Dan Allender, in his book The Wounded Heart talks extensively about “styles of relating” as they pertain to those who have been sexually abused. Since the first edition of his book, the concept of “styles of relating” has been expanded by many others as a way to describe a pattern of behavior that develops as a defensive strategy when a person has been significantly hurt in some way.
As with any model, these are general concepts intended to help you and me see something about ourselves that would be harder to recognize without the model. But, general concepts are never going to perfectly fit individual people, so we want to keep that in mind going in.
Adam and Eve’s story describes what happens to you and me, again and again. We start out in Genesis 2, happy and unselfconscious. But then, something happens, we get hurt, and then, just as Adam Eve did, we cover ourselves and hide.
God explained what life would be like now. They were now going to experience the world in painful and disappointing ways, and their relationships would also be fraught.
But then God made a sacrifice through which God would provide much better garments for them. That is part of what the Lord offers you and me today, better ways of relating in a world that we often experience in painful and disappointing ways. That better way comes through sacrifice God makes on our behalf. When we put our faith in God through Jesus, we receive Christ as our new clothing
This twenty minute video offers some ideas about styles of relating we turn to, to protect ourselves rather than enter into deep relationship. Learn about the Good Girl/Good Boy, the Tough Girl/Tough Guy, the Party Girl and Party Boy, and how we can move out of these styles and into spiritual and emotional maturity.