“Can children be conditioned to be codependent? Clearly, yes. In the Bible, Rebekah shows a blatant bias toward her second-born son, Jacob, because he stays close to hearth and home. Meanwhile, Isaac favors his firstborn son, Esau, because he has prowess in hunting.
Since no two children have identical skills, all children should be recognized for their differences and respected for their distinctiveness. Oh, but Rebekah does not love in this way! She becomes obsessed. Thus, the conniving begins. Rebekah wants Jacob to receive “the birthright of the firstborn” (which unquestionably belongs to Esau). She becomes determined to deceive her husband so that he will give it to Jacob. Because of the enmeshed relationship between Rebekah and Jacob, she finds it easy to persuade her son to defraud his father. She plots. . . . She schemes. . . . She secretly plans. Rebekah coaches Jacob to cover his hands with the skin of a young goat so that they will feel like the hands of his brother. She even dresses Jacob in Esau’s clothes. Because of old age and weak eyes, father Isaac is fooled. Although the scheme is a success, Jacob is found out and flees for his life.
But alas, he does not escape his passive dependency. All too soon, he again becomes manipulated by others. His father-in-law and his own two wives are crafty and cunning. Meanwhile, he feels conned and controlled. Such is the misery in adulthood when one is enmeshed in childhood.”
From “Moving from Bondage to Balance” by June Hunt
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