Over and over again, the Bible calls God sovereign, which means he has unlimited power and authority. To move from relationship dependency to spiritual dependency, you must acknowledge who or what has true power or authority over you. When you come to believe in and trust in God’s love for you, you are able to form a secure spiritual attachment.
This secure spiritual attachment is possible no matter what sort of attachment you’ve had in your earthly relationships. Look at these 4 questions pertaining to attachment?
- Am I worthy of being loved? You are loved because God loves you. You not longer need to be “worthy” in order to be loved. This first fundamental question becomes simply, Am I loved by God? And the answer is a resounding yes!
- Am I able to do what I need to do to get the love I need? Since you are loved by God, you already have the love you need. No longer must you perform or manipulate, or coerce or barter, for the love you need. The question becomes, Has God already done everything needed to love me? And the resounding answer is yes!
- Are other people reliable and trustworthy? From an earthly perspective, the answer is often no. From a spiritual perspective, the question becomes, Is God reliable and trustworthy? The answer always and forever is yes!
- Are other people accessible and willing to respond to me when I need them? From a spiritual perspective, this becomes, Is God accessible and willing to respond to me when I need him? Again, the answer is yes!
God can become the basis for secure attachment. His love can help you create a secure attachment to who you are, to others, and to him.
God has already done everything he needs to love you. Trusting and living in that love, however, require effort on your part. The amount of effort needed to believe in the good news of God and to begin to create a secure attachment based on him will depend on what attachment style you’re starting with. Those who tend toward a more secure attachment style will, generally, have an easier time transferring those yeses they ascribe to self and others over to God. Our experience, however, has been that even those who have secure attachment may still struggle with certain aspects of God’s nature and promises.
Struggling with understanding and trusting the truth of God, his nature, and his promises is vital, important work. The lies of dependency tell you that you must be perfect in your understanding of God before you can have a relationship with him. The only perfection required for a relationship with God is his perfect love, not our perfect understanding!
Knowing God is a process because, though God does not change, we do. As we change and grow and experience life, we have the opportunity for greater spiritual depth and understanding. The spiritual people we were in our twenties are very different from the spiritual people we are now, decades later. Were we any less loved by God in our twenties than we are now? Of course not! We have been, are, and will be loved as we move through our lives and as our understanding of God changes and grows.
The process of growth and change is called transformation (see Rom. 12:2). Transformation is a gift from God for all of us, no matter where we start on our journey of understanding and trusting him. As we come to know God better, we also come to know ourselves better. This increasing knowledge of self can present a unique challenge for those who struggle with dependency issues. the challenge is that the more we learn about God, the more we come to realize we’re more flawed than we ever imagined.
If you are a dependent person in recovery who is learning more about God, the challenge is not to park on “more flawed.” Instead, you need to continue on, integrating that knowledge with an understanding of and a belief in God’s assurance that, while you are more flawed than you ever imagined, you are also more loved than you ever dared hope. Understanding both grants you godly humility, but also strength, gratitude, and joy.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 37 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.