I have always been an independent person. Life has taught me that I had to be. I have always felt it was a strength but also felt it could be a weakness at times. I wanted to research the differences between independence and faith and was a little surprised and also encouraged by what I found.
I began by looking up the definitions of independence, faith, and trust.
- Independence – freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.
- Faith – confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability: belief that is not based on proof: belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.
- Trust – reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
Let’s look at these for a moment. In its definition independence is the lack of faith or trust in another person or thing. Freedom from the control of another person is a good thing. No one wants to be controlled. It also says freedom from the support or aid of other’s. There is the rub; we are taught that is a bad thing. Support or aid from others is often needed and necessary.
We need to have faith in other people, to trust them to be there for us when life is tough. We need to trust others to help us in our time of need and not feel that we have to be strong and do everything ourselves. With independence comes loneliness because we cut ourselves off from the influence (advice), support (prayer, encouragement, accountability), and aid (help, assistance) of others.
Independence can also hurt our relationship with God. We need to have faith and trust in him. If we are unable to turn to him, to trust him with our troubles and needs our relationship will never be what God wants it to be.
In my search for scriptures about independence and faith I came across this one:
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman, for as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. I Corinthians 11:11
Read it again if you need to so what it says will sink in.
In this one verse God revealed so much to me.
Woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. Because woman came from man, and man is born of woman.
Is it sinking in yet?
Without man, woman would not exist. Without woman, man would not exist.
Now translate this to the husband/wife relationship.
Wife is not independent of husband, nor is husband independent of wife.
God wants us to depend on our spouse, if we don’t it can’t or won’t work. My husband needs me to depend on him just as much as I need him to depend on me. He created us that way. He created us to depend on each other, to have faith in each other and trust each other. My husband and I have been married for 13 years. He is the closest person in the world to me and I should trust him without question. Many times over the past 13 years he has told me he would do something I asked of him. When he didn’t do it in my timeframe I would just do it myself. This hurt us both. I showed a lack of trust and faith in him by completing the task myself.
With the hurts and pain that each of us faces in our lives we learn to be independent to protect ourselves from future pain. We end up hurting ourselves and others when we don’t trust them. I have spent several years in Restoring Your Heart groups as a participant and a leader to help me to understand myself and others. The Grieving Your Losses and Understanding Emotions workbooks are excellent tools to help you work through past pain. WDA also has a Pocket Principle titled “Understanding Emotional Problems”
I challenge you to take a leap of faith and trust someone to be there when you need them. Allow someone to do something for you instead of trying to do everything yourself. Take a class and learn how to better understand yourself and others.