It’s been said several times that “man is a social being.” I do not by any means dispute that fact but I also believe that man’s search for connection, relationships and interactions with others stems from a spiritual background.
How about we do a heavy flashback to the first man and woman? Yep, the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. So in the story, we see a constant fellowship, interaction, relationship and even a sense of intimacy between God and man.
Man had a great secured attachment style with the Most High through years of Garden Visits.
In essence, attachment is an emotional bond shared between people.
Types of Attachment Style
In man’s relationship with God, all the keys required for a great emotional bond was secured till…..
Let’s take a tour through the keys for a healthy attachment style. Shall we?
1. Proximity Maintenance – The tendency and yearning to be around those we share a bond with. Though usually physical, it can develop to a level of mental and spiritual closeness.
Adam and Eve had that with God. He was never far away to hear them. He had provided everything they would ever need.
2. Secure Base – Being able to explore, move away and unafraid because the attachment figure was always around.
And that was exactly the situation with Adam and Eve. God had blessed them to multiply and take dominion. They could try everything and eat everything.
However, they were not allowed to eat from one special tree. And God did have a good reason for that. He didn’t want their security in Him be ruined and destroyed.
3. Safe Haven – The knowledge that we can always return to our caregiver…for a hug, kiss or even a compliment.
Adam and Eve had that with God. God was presently always there for them. He awarded Adam’s loneliness with a companion which Adam deemed as bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
To say God was a safe haven was even an understatement.
4. Separation Distress – emotional upset we express when we are separated from a caregiver or a loved one.
Remember when God came to the garden and asked where Adam was. God could sense man’s attachment with Him had been tampered with.
When God asked where Adam was, He knew;
i. The proximity maintenance between Him and man had been tampered with.
ii. Adam and Eve no longer found Him as a secure base.
iii. With what they had done, they felt God could not be their safe haven anymore.
Image – Adam and Eve hiding from God
God had asked Adam where he was despite being all-knowing. Why?
From the little I know about intimacy, I think as individuals, we turn to run or hide away when we compromise our level of intimacy with God and even with people. And that’s exactly what Adam and Eve did; hiding away because they felt “naked.” They were hiding away because they compromised and had been compromised.
And as much as they wanted to meet God for that fateful evening garden date, they couldn’t. You might be wondering why just like I did before now.
The answer is; Darkness can never stand Light. We are most likely to run or hide away than allow our wrongs and sins to be exposed.
When an attachment is tampered or broken, effective communication may be lost especially honesty and trust.
When God asked Adam if he had eaten of the fruit, he didn’t trust himself to trust God enough to say “Yes, I did.” And maybe he couldn’t be blamed. The fruit of knowledge of good and evil had opened his eyes and mind to a lot of things, he didn’t know; fear, excuses, secrets, blame games and even logical rationalisations, etc.
So God asks him if he ate from the tree and he blames the woman. Let’s remember their attachment with God had been tampered with. Adam was in a state of separation distress so to feel much better, he shifts the blame to the next person in the picture – Eve.
Adam was trying to save face with God and the best way he thought he could do that was rationalising the situation and shifting the blame.
All thanks to the acquisition of knowledge of both good and evil!
God asks the woman the same question and she also follows the footsteps of her husband; “Technically, with all due respect, it’s not my fault, God. It was the serpent. He deceived me and I ate.”
Geez, Adam and Eve had become smart. They could have said, “I’m sorry, God, please forgive us.” But no they hadn’t. Why?
Somehow, they had become proud!
Logically looking at it, it wasn’t to a great extent their fault, they had consumed the fruit. It was the serpent. It was the devil.
Sounds so familiar how we never own up to our wrongs but attribute it to the big bad wolf, the Devil?
After consuming the fruit, Adam and Eve had moved from a secure attachment with God and themselves to one of insecurities, distrust and blame games.
They had developed a more avoidant attachment style(minimal distress upon separation, does not seek contact when the caregiver returns).
They had also developed an anxious attachment style(very unsettled after separation. Will do anything to keep caregiver or loved one even if it means hurting another.)
Now let’s take a look at Eve’s response when God questioned her about taking the fruit. I’m going to break it up into three and analyse it.
An image of Eve in a tête-a-tête with the serpent
A) It was the serpent – The serpent represents our longings. Those whispers of “It ain’t that bad.” “No one’s looking.” “I promise we would be fast about it.” It represents those things that we know are wrong and are always being tempted to indulge a little. Because why; “A little fun never killed anyone. “You need to loosen up.”
Do you realise how many different ways the word compromise might sound? How many times do we end up listening to the whispers of the serpent in our lives? Oh, how many times we have reasoned with it!
B) He deceived me – Yep, the serpent deceived Eve. That’s what happens when we do a tête-a-tête with our fleshy longings and indulgences… especially when we are in a place of little or no knowledge about the situation or circumstance.
Or even when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable state, with rationalisations as our strongest weaponry instead of the Spirit. When we stay and convince ourselves, we are strong enough to handle our longings instead of fleeing.
Now the serpent comes asking Eve if God said she could not eat from any tree of the garden. Cunning Serpent knew the answer but he twisted the question to more or less, confuse the woman.
And that’s how sometimes our fleshy longings tempt us. They hardly come in a linear line or equation. Always in a form of Calculus expression, a little spark and who doesn’t like a challenge?
The moment we try to solve them instead of walking away or finding something else to do is when our resolve begins to break.
Eve goes ahead to answer that God said they could eat from every tree except the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. For the day they eat or touch it, they would die.
Eve’s response was wrong in a couple of ways;
1. There were two trees in the middle of the garden; the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And God had only said, they were not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Lol Eve had to a woman and add effects to her response. God never said they couldn’t touch the tree, but girl had to make it more dramatic.
The serpent knew about the specific tree they were not to eat off but Eve’s history and recollection of the trees in the garden had grown a little dusty.
I think this should have been her cue to move away from the serpent or even rebuke it. And she did have the dominion to do so. For God had given them the dominion over everything He had created including the serpent.
Eve didn’t know or had forgotten about the potential and power she had. And that’s what one of the things that allowed the serpent to deceive her.
Usually, we get deceived when we don’t have precise information and also we do not know about our potential.
C) And I ate – Every time we try to do a tête-a-tête with our fleshy desires and indulgences, we most often end up eating what we had been told not to eat or planned not to eat. When we rely on our strength to save us, it fails. Remember the last time you were in a compromising situation and you told yourself, “I can handle it.” but you rather got handled.
Remember the day, that “blue movie” site tempted you, and you said “just a peep and I’d be out.” but you ended up watching more than one.
When it comes to fleshy desires, you don’t get academic with it, you don’t try to rationalise it. All you have to do is MOOVE! FLEE!!
Whatever you do, don’t try reasoning with it from a logical point of view. Be spiritual about it and flee before you eat something you might regret later.
And every time we eat or indulge our lust, our fleshy desires, we compromise our intimacy with God, with our loved ones. We just want to hide because we feel naked and they might “see through us.”
So we avoid them. We see our Bibles and don’t wanna go close. We wanna pray and scenes from the eatery are playing right in front of us.
We may have compromised a lot this year; our values, our choices and even on God. Yet it’s not too late to start anew, to heal and to repair our intimacy with God and others.
Most of us have come from places where we think to be loved or accepted, we need to compromise who we are, our values and all just to fit in. But that’s not true.
I remember correctly one thing Jackie Hill Perry said in one of her conferences that got stuck with me.
If ever we would be able to fix our relationship with others, we need to first fix the one with God.
Our vertical relationship and intimacy(God with man) so much affect our horizontal relationship and intimacy with others(man with other men).
I don’t have all the answers but I do know a few keys that can help build your intimacy and attachment to God and others;
CONFESSION NOT BLAME GAMING
It might have been the Devil. It might have been your friends: they took you to the club that day. “My boyfriend wanted me to show him how much I loved him so I gave in.”
And the list goes on and on. As genuine and logically rational these and many others may sound, that’s not the way to fixing things.
But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness(1John1:9).
The key is to genuinely confess our wrongs to God. Take responsibility for your sins and confess it to the One who can cleanse you from them. No, it’s not about blame gaming others who we think may have played a role in it.
It isn’t about the telling God the woman, career or man he gave you caused you to slide that road of destruction. It isn’t about telling God you were deceived by a desire or serpent.
It’s about a genuine confession and a desire to change.
As the Psalmist puts it in Psalm 19:12; Who perceives his unintentional sins?
Cleanse me from my hidden faults.
Sometimes our sins may not be premeditated or even catch us unaware but we have to still confess it.
Total redemption doesn’t come from confessing our sins alone. It emanates from the tree of life, Christ Himself.
To be redeemed, you need to confess with your mouth that Christ is Lord(over everything in your life) and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).
And it doesn’t have to end there. Consciously and painfully work on your relationship with God.
Allow the Holy Spirit dominion over everything in your life.
Feed yourself with the Word. Pray. Fast… And Learn to love God, not from a place of needs but genuinely learn to love Him whether you get the things you ask for or not. Let your heart beat for His purpose.
First off, God bless my spiritual father for the revelation upon this phrase. And just as He taught me, I would love to share the revelation with you.
To stand still – To be firm, confident, attentive, focused, disciplined, trust in God.
Whenever “stand still” was used by the prophets of old or God Himself, the phrase was directed to three categories of people;
a. Those who are lying down – We have compromised so much that we have fallen. We have gotten so used to our wrongs that we don’t care what anyone or God thinks. We feel there is no hope so we keep dwelling in sins. We are like the prodigal son but we have vowed never to come home. God is calling us to stand still. It’s time to leave our comfort zone of sin and lawlessness.
Because despite what we think, God does not lie and He doesn’t change his mind. He meant it when He said in Psalm 51:17 this;
The sacrifice pleasing to Him is a broken spirit. He will not despise a broken and a humbled heart.
So no matter how fallen you are, He still wants you. It’s time to stand still. Wherever you might be lying be it in lies, bitterness, fornication or anger, God is saying rise up and stay focused on Him with your trust.
b. Those who are sitting – There come moments in our lives when we grow weary of standing still. We shift our focus and confidence from God to ourselves and whatever the world is selling. Like a punch is tweaked a little with alcohol, we tweak our values, our beliefs so we can still enjoy a little of what we gave up. We get to keep our cool friends who are unbelievers and our Christian friends too. We call it having the best of both worlds till we end being seated at the fence.
Just like Jonathan McReynolds puts it in his song, “No Grey”;
I’m splitting two; part of me love the world and the other loves You
So what do I do
I wanna be saved
But I got to stay cool, too.
And truth be told,
Cause it’s real easy to stay on the fence and still do you
And it’d be cool if we could love the Lord and still go do our thing
But see it doesn’t work like that
You gotta be white or black
We can’t have both. We need to get back our feet, standing still and our trust in God leading us in all things.
c. Those standing on shaky legs– We have been standing still. Our focus has been on God. We are firm in Christ and disciplined our trust is on the Lord till… our tables are heavily shaken by life circumstances, by the storms of life.
Then we begin to tremble and shake. We begin to consider compromising and giving in.
We are being reminded to stand still. Things may be blurry but may our focus be on Christ. May we not be deceived to lean towards our own understanding.
Let’s remember as the songwriter wrote;
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love
So to us who are standing on shaky legs, let’s remember we are fastened to the Rock which is unmovable and grounded firm and deep in the love of Christ.
LEARNING TO LOSE WHILE STAYING TRUE
Remember when you lost your favourite novel, toy or when your favourite grandma passed away.
It’s ingrained within us- We hate to lose. We don’t care if whatever we lost was good for us or not, we just didn’t want to lose it.
Growing up in a place where we all wanted to belong or be accepted, we would rather lose ourselves, our values than lose others.
In a world where doing the right thing is constantly the minority choice of the day, many of us in some situations and circumstances chose to compromise than lose that friendship or relationship. We chose to compromise than to be seen as odd. And we are still compromising. Why?
Because we want to be loved, to be accepted than pushed away or scorned at. We are indeed social beings, no doubt about that.
However, I think it’s time, we learn to stay true to ourselves, to uphold our values and beliefs than compromise for a level of intimacy or belongingness that may be fleeting. It’s okay not to smoke, not to do drugs, not to steal or backstab. It’s okay to do the rare things the world may consider as prudish or Miss Goody Two Shoes. We have compromised so much and still people left when they wanted to.
Compromising yourself, beliefs and values to still see people go, and call you all sort of names breaks the spirit and soul. You don’t have to compromise to keep people in your life. Learn to allow to let people go even if it hurts. You won’t feel good about doing that but someday you will be proud you chose to be true to who you are.
As the Good Book says;
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals (1Corinthians 15:33).
If ever you have to compromise your values and beliefs to belong, I hope you remember that that company was not worthy of you anyway.
Be honest and genuine with yourself and others. Let them know if there are things that make you uncomfortable, makes you less of yourself. Make them know if you don’t like a particular tread of conversation, a sensitive topic.
Don’t tolerate things that will make you lose yourself. It’s okay to let people know you don’t agree or support a particular opinion.
Let them know what you believe in and stand for. No more pretence. No more fake smiles. No more keeping up a lifestyle which genuinely isn’t you.
You are important and valuable to yourself as you think of others. Stay true to you.
And for all those times we have compromised our beliefs, our values and even our intimacy, may we learn to forgive ourselves and open new chapters of growth, love and genuine intimacy.
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.😍😍😍😘😘😘