Summary: A sermon that introduces attachment theory. So What question: How do we know that God cares? (Material adapted from Dr. Tim Clinton and Dr. Joshua Straub's book, God Attachment, chapters 4 through 6)
The Native Americans had a particular way of training young boys to become Indian braves. On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test. He was placed in a thick forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been away from his family and the tribe. But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of a thick woods and he was scared to death! Every time a twig snapped, he would think that a wild animal was getting ready to pounce. After what seemed like forever, and the sun began to rise the next morning, The boy looked around and then, to his complete amazement, he saw the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was his father.
And he had been there all night long.
Been alluding to attachment theory in series called God attachment. Let’s give some details...
One of the most basic human needs is to have a secure emotional connection- an attachment-
with those who are closest to us. It is this inborn need, and the fears of loss and isolation that accompany this need, that play a significant role in our lives. Even though this is popular in counseling circles today, in many ways attachment theory is countercultural. Our society likes to emphasize self sufficiency and individualism. These cultural standards are destroying marriages and families. Therefore, in reaction to this many are emphasizing attachment theory.
It used to be that counselors would emphasize the problems with co dependency. Today many are saying that it is against human nature to be completely independent. Now, there is healthy dependence and unhealthy dependence, but to say that the ideal human being is completely independent is a destructive idea to marriage and family.
It starts when we are kids. Studies tells us that when a child is near a loved one their nervous system is soothed. Being near a loved one is a natural antidote to feelings of anxiety or vulnerability. Positive attachments create a safe base that offers a buffer against the effects of stress and uncertainty. Healthy attachment provides a secure base from which a person can explore their world and adequately respond to their environment. Loving attachment provides the confidence necessary to risk, learn, and develop a personality. When relationships offer a sense of security, individuals are better able to reach out and provide support for others and deal with conflict and stress positively.
The building blocks of healthy attachments are emotional accessibility and responsiveness. Emotions are central to attachment. With this idea we can begin to understand some of the extreme emotional responses in marriages and families. Attachment relationships are where our strongest emotions arise and where they have the strongest affect whether for the good or bad. Emotions tell us and communicate to others what our motivations and needs are.