The Story of a Co-Dependent Relationship
Genesis 16Amplified Bible (AMP)
Sarai and Hagar
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not borne him any children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See here, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. I am asking you to go in to [the bed of] my maid [so that she may bear you a child]; perhaps I will [a]obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to Sarai and did as she said. 3 After Abram had lived in the land of Canaan ten years, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian [maid], and gave her to her husband Abram to be his [secondary] wife. 4 He went in to [the bed of] Hagar, and she conceived; and when she realized that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress [regarding Sarai as insignificant because of her infertility]. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “May [the responsibility for] the wrong done to me [by the arrogant behavior of Hagar] be upon you. I gave my maid into your arms, and when she realized that she had conceived, I was despised and looked on with disrespect. May the Lord judge [who has done right] between you and me.” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Look, your maid is entirely in your hands and subject to your authority; do as you please with her.” So Sarai treated her harshly and humiliated her, and Hagar fled from her.
The story starts out as it has in many others stories throughout time, “I’m missing out”. Sarai has bought into the belief God won’t provide her needs. So she seeks out someone (the codependent) who will get what she wants and feels she can’t live without (love, sex, drugs, alcohol, money etc.). “She asks him” to obtain what she wants and “He listened and did what she said”. Many times, if not all the times, codependents will do things for their loved ones out of a sense to gain love, fear of loss of love, avoid getting them upset and showing disapproval or acting out of compassion and concern. Even with good intents the situation can turn bad. The thing the person seeks to gain can turn on them and then they turn on the codependent blaming them for the consequences of the situation. They blame the codependent for caving in to their request, believing the failed results are their fault ultimately leading the codependent to feel used, manipulated and weak. They can become angry, hurt, resentful, depressed and feel powerless, eventually turning away from the person and distancing themselves leaving the other person to deal with their issue on their own. “Your maid is entirely in your hands and SUBJECT TO YOUR AUTHORITY.” This leaves the responsibility in the hands of the one who it should have been the whole time, leading them to deal directly with the issue and to get serious with it until its “flees from them.”
Breaking the codependent habit is a difficult, if not more difficult than any other addictive behavior. They feel they have to please the other person and can’t live with them being upset or angry. Sarai got Abram to be her god and He accepted. We need to be vigilant when others are manipulating us to be their god and fix their issues. They need to take responsibility for themselves and turn to God for the power and answers they can’t solve on their own. God is willing to be their God we need to just get out of His way!