Faithlife Sermons

Attachments 6

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Attachments 6

       I had a dear sister confront me Sunday about her perception of the negative impact of my influence.  Because I take responsibility for my influence and any possible misunderstandings there of, I want to address the situation.

       Last Wednesday, I used as an illustration of the subconscious impact of Attachment styles upon us, my irrational dislike of Ford products.  In that illustration, I stated that Ford probably makes a good product, but my emotional experiences, as a child, would not allow me to assess that in an unbiased way.

       This person heard me say, “Don’t by Ford’s!” or believes that I have so much influence that people won’t buy Ford products.  If anyone got that from what I said, “Let me apologize and state, ‘Please buy Fords and any other product that you deem good.’”  FORD can also acronymically be “Forever On The Road Driven.”

       I apologize, because I take my influence seriously.

       Please pass that on to anyone that you know who may have been similarly impacted.

       On another note, I know that some of you are experiencing some difficulty as we go through this painful section on soul wounds, and you may be asking in protest, “Is this really necessary?”  I believe that is a legitimate question.  Let me answer your question by telling you a story.

Home On The Other Side

A Christian who always had a secret dread of having to pass through the portals of death frequently prayed to be released from this disturbing fear.  Finally one night while walking past a graveyard, he found the deliverance he sought.  Seeing a little girl entering the gate, he inquired, “Don’t you dread crossing the cemetery alone, especially when it is so dark?” “Afraid?” replied the child.  “Oh, no!  My home is on the other side!”  “I see, Lord,” he whispered, “I too need not fear, for the grim ‘valley’ is but a momentary shadow; my blessed Home is just beyond!”

       This can also be applied to negative feelings.  We are not dredging up negative feelings just to have something to do on a Wednesday nights.  As a matter of fact there is nothing to dredge up.  These states, although transparent to many of us, are very much in the present and operating presently.


I am trying to help all of us deal with emotional states that block our way to intimacy with God, ourselves, and others.  We do not delight in walking through negative emotions, but our home is on the other side.  Once we have become aware of negative emotions and their impact upon us, dealt with the source of those emotions, grieved the more destructive ones, and earn a secure attachment style that has more positive feelings attached to it, we will be able to reach our home or destination of healthy intimacy with God, ourselves, and others.

(We begin our review tonight on page 46.)

Attachment Styles and Our Vulnerability to Soul Wounds

       The four attachment styles are secure, ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized.  So far, we have explained how our attachment styles are formed.  “Our personal attachment style creates a template through which we view future relationships.  They also shape whether we avoid attachment injuries—or feel their effects later in our lives.

       Remember, people with a secure attachment style believe they are worthy of love and believe their caregivers are able and willing to meet their emotional needs.  Those people are best prepared to avoid or quickly repair the damage inflicted by attachment injuries.

       Those with an insecure attachment style (ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganized) tend to question their self-worth and don’t expect their caregivers to be there for them when they are needed.  The insecure attachment style can make them hypersensitive to attachment injuries.  In fact, people with certain insecure attachment styles almost expect to be betrayed and abandoned, because in the past, their support figures have repeatedly let them down.”[1]


Knowledge Is Power

“The rest of the book will show you how you… can acquire the relationship tools that will enrich your attachments and protect you and your loved ones from inflicting—and incurring—soul wounds.

       We’ll begin by studying the four attachment styles in greater detail and showing you how you can identify your own personal style.  Then we’ll give you the tools for using your relationship strengths and tempering your injurious tendencies so that your relationship becomes all that you dreamed it could be.”[2]

4

The hardened heart

The Avoidant Attachment Style

The ability to trust others is at the heart of intimacy.

  –Clinton and sibcy

That is a major, major statement.  In many ways, all of our interactions with others boils down to one powerful feeling, “Trust.”  We must heal from broken trust and we must learn how to grant perceptive trust to others, or we are going to have a hard time having a “fully present” relationship with anyone—including Jehovah God!!!

(All right, let’s review the “Comparison of Attachment Styles” chart.)

| !!!  

Comparison of Attachment Styles

  |

| !!!!!! Both

| !!!!! Secure Attachment Style

  Self Dimension ·        I am worthy of love. ·        I am capable of getting the love and support I need.   Other Dimension ·        Others are willing and able to love me. | Ambivalent Attachment Style  Self Dimension ·        I am not worthy of love. ·        I am not capable of getting the love I need without being angry and clingy.  Other Dimension ·        Others are capable of meeting my needs but might not do so because of my flaws. ·        Others are trustworthy and reliable but might abandon because of my worthlessness.  | !!!!!! Others

|

| !!!!!! Self

| Avoidant Attachment Style  !!!! Self Dimension

 ·        I am worthy of love. ·        I am capable of getting the love and support I need.   Other Dimension ·        Others are either unwilling or incapable of loving me. ·        Others are not trustworthy; they are unreliable when it comes to meeting my needs.  | Disorganized Attachment Style !!!! Self Dimension

 ·        I am not worthy of love. ·        I am not capable of getting the love I need without being angry and clingy.  Other Dimension ·        Others are unable to meet my needs. ·        Others are not trustworthy or reliable. ·        Others are abusive, and I deserve it.[3]  | !!!!!! Neither

|

The Components of a Loving Relationship

       “Research confirmed by our own experience, tells us that those who connect lovingly with others are able to

·        have an emotional connection with others,

·        disclose private thoughts and feelings, and

·        participate in nonsexual touch.”[4]

Emotional Connection (pg. 51)

“A wife tells her husband about her difficult day with the children.  Even though she’s frustrated and shares her feelings in harsh tones, her husband is able to sift through the emotions, hear what’s said, and sensitively responds to her immediate needs—without become overly defensive, retreating into his own world, or simply capitulating to the moment.  Conversing and relating in this way, showing sensitivity and responsiveness to the feelings expressed by others, creates an emotional connection.  Such a connection implies understanding and even more, empathy, the ability to see the world through another’s eyes.  As a result there is relational warmth and enjoyment that only comes from knowing others.”[5]

       This is what I most often offer to others, but this is something that we all can learn.

Disclosure of Private Thoughts and Feelings

       “Disclosure is the cornerstone of intimacy.  (We think of it as in-to-me-see.)”[6]  This makes us vulnerable and we do it with people that we love.  I call it openness.  Many people are honest, i.e. they will share things with you about themselves, if you ask the right question or happen to hit upon it.  But, openness is volunteering important information about one’s self to people that we care about.


       “In contrast, the person with an avoidant attachment style does not enjoy being known or knowing others because it awakens his or her repressed feelings of loss and anger about being known, or emotionally connected, as a child.  Helping those with an avoidant attachment style find the courage to acknowledge these feelings can free them up to face intimate relationships.”[7]  (Remember, my learned style is avoidant.)

Nonsexual Touch

       “It is said that kids need physical touch, on the average of eleven touches per day.  Noted Christian psychiatrist Grace Ketterman believes kids need at least one hundred touches per day!  Touches like high fives, wrestling, handholding, warm hugs, tender caresses, cuddling, and gentle kisses.  It’s parent-child touching, and it’s also part of the warmth and tenderness of a romantic relationship in adults.  Everyone needs touch!

       Interestingly enough, this nonsexual touching is linked to the release of oxytocin, a chemical also released during those tender moments when mothers nurse babies.  It’s believed to enhance the child’s attachment to the mother, the mother’s bond with the child, and her drive to be a sensitive caregiver.  This substance is also released during the climax of sexual experience and in the tender cuddling afterward—the afterglow.

       We didn’t include sexual intercourse in our definition of intimacy because people can, and often do, engage in sexual intercourse without experiencing intimacy.  Prostitutes are prime examples.  When practicing their trade, they generally avoid any kissing on the mouth, caressing, tender hugs, or face-to-face contact.”[8]

       It is sad that we live in an intimacy deficient, overly sexualized society and culture.  In this society and culture, which definitely impacts the church, a lot of touch is sexualized.  I mean by that that a great deal of the behavior is read and treated as sexual.  Although I will probably always do this, it becomes increasing difficult for me to hug sisters in the church.  Why?  Because they themselves, and more often other around, will read the hug as sexual—no matter how you hug them.

Because I love you as a pastor and hug you warmly does not mean that it is sexual for me and I want to go to bed with you.  There is such a thing as nonsexual, loving touch.


(We move now to a very important topic on page 53.)

The Fear of Intimacy

“Persons with the avoidant attachment style often struggle with at least one of these three areas of intimacy.”[9]

Avoidant Persons Struggle with the Emotional Connection

“People with an avoidant attachment style find it difficult to listen sensitively to the thoughts and feelings of those they’re closest to—their spouses and their children.  …they’re too busy or see this kind of listening as a distraction from their true, God-given purpose.  Or they may see such sensitivity as a weakness—or as ‘thumb-sucking,’ as one avoidant husband saw it.  By showing it, they picture themselves as being overly mushy or childlike.

Obviously, this is very sad for everyone involved.  The avoidant person can be very desirous of a relationship, even loving, yet those around this person may not know how much love he or she is giving or sharing.  Instead, loved ones may feel very unloved or abandoned.”[10]

Avoidant Persons Struggle with Disclosure of Private Thougts and Feelings

“Those with avoidant attachment style also don’t like to disclose their private thoughts and experiences.  Why?  Because when you grow up feeling abandoned and rejected, you learn to hide those thoughts and experiences.  You learn to distance yourself from your own feelings, even your own desire for emotional closeness.

       By disclosing imtimate thoughts and feelings, one becomes vulnerable to being hurt all over again.  This vulnerability opens up one’s throughts and experiences to criticism and misinterpretation.  And that is difficult and even scary to avoidant individuals.  When they share their private thoughts and feelings, important parts of themselves can be seen differently than they really are.  This would ordinarily not be a big issue, but for those who have built up a thick, protective shell, exposing parts of themselves can arouse feelings they had long ago tried to bury.


       …No wonder avoidant people want to keep all their ‘personal stuff’ locked up and hidden away from themselves and others.  For them, the bottom line is that the way they handle and deal with their emotions mirrors their relationships with others.  If you keep your feelings at a distance, you keep other’s feelings there too.”[11]

       Right about now some of you should be somewhat puzzled.  You should be thinking, “Pastor Joey described his attachment style as avoidant, yet he continually shares personal things about himself and makes himself vulnerable to us in his speaking?”  That is because through salvation, the baptism and filling of the Holy Ghost, counseling, reading, group interaction, relationship where I was reparented, etc., etc., etc., I have earned a relatively secure attachment style.  It is this style that allows me to minister in a relatively healthy manner.

       Let me ask you a question, “If you are ministering through an insecure attachment style, what kind of stuff do you think you are projecting on to others and allowing to be projected onto you?”

Avoidant Persons Struggle with Nonsexual Touch

       Many people today seem to struggle with touching other people.  There are a lot more questions about kissing babies or teenage daughters who are developing.  People today have trouble transmitting love to others through touching that is nonsexual.

       “Interestingly, many avoidant people are turned off by tenderness and touch.”[12]  They tend to approach relationships functionally.  They tend to believe in doing what needs to be done.

       “Some counselors call this type of attachment ‘the protected self’ because these people appear, and generally are, tough, and even hard, on the outside.  Oh, they may be personable enough.  Some are even the life of the party.  But all this life and energy are used to keep people at a distance.  You’ve seen them—maybe even when you look in the mirror.  Breaking through all that veneer and actually penetrating to where true emotion and vulnerability live can be difficult; and the closer you might get to avoidant people’s hearts, the more threatened they may feel and the more defensive they may become.”[13]


Homework:    Attachments (pages 56-73).

       I stand before you tonight as proof that there is hope for you!!!  Paul would put it like this,

Ephesians 3:8 (NASB-U), “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ” (emphasis mine).

Paul is intimating, “If I the very least of all saints have received this marvelous grace to—even to the point of even being a preacher—then God can do the same thing for you.”  Paul is saying, “There is yet hope for you!”

       I am a 51 year old, African-American male, that has suffered enough attachment injuries to be totally “jacked up,” but by the grace of God “I have some reasonable spiritual, emotional, and psychological health.”  By the grace of God, “I am what I am!”  So, everytime you see me, I want you to think, “There is hope for me!”  Tell about five people, “There is hope for me!”

(Now is the Day of Salvation!  Come to Jesus, Now!)

Invitation

Call to Discipleship


----

[1] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, pp. 46-47.

[2] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 48.

[3] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 50.

[4] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 51.

[5] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, pp 51-52.

[6] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 52.

[7] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 52.

[8] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 53.

[9] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 53.

[10] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, pp 53-54.

[11] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, pp 54-55.

[12] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, p. 55.

[13] Tim Clinton & Gary Sibcy, Attachments, Integrity Publishers, Brentwood, Tennessee, 2002, pp 55-56.

Related Media
Related Sermons