Acronyms are everywhere today. They are used in virtually all walks of life and professions. Knowing the acronyms associated with a particular profession is kind of like learning a whole new language. Nowhere is this more true than in the realm of pop-psychology. There are acronyms galore to describe in shorthand every conceivable 'disorder'.
One of these is 'ED' which stands for 'emotional dependency'. We often hear this term to describe a situation where one person is dependent on the emotional support of another person to a degree that is unhealthy. It's also usually described as something one 'has' rather than something one 'does' making it sound almost disease like. People say 'I AM an emotionally dependent person' rather than 'I behave in an emotionally dependent way.'
While this can certainly be a problem and a barrier to our Christian growth, I would like to take a look at what I feel is really the underlying issue here.
When we say we are dependent on something, what are we really saying? One definition of 'depend' is 'to look outside oneself for support, help, etc.' Right away this should raise alarm bells in the heads of believers. What is the ONLY source outside ourselves on which we are to ultimately rely for support, help, etc.?
Consider these passages:
But you, O LORD , be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. (Psalm 22:19)
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD , the LORD , is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." (Isaiah 12:2)
We are to depend SOLEY on the Lord! Things will let us down, other people will let us down, the Lord, however, will never disappoint us!
What is it called when we attribute to people or things what should only be attributed to God?
Take a look at this passage:
7 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. 8 They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'
The children of Israel were attributing to a golden idol the things of God. This is called simply 'idolatry' and it is a grievous sin. So too is what pop-psychology calls 'emotional dependency'.
What are we to do then if we see ourselves dealing with 'ED' in our daily walk? First of all start calling it what it is, idolatry. Recognize that you are putting another person in place of God in your life. Secondly, rather than praying to be set free from 'ED', repent of the idolatry you've identified and seek the Lord's forgiveness. Finally, if the object of your idolatry is anyone other than your spouse, take whatever steps are necessary to remove yourself from contact with that person as much as is possible. If this is a casual or social relationship, break it off totally. If it is someone you must be around because of work or family reasons, limit contact to only that which is necessary to fulfill the obligations that Christ would have you fulfill in the situation. If it is your spouse, however, removing yourself from the relationship is not an option for the Christian. In that case, you must diligently seek to put God back in His proper place in your life so that you can relate to your spouse the way God intends.
33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
In short, the way to overcome 'ED' is to switch to 'CD' - Christ Dependency!