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If you are a Christian who struggles with dependency issues, there may be certain Scripture that can be difficult for you to understand.  Below are two examples for review and contemplation.

If someone slaps you on the cheek, turn to them the other also.  If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  (Luke 6:29-30)

Those who misuse this passage interpret it to say that what you have is not your own.  To be a Christian, you must allow other people to take what belongs to you. Do you really believe that?  Would you allow someone to come into your home and take whatever they want? Of course not. That is called theft.  

Dependent people become confused over what is theft and what is love because of who does the taking.  If a stranger takes something, it’s theft. If a family member or friend takes something, it’s supposed to be love.

So how do you reconcile these words of Jesus?  This is part of another discussion on how a person is to deal with an enemy.  Enemies are those who would hit you and steal from you and demand what you have.  This passage tells you that when you are powerless to stop an enemy, give in and rely on God to make things right. Save yourself in the moment and look to God for resolution. You, however, are not required to remain anyone’s punching bag, physically or emotionally.  

Below is another passage of Scripture that has been misunderstood by those who have difficulty with intimacy in dependent relationships.  

The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.  In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.  Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourself to prayer.  Then come back together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Cor. 7:4-5 NIV 1984)

Sadly, this passage has been misused to tell a wife she has no right to her own body.  This passage justifies making a wife subservient to whatever her husband wants.

A wife does not give up control of her own body in marriage.  The opening sentence of this passage says clearly that a wife’s body belongs to her.  However, in marriage, her body “does not belong to her alone.” This is because she is not alone; she is married.  Her body is hers, but her body is also part of the unity of the marriage. The husband’s body is also part of the unity of the marriage.  The passage says, “in the same way, “ speaking about the husband’s body.

The goal of marriage is joint physical submission and unity for the good of the marriage.  Turning this passage into the equivalent of scriptural approval for sexual abuse within marriage is spiritual abuse.  Relationship guidelines in Scripture are not meant to create dominancy. Rather, relationship guidelines are meant to model the sacrificial love of God and Christ.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with relationship dependency, emotional abuse, or depression, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help.  Contact us today at 1-888-771-5166 and begin the healing process.