Christian Codependency: Things We Do When We Won't Set Boundaries

Christian Codependency: Things We Do When We Won't Set Boundaries By Karla Downing

Christian codependency involves things codependents do when we won't set boundaries. When problems come up in relationships, we often want to make other people do what we think they should do. We do this because we think we are right; we think we know what is best; we don't want to be hurt; we don't want the other person to be hurt; or we are hurt, scared, anxious, or angry. These are the tactics we use to try to get people to do what we think they should do instead of deciding what is okay and not okay with us and simply setting a boundary:

Guilting - We make people feel bad about what they have done and try to make them feel sorry so they will change.

Brush stroking - We make stereotypical generalizations like: "You always make the wrong choices," "You don't respect anything we say," "You're completely worthless," "You don't care about anything," or "You're just like your mom/dad/sister/brother."

Threatening - We make threats to take something away or to do something in response to the person's choices. Threats aren't boundaries; they are emotional statements we aren't ready to carry out.

Overpowering - We resort to yelling, losing control or using power, position, and authority to overpower people in an attempt to get them to give in to what we want.

Martyrdom -We try to get people to feel sorry for how they are affecting us and to change because we are being hurt. The problem is that we do this by resorting to self-pity and as a result, give away our power to change our own lives.

Labeling - We use name calling with things like "idiot," "druggy," "stupid," "child," "rebel," or "self-centered." Labeling attacks the person; instead, it is better to focus on describing the behavior that is unacceptable and problematic.

We do all these things instead of putting the focus onto ourselves and taking responsibility for what we are feeling and willing to do and not to do. When we aren't willing to set boundaries, we do other things to get people to change. Setting boundaries means we risk having the person say no. We also risk them being angry with us and making the choices we don't want them to make. So rather than focusing on setting a boundary, we argue, nag, explain, and try to convince the person to do what we want through these various means. This isn't how God deals with us. He gives us his boundaries clearly and then waits for us to decide and responds to us accordingly. In order to deal with your Christian codependency, you have to be willing to treat others like God treats us. When you set boundaries, you treat yourself and the other person with dignity by offering clear choices and letting each person take responsibility for them.

If you need more practical tips and Biblical truths to help you change your relationships, get my FREE "15-Day Relationship Challenge" designed to give you back the power over your life. Just click here: 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. Article Source: Article Source: