Codependency—An Ancient Problem

“Fearing man more than God” is a universal malady. Many people who are successfully recovering from addiction have discovered that this tendency to depend on other fallible mortals—parents, spouses, children—for validation and comfort was actually the root of their need to practice their addiction.

Down through the ages the prophets have counseled us repeatedly to “fear”—respect, need, or rely on—God before anyone else. President Ezra Taft Benson stated this concept very clearly:

“We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives.” (Ensign, May 1988, p. 4. Italics original.)

Three years later, Elder L. Tom Perry made another plain statement of this true principle:

“If we increase our dependence on anything or anyone except the Lord, we will find an immediate decrease in our freedom to act.” (Ensign, November 1991, p. 65. Emphasis added.)

Scripture study shows that reliance on man rather than God is actually a confusion of agency, or as some people say, “boundaries.” Where does our stewardship or responsibility for another person end and their stewardship or responsibility begin? Just whose salvation do we have the power or ability to “work out?”

The following is a partial list of scriptures which examine these issues and support this concept:

Fearing Man More Than God

Confusion of Boundaries

Traditions of Our Parents


Excerpted from the pamphlet, “Speaking Heart t’ Heart on Codependency.” Used with permission from Heart t’ Heart.