting their mistakes, are usually very angry, and quit counseling as soon as they get a minimum level of relief or are allowed to return home.
Pride is a major barrier and their strong desire to perform makes them want to fix themselves. Many times domestic violence or verbal abuse is involved.
A model for helping abusers will be discussed in detail later in this book. Because of their strong desire to control others, I believe that Conquering Codependency Springle, is the best resource to deal with codependent independent clients. He is an angry controller who blames others for his problems and failures because of his feelings of inadequacy.
The client builds an external facade, tries to force others to meet his needs rather than deal with his own problems, buries his emotions, and hides his insecurity. He is defensive, takes criticism personally, and reacts angrily. The client must realize that he is trying to be his own God, repent of his efforts to direct his own life, and take responsibility for his own actions, instead of blaming others.
He must learn to manage his anger and trust God to meet his needs. He must understand that controlling others is sin, set others free to make their own choices, deal with his own emotional problems and trust God in his relationships.
He must actively reject the lie that his successes make him more worthwhile and that failures make him worthless. He must accept his worth in Christ and the unconditional love that God has for him. Workaholism--Codependent Independent Worldly Success Today our society is driven primarily by a desire for success. Consequently, probably the hardest type of client to convince of his problem is the codependent independent worldly success. He is a workaholic. Even when he realizes that he has a problem, the codependent independent worldly success is even less likely to remain in therapy for an extended period of time than the worldly failure.
Because everything goes his way, this over-achiever climbs to the top of his profession, receives all the acclaim that the world offers, but eventually finds out that all he has done is empty and meaningless. His inner pain and feelings of inadequacy remain. In the end, many times he has sacrificed his family and all that is dear to him for what turns out to be nothing at all. The best and most well known biblical type of this significant, seldom identified, psychological problem is King Solomon.
They may come from what seems like a great Christian heritage and have everything going for them. Solomon, on the surface, had absolutely everything going for him. Once I realized what was happening, I worked on those areas and allowed Jesus to deal with those feelings of inadequacy.
Once He did, the needy magnet was removed. I stopped feeling the need to rescue damsels in distress to prove how worthy I was as a man.
pastors and the codependent wife | David Hayward
This is part of the job. The problem arises when The pastor rescues the person in need vs. The long term effect of codependency between church leaders and church members is a church filled with the perpetually needy and a leader who is no longer shepherding but rescuing.
There are no other leaders or people ministering to others apart from the pastor and his spouse.
There are no people released to fulfill their call of God on their lives because that would take away from the need the leader has to rescue. There are no other leaders accepted by the congregation because the pastor is their rescuer. I mean it comes from having wounds in your heart. Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. The first place that both the rescuer and the needy will find freedom from codependency is by finding their worth in Jesus.
When the rescuer realizes that they are neither commissioned nor accepted by God based on their rescuing, they can find freedom. When the needy realize that they are placing their trust in man rather than in God, they can find freedom. Well, I suppose one reason could be that some people prefer to not think, and so they are happy to have someone else do all their thinking for them. It is more likely, however, that some people in religious circles are happy only when they can be in control of spiritual things, even if their authority is a figment of their religious addiction and is not from God.
And for every religiously addicted leader there is almost always a group of religiously codependent followers. There are people who are happy only when their spiritual leader is happy.
This is not just dedication and commitment, no matter how vigorously the dysfunction is defended.
When Religion Goes Bad: Part 3 — Religious Codependency
Relationship with a codependent God leads to religious codependency. A second, related form of religious codependency results from serving a codependent God. Suppose for a moment that God has poor boundaries. Or that God spends his days in a frenzy, trying to get us to make the right choices. Or suppose that God is manipulative, trying to get things to work his way by using indirect and dishonest means.
If we serve a Higher Power with any of these characteristics, we are probably in for a very troubled relationship. It is possible to serve a codependent God, but it is physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. This form of religious codependency is typically learned early in life. If we did certain things, God was happy. If we did other things, God was sad. And what does it say about God? Does God have such poor boundaries that his mood will swing in response to my behavior?
In spite of how little sense this makes, this distorted image of God leads many of us to tip-toe through our Christian lives, trying to do everything possible to prevent God from having a negative mood-swing. Because, after all, you know what happens if we do something that puts God in a bad mood. We are in deep trouble and are going to pay the price one way or another.
If the answer to that question determines the things we have to try harder to do, or not do, in his name today, we can be pretty sure that some element of religious codependency is involved. Most Christians, of course, understand that their relationship with God involves dependency. We depend upon God for our needs, for our identity, for life itself.
This is not a problem that needs to be solved. We are dependent on God. Unfortunately, however, many Christians have a difficult time distinguishing between a healthy dependence on God and an unhealthy dependence, or codependency. And that inability to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships is the vulnerability that makes religious codependency possible.
Moving Beyond Religious Codependency If you find yourself stuck in religious codependency, here are a few ways to move forward.