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ATTACHMENT SYSTEMS LIKE A THERMOSTAT

One of our deepest needs is to be loved.  Most of our conflicts in our attempts to be loved are problems with attachment, and the answer to our attachment problems is faith.  I wish to present Biblical models of four specific Attachment styles of life.  This will be discussed in several posts.

As posted earlier, there are four attachment systems or styles:

  1.  Secure Attachment
  2.  Avoidant Attachment
  3.  Ambivalent Attachment
  4.  Disorganized Attachment

Generally noted, a person’s overall attachment system operates similar to a thermostat.  If the primary attachment figure becomes unavailable, refuses to meet his needs or is unreliable, he will protest in an effort to correct the perceived problem and to calm the anxiety that he feel.  On the other hand, he may feel smothered by too much intervention or demands for closeness and take action to withdraw and get a little space.  With insecure styles of attachment, an approach-avoidance dance can be initiated which will eventually damage the relationship.  In some cases, when attachment wounds convince a person that the attachment figure is not safe, detachment may occur.  Periods of protest and despair usually precede actual detachment.  One of the most common signs of detachment is when the other person withdraws from non-sexual touch.

 Because everyone emotionally needs someone who is trustworthy, always available and emotionally sensitive, God is the ultimate attachment figure.  This is because God cannot lie, He is always available and, through the things that He suffered here on earth for us, He is very sensitive to our emotions.  Because He does not change, He provides the ultimate safe haven that each and everyone needs and the safe base from which to venture out into the world.  (Clinton and Sibcy, 2002, Hart, 2003)