Though I never had an outwardly needy friendship, the weeds of codependency were still popping up in my life, just in a different form.
I needed her to be ok with me. I needed her approval and her acceptance. I needed her more than I loved her. This is the essence of codependency: driven by our own needs we become unable to truly love other people. My neediness was near impossible to see because it manifested by keeping her at arms-length. I perceived myself not to be needy, but to be perfectly content without her in my life.
Before the moving truck arrived at our house in Dallas, I had already been asking God to provide at least 1 friend who would want to study the Bible with me. I knew that thriving in a new city meant finding a community who would join me in exalting Jesus together in the Word.
BFFs have become the new couple. Can’t find a boyfriend? Just get a best friend. Emotionally, a best friend can now fulfill all the same things a boyfriend can. It may feel like your best friend is the only person who truly gets you. She can make you feel loved, give you somewhere to belong, and make you feel needed. Your BFF can easily become a placeholder until you get that boyfriend or husband you’ve always wanted.
How can you tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy friendship? Unlike the ingrown friendship model of the world, friendship for Jesus looks outside itself to find its purpose. Like everything else, the purpose of our friendships should center on Him. We cannot glorify God alone, we cannot live for His glory alone. We need each other!
Two codependent friends may pray together, talk about Jesus a lot, and be extremely supportive of one another. The spiritual nature of the friendship may give a false sense that nothing is wrong. But even if the main topic of conversation is Jesus, codependency is never ok. Here are 17 signs that your friendship is codependent.
Most Christians assume friendship could never be sinful, especially same-gender friendships. This is the reason some walk into idolatry blindly: they have a false sense of security. But idolatry is no respecter of gender. Anything that takes God’s place in your heart is an idol, even your closest girl friend. A best friend can become a god, a functional savior who rescues you from all the hardships of life, and very few will call it sin. This is why idolatry in friendship is dangerously deceptive: it has become culturally acceptable to need your friend more than you need God.
This is the story of a friendship gone wrong. Somewhere along the way, Sarah and Kelsey began to look to one another for things only God should give: worth, purpose, belonging, and security. This is the story of a co-dependent friendship infected with idolatry.