Dependent, independent, interdependent
This is a follow-up to Sunday’s post about being one. My bride is rereading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People [affiliate link] by Stephen R. Covey, and shared a few things with me that seem relevant to this issue.
Mr. Covey says that we move from dependent (as children) to independent (as young adults) to interdependent as (if?) we mature. Interdependent means we realise that we are better off helping others and letting others help us.
What really got me was this (paraphrased) “Our current emphasis on independence is a reaction to dependence to being controlled, defined, used, and manipulated.” HOW VERY TRUE! We react to wrong treatment by refusing to be interdependent. We fear anything that looks like dependence lest we get hurt. Sadly, as Covey points out, some people try to become “independent” by leaving their marriage. How sad that some are so desperate to prove they are independent that they will ditch their wife (or husband) and kids.
One other thought on this. I regularly see it said that God can meet all our needs, and to feel we need or must have something from our spouse is thus wrong. The problem with this in my mind is it seems at odds with Scripture. When Adam was without sin, and walked with God in a way none of us has, God said it was not good for him to be alone. If Adam needed a woman, a wife, a companion, then how can we say we don’t? If God was not filling all of Adam’s needs, how can we think God will meet all of our needs? Of course God did meet Adam’s need by giving him Eve, and He meets our need by giving us a spouse. But to suggest that we should not need anything from our spouse seem unbiblical to me. I think this is one more way of protecting ourselves – of not needing anyone else, and thus not being open to being hurt. Interdependence is “less safe” but it’s also far better, more enjoyable, and more powerful.