Incarnational Attachment: The Transforming Power of Being Emotionally Present in Marriage
December 16, 2016 12:00 ET

Attachment is the bonding process that God ordained for us as humans, from infancy and throughout our lives. Children who receive the tender gaze, physical affection, and consistent emotional presence of a parent will develop a settled confidence that bolsters them in life. Even in the hardest times they are reassured in knowing, “I am not alone." They have the courage to reach out and ask for help without fearing rejection. In adult life they bring this security to their marriages in ways that minister strength, comfort, and healing to their spouses.

Beyond words or ideals, attachment is the tangible experience of love. God speaks to us in the language of attachment throughout the whole of Scripture, starting with His promises to "never leave us or forsake us." In Isaiah, God promised to send the tangible expression of His love, "Emmanuel, God with us."

Christian marriage offers us the opportunity to grow in new ways of being vulnerable and casting off fear. We are truly transformed as we confess our needs for our Savior, Emmanuel. We are privileged to be the literal hands and feet of Christ to our spouses as we show incarnational love to them.

This lecture will teach us more about how to embrace God's attachment design for marriage and also our Christian faith in ways that bring transformation and growth.

Dr. Jesse Gill is a Christian psychologist who has worked in the Lancaster, PA area for 15 years. In 2003 he was introduced to a form of marital therapy that applies Attachment Theory to the healing of marriages. Immediately he was struck with the ways that Attachment Theory resonated with his understanding of God's love and His message to us throughout the entire Bible.

The foundational principle from Attachment Theory is that God designed us to be in secure relationships so that we would never have to be alone. We derive comfort, wholeness, and strength from knowing that no matter what comes there will always be someone at our side who will "Never leave us nor forsake us." This applies our relationship with our spouses and also with the Lord. Marital distress comes when we lose that connection with our spouses and are feeling alone.

Jesse is passionate about bringing the integrated message of Attachment Theory and Scripture to the church, to help heal marriages but also to prevent marriages from falling apart in the first place. This includes prevention of marital decline and also prevention of affairs from an Attachment based framework.

He has been training counselors, pastors, and couples for more than a decade in these important truths. He has presented workshops at churches, regional church leadership trainings, and for Christian counselors at the World Conference for the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville, TN. He has written articles on Christian marriage relationships that have been published in the United States and overseas. Jesse has appeared on Life, Love, and Family Radio and also on television as a marriage expert for CBN News.

In 2015 he released his book, "Face to Face: Seven Keys to a Secure Marriage." This book shares these key principles along with numerous interesting case examples, an understanding of the mind, and an encouraging view of Scripture through the Attachment lens.

Jesse is married to April, and they have both served as leaders and mentors in their home church during the past decade. As a couple they work daily to create Secure attachment in their marriage and with their two lovely daughters.

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