"Don't be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'"1
The first connection every child has is with his or her mother. It starts in the womb, and as soon as the newborn baby is in his or her mother's arms and on her breast, that connection or bonding is reinforced and sealed. Sadly, the child who doesn't have healthy bonding in those early years is being programmed for life-long relational problems unless he or she goes through a healthy recovery program. If a young child feels no bonding at all, he/she can soon die.
Connection and bonding are essential for our entire lifetime. We cannot live without them. As counselors tell us, we cannot "not be bonded." Thus, if we are not bonded in healthy ways to healthy people, we will be bonded in unhealthy ways to unhealthy people or to things. For example, some people stay in very destructive and toxic relationships for fear of being isolated and disconnected from everyone. Others become bonded to their work, gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex, material possessions and so on.
Healthy bonding needs to be a priority for every one of us, not only in our family relationships, but also in our closer social networks. This should be available in every church. If you can't find it there, find it with some open, non-judgmental, healthy friends, or in a recovery or twelve-step group if necessary. Healthy bonding and connection to healthy people is essential for healthy, wholesome, and meaningful lives.
As the Bible reminds us, the company we keep affects our lives.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to find at least one safe soul-brother/sister with whom I can be totally open and honest, connected to and bonded in a healthy way. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV).