It’s Not Just About Boundaries
There are many varying opinions about what codependency is and how to deal with it. At Be in Health we simply define it as “calling evil good in the name of love.” This article will navigate the unstable terrain surrounding codependency and victimization and how to recover yourself from that endless cycle. You will find real solutions for escaping codependency as well as hope and healing for your heart through God’s love and truth. These solutions include healthy boundaries but essentially, recovery from codependency requires some deeper understanding of ourselves and what we are dealing with spiritually in order to really be an overcomer.
Escaping Codependency by untangling lies
Should God’s Word and law bring life and peace or a heavy burden and torment?
Now before you answer this too quickly, really think about it. Scripture can sometimes be uses to hold us to something out of fear, guilt or shame? Perhaps a verse like “Thou shalt honor your father and mother,” would be used to keep a person in a situation that would hold them in bondage to victimization. Another scripture that can be used is, “Love covers all sins,” to bring us to a point where we will no longer call evil what it is because we think we need to cover it up.
The enemy is the master of deception. He knows the scripture better than we do and He knows exactly what to pull out to accuse us with or to keep us in bondage. We need to be smarter than him.
God’s Word was intended to bring life, peace and sanity. We need to establish that in our hearts. If it is being used to bring anything else we need to be diligent to search out that scripture, and other scriptures, to find a harmony and a well-rounded understanding of how our Father in heaven actually thinks.
If the Word of God is used as a weapon to bring fear, guilt or shame it is the enemy driving that agenda and not your loving Father in Heaven.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 KJV
None of us were designed to be victimized
Many of us have been victimized by people who were supposed to love us, be that a parent or grandparent, a spouse or even our own child. None of us were designed to be victimized. If we had been, we would enjoy it. But the reality is, it brings deep layers of hurt and fear and can be a door point to torment in our lives.
For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work. James 3:16 KJV
The enemy knows that if you rose up to be the child of God that you were created to be, he would have no power over you. So he’s formulated a perfect trap, so to speak. He uses the Word to condemn you and turn you into a victim of other people’s sins. He’s essentially using God’s own Word to pull us away from God.
Jesus died so that you would be free from the bondage of sin and death. From our experience at Be in Health®, we can assure you that victimization brings nothing but bondage, death and destruction.
Now let’s look deeper into Proverbs 10:12:
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. Proverbs 10:12 KJV
Upon deeper study of that word “covereth” from the original Hebrew translation, the words “pardon” and “forgiveness” are found. So we’re talking about something deeper than just sweeping an issue under the rug, as the enemy would have us believe.
Many people are afraid that if they expose the evil in another person’s life, especially a parent or loved one, that they are dishonoring them. They remain stuck in an endless limbo of torment, fear and guilt. That is codependency. Codependency is calling evil good in the name of love. That is absolutely not how God thinks.
What is separation?
If evil is present it needs to be recognized, not as a weapon to destroy but in discernment for our own freedom and recovery. What we teach at Be in Health® is a principle called separation. We know how to recognize where the enemy has a person in bondage; be it anger and rage, fear or rejection. We recognize that the sin in them is the enemy and we can hate that sin but the Word does not give us the right to hate the person. Can you see the difference there?
It is not dishonoring a person to recognize the sin within them. Neither is it dishonoring to find someone who is a safe place that can give us wisdom and the encouragement we need to overcome the torment that victimization has caused. In fact, if we were to call it for what it is and, through discernment, draw proper, healthy boundaries, God might actually have something to work with to heal and deliver that person as well!
How can they deal with their stuff that is hurting us if no one sets a standard of proper spiritual behavior and boundaries?
A person is allowed to remain comfortable in their sins if everyone just tiptoes around and does everything they can to not set that person off or make them feel bad. They will never experience the discomfort of the consequences of their own actions. They need to take responsibility for their own life, their own peace, their own happiness, their own recovery. That is no one else’s responsibility. If they are not willing to do that, perhaps they need a time out to discover where their treasure truly lies.
If they truly cared about you more than their sin, they would recover themselves. But if they care more about holding onto their pride and sin than you, you need to find a safe place where you can live in peace. The Word says, “If at all possible, live peaceably with all men.” So if it’s not possible to live peaceably with them you need to find a place of safety where Father God can begin to heal your hearts and restore you to peace.
It may be that after He’s healed your heart and strengthened you, he may bring you back into that person’s life. Or He may not.
Here’s where the wholeness of healing and recovery may come to a person or even to an entire family.
Just because we recognize evil in a person does not mean we need to become bitter or broadcast to the world their failures. Neither should we use it as a weapon to cast down that person. The Word says that we should not repay evil for evil.
8 Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous: 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil. 1 Peter 3:8-12 KJV
We need to get spiritual to overcome codependence
It’s time for someone to get spiritual here and it might as well be you, because it is possible that that person never will.
One day, when we come to the judgment seat of Christ we are going to stand alone, we can’t bring anyone else with us and say, “Well they treated me this way therefore I had a right to be bitter towards them.”
How can our heart be broken?
A broken heart can be healed and bitterness can be overcome. A broken heart comes in when someone who was supposed to love us caused hurt or damage instead. With that comes fear. The Word says that there is no fear in love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Here’s where the breach occurs because if we have fear of a person, not only are they not loving us but we are unable to love them too. Therefore we will not be able to even come to that place of healing where we can love the person and hate the sin. As long as we remain wrapped up in fear and bitterness, we will continue to be a victim. But we have not been called to be a victim but an overcomer.
Let’s look at Hebrews 12:5: “Looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God.” That’s part one of this verse. What does that mean? God’s grace teaches us what we need to know. The definition for “grace” in the original Greek of the New Testament is ‘God’s divine influence on the human heart’. So what we are looking at here is someone who fails to follow God’s influence or represent His ways.
Part two of this verse says, “Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you.” Part one, someone else fails of the grace of God and has pierced you. Part two, the enemy is trying to make you be a victim and cause you to be wounded.
What’s the difference between being pierced and wounded?
Let’s look at the difference between being pierced and wounded. If you have a broken heart, that means that you have been wounded, not just pierced. So what happens is this, when someone else fails of the grace of God, they have just pierced you. If you take that into yourself and hang onto it within your spirit and come into agreement with whatever they said or did or come into agreement with bitterness against them for what they did, then comes the wounding.
Along with the wounding will come torment
The enemy will bring in recall and replay to be sure that that offense becomes a permanent pathway of thought. From there, all he needs to do is trigger that memory and all of those negative feelings and emotions come broiling to the surface again.
Part two of that verse is an opportunity for us to catch bitterness before it takes a stronghold in our life. We can have discernment and choose to separate that person from their sins and not to take it personal. If we take in that root of bitterness then we are both being unspiritual. How can either of us be recovered?
Don’t spew the poison
The last part of this verse says, “…and thereby many be defiled.” Bitterness will make sure that everyone else knows how evil the other person is but will provide no mercy or compassion or way of escape for that person. Bitterness makes a person one with their sin.
So we cannot call evil good in the name of love but we must also use proper discernment and understanding so that we can recognize the evil and hate it but still love that person. If you love the person then you cannot be wounded, because love covers a multitude of sins.
But it really does hurt!
Now here is where all hell will rage against us. Because no one can deny that words and unkind actions hurt but we can stand in that moment against our enemy (the spiritual one not the person) and allow the Holy Spirit to join us and strengthen us. We can ask for His perspective. The Word says that He is our very present help in time of need. It also says that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear. So when all of those feelings are raging in us, those are just temptation! We can stop the enemy in His tracks and not allow Him to gain access to our spirit, even when the other person has already let him work through them.
Our perfect example
Jesus was somehow able to cry out to His Father while He was dying on the cross, being brutally murdered by those who stood around Him. He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Because of this, He is our example. Jesus was able to separate them from what they were doing and recognize that it was the devil who had bewitched them into killing Him. He did not take it personal. That is the standard for all of us.
God gives us space to recover ourselves
You cannot help someone you have just become embittered towards. You can either be a servant of God or a servant of the enemy. But if you fall, know that you can be recovered and repent to God and move forward in forgiveness towards yourself and towards others. If you have picked up an offense, forgive them. You may remember what they said, but it does not have to rear up deep feelings of hurt and pain every time you think about it. It can just be a memory in the past.
Leave it in the past and move forward
If recall and replay keep bringing up torment, use each of those instances as an opportunity to talk to Father God about it, renounce and remove those tormenting spirits, and pray for that person.
What if resolution is not possible with another person, are you going to live in fear and guilt for the rest of your life? No! Father God has made a way where you can take it to Him, you can release that person and you can release yourself from that fear, guilt and shame. Make it right before God and He can begin to heal your heart. He can help you forgive your victimizer and He can help you forgive yourself.
Don’t let this one thing in!
No matter what, don’t allow fear, guilt or shame to reign in your hearts, it will be to your own detriment. They will hold you to your own failures or try to project a failure on you that wasn’t even you to begin with. Take every one of these worries and cares to your Father in Heaven and ask for His perspective. Seek His wisdom and seek His heart.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
His thoughts and plans for you are for peace and security in Him
Don’t let the enemy rob you of your birthright by turning you into a victim. You are so much more valuable than that! You are a child of God!
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11 KJV
The Be in Health® Team