Friday, September 21, 2012

                                                         God Attachment

             Attachment is a huge part in the development process of an individual. Our attachments with family structure and dynamics create an essence in defining our relationship with God. However, one's attachment towards God is based on personal history of life and experiences that describe the uniqueness in God attachment. According to Zahl and Gibson (2012), the distinction between individuals' doctrinal representations (head knowledge) and experiential representation (heart knowledge) of God determines; what one should believe God is like and what one personally feels God is like. God attachment is defined through avoidance and anxious attachment. It is described as avoidance in intimacy or anxiety about abandonment. Research shows that positive doctrinal representation (head knowledge) relates more to the avoidant attachment to God and positive experiential relates to the religious commitment and avoidant and anxious attachment of God. (Zahl and Gibson, 2012). 

                  Humans long for relationship and to the world at large, we were made for relationships.  It is quite normal and natural that people long for the supernatural help or look to God for a safe haven especially during times of stress and discomfort. According to Clinton and Straub 2010, The attachment style impacts how God is viewed. The types of attachment described are a) Secure: He is there, I can count on him. He will accept me, in spite of my flaws. b) Avoidant: He isn't there for me when I need him. I will have to go at life alone. I really need him. c) Ambivalent: I'm too flawed. God will surely reject me. I probably committed the unpardonable sin. d) Disorganized: I'm flawed, beyond repair. God will strike me down down if I turn toward him. He will surely reject or punish me. Furthermore, the worldwide phenomenon according to some researchers shows that "the range of responses to our internal attachment to God has a profound influence on the way we do relationships, intimacy, and life choices". 

             I believe that attachment style with the head knowledge of God and heart knowledge of God are all interconnected. The knowledge of God can either keep one closer or draw one further away from God. Knowledge in its beauty is sacred, however, can be dangerous. Attachment towards God through knowledge only lets you know something is there, it is visible. In contrast, the heart knowledge the experience and the intimacy of knowing God opens the door to see the invisible. Everything is rooted within the heart of a man and according to how one perceives a matter, that course determines the outcomes of things we come in contact with. Relationships need the supernatural force to take us beyond our visible self into the invisible. God attachment defines the type of a relationship an individual has with God. In conclusion, through the secure attachment or making changes in the attachment styles, the negatives to positives, a person is capable to work towards the selfless love, not just remain in the selfish realm of human relationships. 


  1. Darlene,
    You did a great job presenting God attachment. You clearly discussed and differentiated between the head knowledge and heart knowledge. I personally learned about how to classify the difference from your post. Your post has also sparked an interest in me to see if God attachment can be found in the other aspect that, when something is so familiar to us, we tend to neglect it. For example, taking it for granted and not treasuring it. A "Christ of Convenience" perspective.

    Great thoughtful post!

    Carly S.

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  3. Darlene,

    I like how this post highlights Secure Attachment and how God is there and will accept me regardless of my flaws, because it allows me think on times that I was in a place where I wasn't bringing God much honor yet he never forsook me. This concept creates a heroic depiction of God for me; it helps validation what salvation looks like. It's like how can I be rescued if I never was a place of desperation and in need of help. Restructuring these types of thoughts allow me to remember the light that was shined into my dark places. Thanks!

  4. Darlene,

    You did an excellent job describing God attachment, what causes such attachments, and the importance of the knowledge of God. Prior to studying attachments to God, I never thought about head and heart knowledge in relation to our attachments to God. This piece truly came alive to me. Recently, I have been struggling to turn my head knowledge about God into heart knowledge about God. Although I know and understand with my mind that God is my secure base and safe haven, my heart still needs to fully grip onto that essential truth. Further, as you stated, the way we look at God will be a foundation to how "do" relationships with other people. I am confident and excited to grow in Christ while my capacity to do selfless relationships with others increase.


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