Child holding parent's hand

Dependency

[The following is a portion of the up-and-coming book called, “A Handbook for my Son” by Casey Stinnett.  If you would like to be on the waitlist for the final book, please text Casey at 9282438696. Please include your name and email address.]

Is it wrong to be dependent? Well, I think that depends on the situation (pun intended).

As a child, we are born dependent on our parents and that is a good thing. It is the parents’ job to help that child do everything because they can’t do anything on their own.

As the child grows, they are still largely dependent on the parents, but hopefully they are learning, as the parents are teaching, to become less dependent and more independent. But while 17 or younger, varying degrees of dependence are just part of the gig.

Once you’re over 17 and moving into adulthood, dependence on a parent should be diminishing pretty quickly as you gain independence financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc.

However, a dependence on God will always be appropriate. “Come unto me ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” -Jesus.

Of course, we need to have dependence on Him as He is the well of living water! He is the bread of life! He gives us life, peace, joy, and happiness!

But that is where the dependence should end.

We should not be dependent on any human being.

Now, I am not talking about situational dependence, like if you need to move a piano, either you have the right equipment to do it or you get the help of other people. That dependence is fine.

But what if you asked a person to help you move the piano and they couldn’t or wouldn’t, so you get ticked at them for not helping you when you asked? That is a dependence that goes into Co-Dependency, which we will talk about in another article.

I am talking about dependence on human beings so that you can move forward in life, be ok psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, educationally, etc.

A child doesn’t usually know how to regulate their emotions, so kids are pretty raw. If they are hurt physically, they are screaming and crying. If they are hurt emotionally, they might lash out and want to physically hurt the other person, or they might try to emotionally hurt the other person by calling names, etc.

These are dependent behaviors because the child is dependent on the parent to help them self-regulate instead of lashing out.

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I think we can agree that by at least 17 it would be ideal for a person to have learned healthier behaviors when they get hurt in any way that don’t include the above mentioned methods.

Unfortunately, in marriage, people either unintentionally become dependent on their spouse to behave a certain way or they just never fixed that part of them before getting married.

We don’t want our sons to have this unfortunate situation. Our goal is to teach them to work into independence and away from dependence on another person.

When dating, a boy should not expect that a girl will respond well to how he treats her. He should do his best to treat her right and if she doesn’t respond well, instead of getting mad at her or bothered at her response, he should be asking himself–and then going over it with God–“What did I do that caused her to respond that way? Did I act outside of my value system?” It’s possible that the girl has a trigger surrounding that thing he did, so it might make sense for him to ask her what caused her to respond that way so he can learn more about her.

A boy should not expect the girl to want to be with him, he earns her trust and that privilege or her wanting that. If she doesn’t want to be with him, he gets to ask himself and God what he is doing that might be driving her away. If she doesn’t want to be with him as much as he wants to be with her, could he be feeling dependent on her presence to make him happy?

A boy should not ask the girl, “What do you want to do for a date?” Because he should not be dependent on her to come up with how he can serve her. It is his duty to come up with fun ways to serve her, find out what she likes to do and do that for some dates, and it’s also ok to do some things that he likes to do on dates. There might be some things they both like to do, but he should not be dependent on that being the case in order for him to take the girl on a date.

A boy should be working with God to decide how it is best to serve His daughter and adjusting as he learns more about her and with her.


Casey Stinnett

Article written by Casey Stinnett, a son of God, husband to a crazy fun wife, father of 5 tiny humans, and one of God’s Mighties fighting against evil. But mostly just a dude trying to be who he thinks God wants him to be.

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