Experiencing God and Scripture Through Our Attachment Patterns

I have had prescription glasses for years due to stigmatism.  A couple years ago while interacting with a neurological ophthalmologist it was discovered that energy and light were traveling inappropriately through my brain circuitry. And thus, I now have the prisms embedded into my glasses.

I now have improved eyesight, seeing the world more clearly.  My balance is improved so I can claim that I have not had a fall in the past year.

Similarly, my perspective and world view affect the balance I have in my relationship with God, myself and others.  My stability in life is impacted by the manner in which relational ‘energy’ is flowing accurately or inaccurately through my ‘attachment wiring’.

I am reminded of Paul’s shared insight in I Corinthians 13: 12

“For now we see through a mirror darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

When we are enjoying a relationship of security in which we are fully seen, known, understood, joined, guided with wisdom… our entire experience of life’s challenges is buoyed with hope and encouragement and confidence.

When we live from an insecure pattern, we likewise are impacted in how we view and are impacted by what happens in life.

We see the world through the lens of how we are seen and have experienced life.

While listening to an audible download of the prophets in Scripture, I found my frustration with God surfacing.  What kind of a God would have included in His plan times of brutal defeat and captivity?  I had been teaching on Attachment patterns and my mind shifted into hearing the historical narrative through the lens of each of the attachment patterns.  Here is a glimpse into my new experience of the journey of the Israelites and God.

Those who grew up in a Dismissive environment, where who they are or what they felt by life’s impact was minimized will hear the same history through a different lens. It could be something like the following.   “Who I am doesn’t matter! I better obey so God doesn’t get mad. He is a pretty hard task master.If I don’t follow the rules He is going to make my life miserable. I better obey so God will make my world go easier and be fixed. Following the rules is the best way to keep danger at bay and make life ok.”

Those who grew up in an environment filled with Anxiety and the caregivers were pre-occupied by whatever was holding the highest level of emotional energy, will hear the same history through an amped up nervous system.  Their experience of reading the prophet’s declarations and these scriptural passages might be something like the following.   “Bad is going to happen!   Oh God, please make it different!  I’m a nervous wreck! Let me claim Bible verses and positive thinking. I need reassurances of  ‘Peace, peace when there is no peace.’  I need to have God fix the problem.  This is more important than the relationship I have with You.”

Those who grew up in a Disorganized environment will be easily thrown into a confusing and disorganizing state from these passages! They may shift from one experience of emotional energy to another as they try to make sense of God and how to increase safety.   They may fearfully become like a victim of a predator, developing what is known as ‘Stockholm syndrome’.   “I must become like God so that He doesn’t harm me.  No one else is going to help me, so I have to do what I can to be safe with Him.  I’ll go towards Him for help.  BUT NO!  People are known to shift into reactive explosiveness.  Relationships are harmful, including God, so I need to push him to a distance.”  They can easily shift from one perspective to the other quickly, or become paralyzed between the two.

Those living in a Secure Attachment Pattern will read the prophet’s warnings and the history that was lived, hearing the heart of God proclaiming something like the following.    “I created you.  I have poured my infinite remarkable Self into all of creation and history.  Regardless of whether you trust me, the choices you make and how bad the consequences, I will insert myself into all of human history.  I will join you.  I will continue to allow you free choice regardless of how messy it gets.  I will at times allow and even push you into harsh situations because I know it will eventually increase your willingness to come back into the security you have with me.  Your ways lead to destruction.  Following My ways lead to green pastures of restoration. Certainly, my goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your lives. I will bring about the final chapter of restoration and redemption.”

I am increasingly recognizing that the way we experience Jesus while reading of Him in the Bible is influenced in the same ways I described above.  We experience Him through our distorted ‘attachment lens’ and not necessarily through corrected vision. 

Having this understanding and self-awareness  is the first and main thing needed to gain a truthful view of God and scripture if we are going to grow into an “earned secure” relationship with God. To the degree we recognize there is a problem we can address the problem. We then can practically move forward with what is needed, as I described in the previous blogs on the different attachment patterns, towards a corrected ‘vision’ and Security with God, ourselves and those around us.


  • So our past REALLY does affect us today, even if we think it doesn’t? So those who say let the past be the past are being dismissive?

    • Susan- That is more accurate than what most people want to acknowledge. Sure is good we can heal and grow, huh?!!

  • Please explain what you mean by “if we are going to grow into ” Earned Secure” relationship with God”?

    The statement makes me think of we have to earn our salvation? My understanding is Grace. But i also know i have a very distorted confused view at times of how God sees us. I see Christians who claim to follow God not? Followers of Jesus who I see movung toward God i understand we fail at times.

    Thank You
    Jay Cole

    • Hi Jay. I am glad you asked. It is such a good question that I think many of us wrestle with!!
      My understanding is that NOTHING we can do will earn us a secure place in the remarkable love of our God, who craves to walk life with us!! We are sooooo saved only by this amazing grace that is poured out of the heart of God! Simultaneously, He walks with us on our journeys. We are to partner up with Him as we pursue maturity. God bringing us into His family is a gift! But we are not gifted with ‘maturity. It goes along with what James said, “Faith without works is dead’. God, Immanuel, is with us as we partner up with Him- doing our part in intentionally pushing the healing He has for us and our living it out… I hope this helps you as you wrestle with the important topic, Jay! Tailored blessings to you!

    • “Earned Secure” is the nomenclature used to describe those who had an insecure attachment style and grew to have a secure attachment style. So this is moving from insecure attachment with God to a secure attachment with God and not about earning security or attachment with God.

    • Hello Sarah. I appreciate your taking time to read my thoughts and taking the time to jot your note. I’m glad it was helpful for you!


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