Daily Archives: January 10, 2014



By Pastor Elasto Marume
Attachment with your children is something that needs maintenance. It comes naturally in the first place, but there is a great need to attend and maintain it. Our homes do need maintenance. If no one is maintaining and putting them to use, they will be affected by the law of degeneration. All things and creatures have the potential to degenerate as long as they are left to themselves to live by their own standards. There will never be educated people in the world if we leave our children to their own standards and wishes. Companies which are growing are not just left to themselves, but someone, somewhere within the company is busy checking and reviewing the movements within the company. A lot of some money is spent on salaries, advertising, consultations, re-branding and so on in order to keep the standards and give worth to the company for its survival. Women do make up everyday in order to look good even if they are not going anywhere or seeing someone. That is maintaining the beauty. So is the attachment between parents and children.

Attachment works wonders when it comes to behaviour. It deals effectively with delinquent, criminal, antisocial, offending, felonious and wrong doings which are more common to children of this century, so called “GEN X.” Attachment irons out unnecessarily carelessness, inattentiveness, sloppiness, recklessness, lack of care, lack of attention and negligence which happens in every home as they play what I call “WHO IS THE HERO” games with parents.
The affectional bonding between infants and parents is both psychological, physical, social and spiritual. Jesus also grew in the same manner even though he was God. We understand this concept from the book of Luke, “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and in favour with God.” From this scripture insight, I understood what Bowlby was saying in the quotation below.

Bowlby turned to a combination of scientific disciplines, including psychoanalysis, ethology, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology, for an array of compatible concepts that could explain affectional bonding between infants and their caregivers and the long-term effects of early attachment experiences on personality development and psychopathology. He conceptualized human motivation in terms of behavioural systems, a concept borrowed from ethology, and noted that attachment related behaviour in infancy (e.g., clinging, crying, smiling, monitoring caregivers, and developing a preference for a few reliable caregivers, or attachment figures) is part of a functional biological system that increases the likelihood of protection from predation, comfort during times of stress, and social learning. Preference for a particular caregiver {Has. primary attachment figure) was thought to be based on the familiarity, availability, responsiveness, and reliability of the caregiver (Bowlby, 1969/1982) This article was taken from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1998, Vol. 74, No. 2, 407-419:[i]

For further understanding of the affectional bonding between infants and parents I would like to give you a few insights from the scriptures.

Parents should be careful of conflicts which creates hatred, animosity, dislike which creates to extreme dislike. Conflicts can never be avoided, but don’t be carried away with it because you break the attachment unaware. The bible says “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” [ii]

Parental love through the love of Christ is the only source of forgiving friendliness which overcomes offences. “Whoever would foster love covers over an offence, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” [iii] Offences cannot be avoided. Parents must always be forgiving and be willing to teach and help. 

Parents should live by their faith before their children in order to increase attachment. Loving our children can be very hard, problematic, strenuous, challenging and demanding sometimes. Parents must have sincere love for their children from their heart in order to show their faithfulness to God.The scripture says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” [iv]

 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” [v]


Attachments refer to the affective ties that youths form with significant others—especially parents. Positive parent-child attachments result in fewer delinquent behaviours because the child does not want to jeopardize the established relationships. Weak attachments minimize the child’s sensitivity to parental opinions, thereby “freeing” the child to deviate in response to situational demands and peer encouragements. Thus, attachment is essentially a social-psychological concept involving the motivational value of social approval (Rankin and Wells, 1994; Wells and Rankin, 1988). [vi]

There are areas which must be dealt with when it comes to attachment. I do agree with Hirschi (1969:85-94) on the way he points out three major dimensions of parent-child attachments: 

(1) Affectional identification—the love and respect that children have for their parents;
(2) Intimacy of communication—the child’s sharing of personal concerns and opinions with parents; and
(3) Supervision—the “psychological” presence of parents when opportunities for delinquency arise. [vii]

There is an old song which blesses me up to now with these words,  “Love is not love, until you give it away. For God so loved the world, the bible says, he gave his son. Never, never say you love, until you give it away.” This challenge Christians to live up to God’s word. In the same way, parental love must be felt, seen and experienced by children. There must be a difference between a friend and a parent’s loving attitude. Parents should love in all situations and under all conditions.
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.” [viii]

This scripture passage gives us a great definition of the character and attitudes of love which Apostle Paul is teaching parents. In sickness or health, in poverty or riches, in good times or bad times. Parental love should prevail in all situations of life. I am more impressed with the last part of this scripture potion which says, “But love keeps on going to the end” as well as “Love never dies.”  Some versions of the bible say “Love never fails.” No matter how difficult things may look at the moment in terms of your attachment and your child, “LOVE NEVER FAILS and IT KEEPS ON GOING TO THE END.” [ix]

Availability and attentiveness play a major role in parent-child attachment. Research shows that “The extent to which the mothers appeared attentive and available to the children and supportive to their efforts. A high score on supportive presence involved meeting two criteria: (a) Providing a secure base by  helping the child feel comfortable, and (b) being involved as manifested by the attentiveness to the child and to the task.” Affective Quality (Zaslow, Rabinovich, Suwalsky, & Klein, 1988) is an important construct in the cluster of Positive Attitude. Zaslow et  al. (1988, p. 290) defined this concept as “the mother’s expression of positive affect to the baby, the mother’s expression of negative affect to the baby, and the degree to which mother and infant engaged in reciprocal interactions.”

Some single parents do feel inferior, mediocre, of lower level in their performance when it comes to parental attachments. People are different, in some families, it’s the father who does not have the gift of bonding and in other families it’s the mother. This does not affect much as long as they are supporting and understanding  each other in their goals of maintaining and increasing the attachment. What is not good is tearing apart each other in the presence of your children.

Nagin and Paternoster (1991:175) said, “In constructing the measure of parental attachment, we assumed that as long as an emotional bond was forged with one parent it would serve as an effective inhibitor of delinquency. For this reason, the measure of attachment to parent employed here reflects either the father or mother parental attachment score, whichever evidenced the greater amount of emotional bonding.”[x]

I would like to securely say that most of the results of attachment which are experienced by children are mostly the outcome of the past attachment given by parents to the children from conception age. Agnew (1991) has suggested that most measures of attachment tacitly include past behaviours and feelings. Respondents are asked to summarize their past feelings rather than simply identify their present situation (e.g., “My mother/father and I do things together that we both enjoy doing”). Thus, the association between attachment and delinquency is “contemporaneous.” [xi]

Yes, keep on keeping on and you will enjoy the bonding from the attachment until the later years of your life.


[i] Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969)
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1998, Vol. 74, No. 2, 407-419:

[ii] Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)

[iii] Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)

[iv] 1 Peter 1:22 (NIV)

[v]  1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

[vi] Rankin, Joseph H. and L. Edward Wells (1990) The effect of parental attachments and direct controls on delinquency.

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 27:140-165.

(1994) Social control, broken homes, and delinquency. In Gregg Barak (ed.).

Varieties of Criminology: Readings

[vii] Hirschi, Travis (1969) Causes of Delinquency. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[viii] 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (MSG)

[ix]  1 Corinthians 13:3-8 (MSG)

[x] Nagin, Daniel S. and Raymond Paternoster (1991) On the relationship of past and future participation in delinquency.

Criminology 29:163-189.

[xi] Agnew, Robert (1991) A longitudinal test of social control theory and delinquency. Journal of  Research in Crime and Delinquency 28:126-156.



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