Codependency is a term used to describe a relationship in which one person is overly reliant on another, often to the point of enabling destructive behavior. This behavior can significantly impact our lives and relationships, and it’s essential to understand what the Bible says about it. This article will explore the biblical perspective on codependency and how it can help us lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

What is Codependency?

Codependency is a term that was initially used to describe the behavior of family members of alcoholics. It has since been expanded to include any relationship in which one person is overly reliant on another. Codependent relationships are often characterized by a lack of boundaries, enabling behavior, and a sense of responsibility for the other person’s happiness or well-being.


Biblical Perspective on Codependency

The Bible has much to say about relationships and how we relate. One of the central themes in the Bible is love, and codependent relationships often lack a healthy expression of love. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Codependent relationships often lack patience, kindness, and trust. They can also be marked by envy, pride, and self-seeking behavior. The Bible teaches us to love others as we love ourselves, but codependent relationships often involve sacrificing our well-being for the sake of others.


The Bible also teaches us to set healthy boundaries and not enable destructive behavior. In proverbs 25:26, we read, “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.” Enabling behavior can harm both the enabler and the person being enabled.

Understanding Codependency from a Biblical Viewpoint: Understanding codependency from a biblical perspective involves recognizing that God wants us to have healthy relationships. We are called to love others as we love ourselves, but this love should not be at the expense of our well-being.


Setting healthy boundaries and not enabling destructive behavior is essential to healthy relationships. The Bible teaches us to put our trust in God, not in other people. In Proverbs 3:5-6, we read, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Bible Verses on Codependency

 1. Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.


2. Romans 12:16

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

3. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26

So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

4. Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5. Ephesians 4:2-3

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

6. Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

7. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

8. James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

9. 1 John 1:7

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

10. Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

11. Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

12. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

13. Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

14. John 15:12-13

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

15. Proverbs 27:6

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

16. Romans 15:1-2

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

17. Proverbs 18:24

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Bible verses on interdependence

18. Romans 12:4-5

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

19. Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

20. Ephesians 4:16

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

21. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Two are bette than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

22. Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

23. Ecclesiastes 4:10

For if one falls, the other will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.

24. Philippians 2:4

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

25. Romans 12:4-5

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

26. James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

27. Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

28. Galatians 6:10

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

29. Acts 2:42

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

30. Ephesians 4:15-16

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Codependent widow

Losing a spouse can be a challenging and traumatic experience, and it is normal to experience a range of emotions during this time. However, it is essential to be mindful of signs of codependency and seek support if necessary.

As a codependent widow, you may find yourself feeling overly responsible for the well-being of others, neglecting your own needs, and feeling guilty when you prioritize your self-care.

These behaviors can harm your emotional and mental health and prevent you from healing and moving forward after your loss.

Remember, it is crucial to prioritize your well-being and take care of yourself during this difficult time. Seek support, set healthy boundaries, and be kind to yourself as you navigate this journey of healing and recovery.

Jesus and Codependency

As a religious figure and teacher, Jesus did not explicitly address the concept of codependency as we understand it today. However, his teachings emphasize the importance of loving and caring for oneself and others in healthy and balanced ways.

For example, Jesus teaches that we should love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31), which suggests that we must first love and care for ourselves to love and care for others properly.

Additionally, he encourages us to set healthy boundaries and to speak truthfully and compassionately (Ephesians 4:15), which can help prevent codependent behaviors.

Furthermore, Jesus modeled healthy relationships during his time on Earth. He showed compassion and empathy for others while prioritizing his needs, such as praying and resting (Mark 1:35-39).

The Spiritual root of codependency

Codependency can have various roots, including psychological, social, and spiritual factors. From a spiritual perspective, codependency can manifest an individual’s unhealed emotional wounds and lack of connection to their higher self or a higher power.

Codependency often involves a strong need to control and fix others, which may stem from a deep-seated belief that one is not good enough or worthy of love and acceptance.

This belief can be rooted in a lack of connection to one’s spiritual essence, resulting in disconnection from oneself and others.

Biblical healing from codependency

Healing the spiritual root of codependency requires a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance and developing a deeper connection to one’s higher self and a higher power.

This may involve practices such as meditation, prayer, connecting with nature, and seeking support from spiritual communities or practitioners.

In the Bible, some principles and teachings can help individuals struggling with codependency to find healing and wholeness. Here are a few examples:

Surrender to God

Codependency often involves a desire to control people and situations, leading to anxiety and stress. Surrendering to God’s will and trusting Him to care for the outcome can help individuals let go of their need for control and find peace, as the Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Develop healthy boundaries

Codependency often involves blurring the lines between one’s own needs and the needs of others. The Bible encourages individuals to set healthy boundaries and take care of themselves. Corinthians 6:12.

Love and serve others without Enabling.

Codependency often involves enabling others’ unhealthy behaviors. The Bible teaches individuals to love and serve others, but not at the expense of allowing their destructive behaviors, in Galatians 6:2.

Sermons on codependency

Breaking the Chains of Codependency

This sermon focuses on the need to identify and break free from patterns of codependency in our relationships. It encourages listeners to examine their behaviors and attitudes and seek help and support in healing and growth.

Codependency is a pattern of behavior in which a person puts the needs of others before their own to the point where their well-being is negatively affected.

This can lead to unhealthy and even toxic relationships, where one person becomes overly dependent on the other or is stuck in a cycle of harmful behavior.

Breaking the Chains of Codependency focuses on recognizing and breaking free from these behavior patterns. The first step is acknowledging that codependency exists and understanding how it manifests in our relationships.

This requires a willingness to examine our behaviors and attitudes and be honest about their impact on ourselves and others.

The next step is to seek help and support in healing and growth. This can include seeking a therapist, joining a support group, or talking to a trusted friend or mentor.

It is important to remember that overcoming codependency cannot be done alone and that we all need support and encouragement along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions on codependency.

1. What is the sin of codependency?

In a biblical context, the sin of codependency could be viewed as placing the needs and desires of others above God’s will and purpose for one’s life. It involves idolizing another person or thing above God, which violates the first commandment to have no other gods before Him.

2. How to overcome codependency biblically?

To overcome codependency biblically, one can start by seeking a closer relationship with God through prayer, scripture study, and guidance from a pastor or Christian counselor. It may also involve developing healthy boundaries, learning to prioritize one’s needs, and seeking support from a community of believers.

3. What is the root of codependency?

The root of codependency often lies in childhood experiences, such as growing up in a dysfunctional family or experiencing emotional neglect or abuse. These experiences can lead to a lack of self-esteem, a need for external validation, and difficulty setting healthy boundaries.

4. How do codependents heal?

Codependents can begin to heal by acknowledging and addressing their codependent behaviors and seeking support from a therapist or support group. Therapy can help them identify and work through underlying emotional issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms and communication skills. It can also involve practicing self-care, setting boundaries, and prioritizing their needs while compassionate towards others.

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