Below is a video from the presentation of “Overcoming Codependency.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“I’ve Been So Busy I Haven’t Been Paying Attention”
ACKNOWLEDGE the specific history and realness of my suffering.

Overcoming Codependency – Step 2 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.


Memorize: Luke 10:40-42 (ESV), “But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Distracted with much serving” –Distracted already implies she wasn’t focused on what was most important.
  • “Lord, do you not care?” – Her over-involvement caused her to question and turn on everyone, even Jesus.
  • “Left me to serve alone” – In this case Mary (the other) chose the better option. That may not be the case in your life.
  • “Troubled about many things” – The implication is that Martha was troubled by things outside her control.
  • “One thing is necessary” – You are to honor God with your life; not control everyone else’s life to honor God.

Teaching Notes

“If you want to learn to act right when your spouse acts wrong, you will need to make a commitment to yourself never to pretend that things are fine when they are not (p. 81).” Leslie Vernick in How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong

“It’s not as much what we do as how and why we do it. Two people can engage in the same behavior in similar situations. One will be acting codependent; the other will be exhibiting healthy behavior (p. 50)… Sometimes one moment of awareness does more than months of hard work (p. 7).” Melody Beattie in The New Codependency

“Pain is no proof of a bad relationship or even a harmful one. There is no perfect relationship or perfect person (p. 25)… What makes these sinful interactions destructive is their repetitive patterns, as well as lack of awareness, lack of remorse, and lack of significant change (p. 28).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

“This type of behavior, called ‘splitting’… is the rigid separation of positive and negative thoughts and feelings about oneself and others; that is, the inability to synthesize these feelings (p. 14).” Jerold Kreisman and Hal Straus in I Hate You – Don’t Leave Me

“Naming domestic abuse for what it is – and dealing with it as such – is important for this essential reason: the abuse usually gets worse. Infrequent episodes usually progress to more frequent ones. Less severe episodes usually progress to more severe ones (p. 23)… Abusive men often take the biblical text and distort it to support their right to abuse (p. 127).” Justin and Lindsey Holcomb in Is It My Fault?

“Acceptance does not mean approving, giving up, or detaching; it means recognizing things for what they are, no better but no worse (p. 94)… When we accept what is hard, we don’t make it harder than it is (p. 96)… Often what we call ‘the problem’ is really a pileup of problems that overwhelms us with its size and complexity when we regard it as one big thing (p. 150).” Foote, Wilkens, Koskane and Higgs in Beyond Addiction

“Sometimes people believe (incorrectly) that recovering from codependency means they have to get a divorce (p. 8)… My husband’s drinking didn’t create my codependency. I’d been doing the behaviors his drinking triggered – controlling, taking care of others and neglecting myself, repressing emotions, feeling victimized – most of my life (p. 20).” Melody Beattie in The New Codependency

“Our problem is that we need them (for ourselves) more than we love them (for the glory of God) (p. 19).” Ed Welch in When People Are Big and God Is Small