Are you looking for help for your Christian codependency? If so, one of the things you might be wondering is what caused your codependency. In the 1980s, codependency was originally used to describe the dysfunctional patterns of family members of chemically dependent people who were also called the "co-addict" or "co-alcoholic." It was later broadened to include other people dealing with other types of difficult relationships.

A "codependent" is someone whose thinking, choices, feelings, and behavior are dependent on how someone else is behaving. The codependent is obsessed with fixing, controlling, changing, or pleasing the other person and is unable to live life normally as a result.

Caring about the people you love, feeling victimized when you are being victimized and wanting to control the people you love when they are hurting themselves is normal. It is when this pattern of caring and loving becomes maladaptive and harmful that it becomes codependent.

People can be codependent in a single relationship with a spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend, or relative. They can be codependent in the way they do their job or ministry or have a pattern of codependency in all relationships.

There are three causes of Christian codependency:

  1. Codependency is a pattern of relating that is learned in a dysfunctional family of origin. Children that grow up in homes with problems often become codependent because that is what has been modeled.
  2. Codependency develops as a result of being in a difficult relationship with someone who is abusive, addicted, irresponsible, physically or mentally ill, or dysfunctional. It isn't uncommon for a person who was raised in a healthy home to become codependent when dealing with these problems in a loved one.
  3. Codependency happens when someone misunderstands what God wants them to do in relationships. They mistakenly belief God wants them to be too passive, giving, loving, selfless, forgiving and tolerant. As a result, they make choices in relationships that are unhealthy.

When you recognize which of these causes contribute to your Christian codependency, you can focus on changing the pattern by learning how you have been affected by dysfunction in your relationships, how you can act and react to the problems you are dealing with in a different way, and understanding the truth about what the Bible says about what you should do in your difficult relationships.

Author's Bio: 

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Karla Downing is an author, speaker, licensed marriage and family therapist, and Bible study teacher. Karla's passion is to help people find freedom in Christ in the midst of their difficult relationships and circumstances through Biblical truths and practical tools.