Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeing God attachment at work on the playground

The research is plentiful concerning attachment theory and the increasing role of God attachment in relieving perceived stress.    God attachment is a view that a person’s relationship with God provides a safe place or secure base during times of stress.  This safe haven provides a place for individual exploration.   Much like the childhood game of tag seen on many playgrounds, children are in a state of ‘simulated stress’ as they try not to be tagged by the person who is ‘it’.  They are in constant flight from this person unless they can return to a secure base.  The child who cannot reach base is continually expending finite energy until they are eventually overcome by the ‘it’ person. 
What a fitting metaphor for the fast paced life we all live now.  In the past 50 years our society has moved with ever increasing speed and with that has come ever increasing stress and anxiety.  How can one process all the information available for our life and how can one stay one step ahead of the next appointment on our calendars?  Our technology is outpacing our ability to process it all.  Were we even designed to be this switched on all the time? (Alas, that is a thought for another blog all together). So what do we do with the increased stress in our lives and lack of a place to retreat and find solitude and safety?  Enter God attachment.  
                God attachment is not new.  It might be in the realm of psychology and empiricism, but not for God. The first reported occurrence of God attachment comes from Genesis 3:8 “then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” (NIV).  What is notable is that Adam and Eve were able to hear the distinct sound of God’s footsteps apart from all the animals and recognized it was God.  Like a baby or small child that recognizes the voice and smell of its mother, Adam and Eve recognized the sounds of their Father. Randy Alcom suggests that this not something new between God and Adam but that it denotes a relational intimacy between God and Adam and Eve. 
                A look at forming secure attachment bonds primarily comes from the family.  A typical family consists of mother and father that provide a safe haven for the child to explore their world.  From a Biblical perspective, God is our heavenly Father in whose image we are made.  Because of this key point, we are imbued with the characteristics of God, which make it possible to even have a relationship in the first place.   When we embrace God and His plan, whether it is through our devotions and daily walk, or through the clinical office time spent with a client, we are in the midst of a secure attachment from which to launch into the world to fullness of life in Him.  Nowhere is the promise of God attachment more specific then in Romans 8: 38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (NIV).
               The advances in science are bringing to light what God has made known from the beginning.  God attachment and the research surrounding it highlights the efficacy of trusting in Him during times of stress but more than that, a relationship with God brings solace, emotional and physical comfort even in the midst of trials, tribulations and stress.  From one’s secure attachment to God, one can further explore His creation, and experience far more fulfilling relationships than one could without Him.  The best part is, that confessing Jesus, as Lord will bring about eternal security and reward. 


  1. Thanks Steve for the strong close. This was necessary for me right now...very reassuring. It's easy to get distracted from this great promise when you find yourself moving a mile a second. Thanks!

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  3. Corderius,
    That is great to hear. I always seem to get more out of something when it is written out of the pain of my past. Especially when God has brought healing in that area. Have a great night.

  4. Great Post Steve. I really enjoyed the tag illustration which showed in a practical way the necessity to have a "home base" or, in other words, a time to relax and rest in the Lord. Constantly going all the time is draining and just as a child can be completely care-free in the arms of a loving parent, so too do we need times in which we can just let all of our cares go and rest in the arms of the almighty!


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