Throughout this blog we have seen how narcissists – those with insolent pride – seek to exert their will over others. They want to be #1, with others serving them. They want others to be subject to their wishes, not the other way around. They seek to subjugate others to their “rule”.
This can be situational, such as in work place power plays. But it can also be relational, where the N seeks full-time, permanent rule over someone – a child, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, long serving staff, etc. In the N’s drive and continued action to achieve this, they may subjugate their target’s will to their own. The ultimate expression of this is for the target to become dependent on the N, allowing the N massive control.
Of course, this is not Biblical. Paul said,
“You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.”
I Corinthians 7:23
Just as the term “narcissism” is ill-defined and inconsistently applied, so are the concepts and terminology around dependency.
For example, Wikipedia calls codependency
A codependent is someone who cannot function on their own and whose thinking and behavior is instead organized around another person, process, or substance. Many codependents place a lower priority on their own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.
This is a bad thing, right? On the other hand, my parents were also considered codependent in living together on their own into their early 90’s. They were able to compensate for each other’s capability gaps. In this case, codependent was a good thing.
Because dependency is a real issue for those whose lives have been strongly influenced by narcissists, we are going to take a look at it in future blog posts. This holds personal relevance for me as well, as result of my upbringing.
We will focus on the Biblical perspective of narcissist-driven dependency, looking at causes and solutions. In particular, we will look at how to recognize it, what it can do to us, and how to go from becoming non-Biblical people-pleasers to showing genuine strength with love.