The Theology of Attachment
by Linda M. Ikeda, R.N., MFT
When I began my study of attachment I was delighted because what we are understanding about the way the brain is formed and functions is completely consistent with biblical, Christian theology. From the beginning of time, God created us for a relationship with Himself. In “pre-fall” times, we would have gotten our sense of self from looking straight into God’s eyes and internalizing His unconditional love. We would have experienced his attunement; and our brains would have developed perfectly. But because of the Fall, this ideal relationship was broken. We were left to wander and wonder; trying to relate to each other and to God.
God sent patriarchs, prophets, and kings in an attempt to invite us back into a relationship with Him; but our sin kept getting in the way. So isn’t it just so “God” that He would send the incarnation of Himself in Jesus Christ to offer a solution for this broken relationship? Through Jesus, we can once again have a relationship with God.
Our salvation is secure through Christ and there are many ways that we can learn to look “into God’s face,” receiving the unconditional love we may have missed as a children, as a way of re-parenting ourselves.
Our healing has also come through relationships and isn’t it interesting that God has not placed us as isolated individuals on this earth? There are reasons we are meant to be in community, and part of that has to do with the reparative experiences that occur in healthy relationships with one another and with God. In this way, we can internalize God’s view of us (which, incidentally is the most true descriptor about us!)
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