Relational Theology

As we’ve learned from the last two weeks, the original creation was spoiled by sin and many of us are left longing, languishing and desperate in our attempts to re-create the Garden of Eden in our lives.

Without a Biblical world view, we will search for a lifetime in vain for things to fill the void in our souls caused by FOO #2 (Adam and Eve). Only Jesus and God’s eternal redemptive plan can re-create Eden which can be seen described in Revelation 21-22.

In addition to the world’s influence, our biological family of origin (FOO #3) has the second most powerful influence upon our lives.

This FOO #3 downloading is firmly imprinted by the time we are five years old.

For most of us these first love lessons are forgotten because the bulk of the downloading occurs in the pre-verbal years when implicit memories are stored in feeling states within our right brain.

Retrievable memories (explicit) are stored when we are verbal and using our left brains which store logic, linear thinking and language.

Though long forgotten, these early love lessons taught us about stress management, self and other awareness, as well as repair of relational ruptures which occur within any family.     It is this early experience which programs the unseen forces that shape how we love, parent and live. A diagram of this process is as follows.

If a child had an experience similar to the second circle which represents secure attachment, what will the effects of a secure imprint look like when carried into adulthood?

Beliefs and characteristics of the Secure Adult:  Adults with a secure imprint believe relationships provide safety, nurture, comfort and support. They are confident, well adjusted and able to take risks. Because they are able to deeply bond with others spiritually, emotionally, and physically, they easily give and receive comfort, love and care.

They have an awareness of their own feelings and needs as well as the feelings and needs of others. Good listening skills enable them to draw out others. They are able to see and accept the good and bad in themselves and in others, not idealizing or devaluing.  Able to take initiative, and resourceful in meeting goals, they can also delay gratification. They are capable of communicating a wide range of emotions in socially acceptable ways.