Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Failure to Attach

I have a coworker who has adopted boys who were neglected and abused in their early years (ages 0-three years). As a result of the abuse they have developed Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

Wikipedia says that, "RAD arises from a failure to form normal attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. Such a failure could result from severe early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers, or a lack of caregiver responsiveness to a child's communicative efforts."

In other words, the child has not properly bonded with a caregiver.

Wikipedia goes on to say that not all children suffering from abuse and neglect at an early age develops RAD. It is actually "relatively uncommon".

Bonding is an extremely important time of development in a baby. God made us to be socially attached to one another. This is why Adam's "aloneness" in Genesis 2:18 is "not good."

God made Eve so that Adam was not alone anymore. He needed to bond with someone.

The Bible calls it cleaving in Genesis 2:24.

Interestingly, the same Hebrew word translated cleave in Gen 2:4 is used in Deuteronomy 10:20 & 13:4. My version translates it as cling.

Deut. 10:20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.

Deut. 13:4 You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him, and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.

The word in Hebrew for cleave/cling also meant adhere, to catch by pursuit, fast together, follow close or hard after, be joined (together), pursue hard, stick.

So the children of Israel were encouraged to attach themselves, bond with, and even chase after God. And men are encouraged to do the same with their wives.

To become one with their wives? To become one with God?

Is such a thing possible?

Here are the words of Jesus.

John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me.

Vs 22 And the glory Thou has given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one.

Vs 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity (into a unit), that the world may know (continually) that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.

We are called to be one with God. Whatever that means exactly, I don't know. But it must be possible or God wouldn't ask it of us.

But when the Beloved in Song of Solomon 1:2 longs for the Lover to kiss (fasten, touch, attach, etc) her, she is longing for attachment. She is longing for a bond between herself and Him.

This is what we are called to do. To cling to God. To reach out for attachment and bonding. To let Him know we long for a touch, a look, a word from Him.

This is our highest calling.

Meditating on SOS can prepare our hearts to pursue this calling and open up to a healthy attachment to our God.

But distracted by the many worries, riches, and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14) some Christians suffer a failure to attach.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Very true. There are far too many distractions in our lives. I have to purposely detach and get alone with God in prayer. I have to stay connected to my church and continue to learn from my pastor and other godly teachers. I need to be involved in a bible study group with homework throughout the year and keep in communication with other believers to help stay focused on God. Without the work and conscientious effort of seeking Him, we subtly drift away from Him.

Last night after prayer and before going to sleep, that old hymn came to mind, "I need thee every hour...", and I was thinking, well actually I need thee every minute!