Awakenings, Arousings and Attachments….Part I
What wakes you up in the morning? An alarm? The aroma of freshly brewed coffee? Cry of a child? Habitual body clock? And when you wake up, what rouses you to actually get out of bed…to MOVE INTO the day? Sense of responsibility? Desire? The need to…um…er…use the bathroom? Time with the Lord through Bible reading/reflection and prayer?
There are LOTS of things that wake our bodies up and lots of other things that then move us from our wakened state into an aroused or “active” responsiveness. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on how, in similar ways, our souls and affections are awakened, aroused and then move into ‘attachment’. Attachment to behaviors, people, relational dynamics, emotional patterns. Habits form and sometimes these habits are the fruit of attachments that are not healthy, not holy. Unholy habitual patterns are called besetting sins in the Bible and patterns don’t “just happen”. They form over time as we are awakened and aroused somehow, someway and then attach to the source from which those experiences are coming.
Attachment Theory in biblical categories is something I’ve been delving into in recent months. I’ve been spurred on by my own heart’s bent towards attachment to certain emotional dynamics between me and people, and by hearing the stories of many women. In my ministry with women who wrestle in some way on the spectrum of female same-sex attraction, (from emotionally enmeshed relationships to sexualized relationships as a lifestlye), a key counseling concept is understanding Attachment Theory.
Attachment Theory, in a sentence or two, addresses the impact that healthy or unhealthy emotional bonding with our primary caregivers, (and particularly with our mothers) impacts the way we navigate our emotional bonding with people. This bonding, or attachment, can be expressed in ways that are holy, Jesus-centric and boundaried. Or our attachments to people can be enslaving, fueled by self-protection…idolatrous.
Scripture has much to say, thankfully (!), on holy attachment, that goes much deeper and wider than how we regulate our emotions in our relationships. True to form, Jesus our Heart-healer, Savior and Restorer of all th ings broken, thought that holy attachment was so important for His followers to understand that He spent a good chunk of time teaching them about it in the last hours He had with them. Check out John 15 :)…and we’ll delve in more on Part II.