To the point of idolatry

Do you struggle with emotional dependency – OK let’s spell that out – do you have a relationship / friendship with someone who you feel you could not exist or function without?  Is this person central to your life to the point maybe of idolatry?

If this describes you, or simply makes you stop and think for a moment about some of the relationships you are in, you may be subject to a form of addiction.  People who are addicted to other people may run to them for comfort and protection, they often have low self-esteem, struggle to communicate and are tempted to isolate themself with this person from the rest of the world.  It might feel good for a season, but they may also experience feelings of being trapped and helpless, yet not want to confront these feelings because of fear of being alone.

This is a form of addictive behaviour that is often seen in same sex relationships, particularly with women.  In fact, I believe that often these types of emotionally dependent friendships grow into sexual relationships because of the intensity of feeling.  In a world that now champions and promotes sexual fluidity and promiscuity, it's easy to see how so many women, particularly those who come out of abusive relationships with men, are being drawn into lesbian relationships.

I experienced this in my past with close friends who identified as heterosexual.  As our friendships evolved, and they recognised me as someone safe to be around, we grew more emotionally dependent upon each other, and the relationships changed into something sexual. There is a fine line that’s relatively easy to cross if we don’t guard our hearts.

I think as Christians, we need to be aware of how easy it is for people to fall into emotional dependency and potentially unhealthy sexual relationships.  We need to be equipped to support people to break any dependencies that are unhealthy.  In Kenneth Williams book, “The Journey Out”, he talks about having a band of brothers, a number of male friends who could champion him and support him, minimising the risk of becoming too emotionally dependent on one person.  This is a great piece of advice for us all.  Check your friendship circle, is it a circle, or a two-way street?

If you find that you are in unhealthy relationship with someone else, you can start to make changes immediately.  Start by owning this in your own mind and confess to God that you have become embroiled in a relationship that is leaning towards idolatry. If necessary repent of putting this person before God and ask God to help you to keep Him central.

Make a conscious decision to change the relationship.  Depending upon how far you have fallen into emotional dependency, you may just need to commit to widening your circle of friends, and reducing your time focus on one particular person.  But you may need more time to fully heal, and in that instance you may need to agree to a time of separation, where you learn to depend on God first and foremost.  That might mean no contact, not even via messnger or text for a period of time, until you restore your reliance on God.
Focus fully on developing your intimacy with God, remembering the command, Love the Lord your God with all your mind with all your soul and with all your heart.   What does that look like for you, are there barriers to you developing that kind of close relationship with him?  If so, talk to your pastor or a spiritual director and allow them to encourage and pray for you.

Take time for yourself, ask God to reveal to you how he wants you to use your time, your talents and your gifts, what has he got in store for you?  Start to trust that time spent with Him is time well spent, an opportunity for you to receive his healing over past wounds or traumas, as well as precious time to get to know Him better.

Seek a mentor, someone who feel safe to talk to and can safely process how and why you've got to this point in life. The great news is this can be overcome, and you can get to a point of having healthy and fun friendships with people of the same or opposite sex, without allowing idolatry, fear or confusion to affect your relationship with God.

If you are someone who struggles with co-dependency, and fear that close friendships may be affecting your relationship with God, or attracting you into a same sex relationship, Transformed Ministries are here to listen and encourage you.  Contact us via e-mail,





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