Broken in Relationship
When man sinned, he became mortal; “Till you return to the ground” (Gen. 3:19b, NASB). This passage denotes man’s immediate susceptibility to suffering, misery, pain, and even death. Man was cursed. Relationships were afflicted. And when sin invades the marital union (or familial relations) it leaves those oppressed grieving the loss of the closeness they so desire. As feelings of safety and significance in the relationship wane both intrinsic and extrinsic pressures force man and woman to seek isolation and seclusion. Many times these pressures go unrecognized and are therefore indiscernible. As a result, the tendency is to withdraw from the relationship believing and acting on the lie that relationships are too dangerous to maintain; or he criticizes and pushes others to a safe emotional distance. Either way, man enters the island of self-sufficiency, turning to things instead of loved ones to calm and soothe him (Hart Morris, 2002a). Freedom is suffocated. People are enslaved.
Unfortunately, the enslavement of social isolation has become pandemic in America. In fact, more than twice as many people are socially isolated today than were twenty years ago and the number of reported confidants one has is steadily decreasing (1). Many have learned that relationships are unsafe and unpredictable. They have a hard time believing they were truly designed for close connected relationships first with God (Deut. 6:5) and then with one another (Matt. 22:37-40). The experienced hurt and brokenness in earthly attachment relationships becomes too unbearable and in many cases influences one’s way of relating to God Himself (2). Studies have found that one’s perceived relationship with God is similar in its function to the necessities offered by attachment relationships (3). Not only do man and woman isolate themselves from one another, they ultimately isolate themselves even from God.
1. Vedantam, S. (2006, June 23). Social isolation growing in U.S., study says: The number of people who say they have no one to confide in has risen. Washington Post, A03.
2. Hart, A. & Hart Morris, S. (2003). Safe haven marriage: Building a relationship you want to come home to. Nashville, TN: Word.
3. Granqvist, P. (2005). Building a bridge between attachment and religious coping: Tests of moderators and mediators. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 8(1), 35-47 and Kirkpatrick, L.A. & Shaver P.R. (1990). Attachment theory and religion: Childhood attachments, religious beliefs, and conversion. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 29(3), 315-334.