Dependency and Friends’ Marriages

Dependency and Friends’ Marriages October 24, 2018

We are dependent people. We are dependent upon God, upon the opposite sex, and upon our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are dependent upon the abilities and resources of the world around us.

To deny our dependency is arrogance and a type of deception.

However, we need to realize that distorted, misplaced dependency is one of the pitfalls that can sabotage our hopes for happiness and fulfillment in life—and can lead to a dysfunctional family.

I’ve counseled many dysfunctional people and families, and all of them are in that condition because, somewhere along the way, they have broken the rules.

Sometimes it’s a parent who has usurped God’s place in the life of his or her child (this especially becomes a temptation as the child grows older).

Sometimes it’s a pastor or spiritual leader who causes people to depend upon himself, rather than a greater understanding and dependence upon God.

Sometimes it’s a couple who have gotten too involved in their friends’ marriage—to the point that they are interfering with that relationship. This is an especially difficult situation.

Don’t get me wrong: It’s great to enjoy love and friendship with other couples. In fact, it’s necessary. Surrounding yourself with other healthy marriages is a great way to keep your own marriage strong.

Be there for your married friends. Pray with them. Provide them with godly counsel if asked.

But never try to interfere with or replace someone’s spouse. For example, if you notice that a couple or person is depending too much upon you—rather than upon his or her spouse—then back off. In a loving way, say something like “You both need to be with each other more, and I need to be with you less.”

When there are close friendships between couples, you’ll often find yourself in a situation where one spouse is offended at another. Unless there is something criminal involved, don’t spring to the defense of one married person over his or her mate. Don’t take sides.

Why? Because you’ll never know the full story until you have talked to both parties. Pray for them, but let them work out their own problems.

This can be difficult to do, but to your friends, their marriage should a higher priority than you are. You need to honor that. Don’t allow their dependence upon you to violate the marriage bond.

God has created us to be dependent. Dependency upon our spouses is what makes marriage so special. Dependency upon our friends is what makes those relationships so fulfilling.

But our highest dependency should be that we trust in God first.

Remember Christ’s words to the woman at the well: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)

 


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