Recently I’ve been spending time reading psychology books, mainly about infant attachment and parenting styles, as research for my own book. I have been really struck about a particular aspect: how a secure self learns not to be threatened by negative feelings.
I’ve read how sensitive parenting allows a child to feel those negative emotions and also teaches him/her how to deal with them through both support (unconditional love and empathy) and challenge. The child is also reassured that the source of their security and love is not threatened by such negative emotions either.
I’ve looked at how behavioural patterns learned in childhood get transformed into our adult lives. They affect the way we respond to, and interpret, the actions and words of those around us.
I was challenged by one particular book that linked the way a child approaches negative feelings to the way we respond to God when we are experiencing negative emotions.
We are His children and yet has the parenting style we’ve experienced by our earthly parents affected the way we anticipate His responses? I’m sure it must do.
For example, if you are feeling angry, bitter or sad do you feel God will condemn you, pointing out all the reasons why you are feeling like that – and revealing that it is your fault?
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