If the hashtag for Bootcamp Spiritual was #BuildingSpiritualCapacity – and God were to emblazon the hashtag for Bootcamp Emotions across its welcome banner, it would scream “#GuardingYourEmotionalGates“.
Two points for our groundwork:
(1)A recurring lesson throughout these bootcamps will be: The foundation you both lay as singles in the army will greatly influence – positively or negatively – your marital impact as a unit.
(2)As stated in an earlier post, a major part of any bootcamp is indoctrination. Therefore, as God works in certain areas of your life, He deals with your mindsets and belief patterns in that area.
Now, many singles believe that when they get married, their emotions – which was always ‘catching feelings’ as a single – would be firmly fixed on their spouse alone.
But it is not true.
If you cannot be ‘single’ in your emotions before marriage, it would be difficult for you to be focused in your emotions after marriage.
Let me explain.
Many Christian singles have the mindset that it is okay to be emotionally attached/involved – as long as the other person is single, is a Christian, and there’s no sex involved.
In fact, they believe that it’s actually very normal to ‘fall in love’ or get emotionally involved a number of times before marriage.
So, while they might be ‘Single’ on paper, most are usually joined – emotionally – to someone else at almost every point in their lives. (Sometimes, their ‘partner’ is totally unaware of the ‘joining.’)
During this period, they think of this person, dream of this person, and even pray for this person – after all, they are both Christians. Better still, if they can, they always communicate with him/her. They imagine a future together – how they would share a home, build a legacy/business/ministry together, or take major steps like relocating or changing careers to fit into their ‘partner’s’ life.
Sometimes, they don’t even wait for the future: Once they become emotionally attached, they begin to adjust themselves in ways they feel would ‘suit’ their ‘partner’.
At that point, they are no longer single.
For another group, it’s almost as if their ‘antenna’ begins to search for a ‘possible spouse-to-be’ in any vicinity they find themselves. These searching singles might not even be conscious of what they are doing. However, once the antenna ‘beeps’, everything they do from that moment on will revolve around the ‘located’ person.
At that point – contrary to their status – they are no longer single.
You see, our emotions have gates and walls.
Unfortunately for most Christian singles, their emotional walls and gates have been torn down because of a lack of self-control: They easily ‘fall in love’, easily ‘crush’, easily get attached, easily get jealous/possessive – and the list goes on.
Proverbs 25:28 says that a person without self-control is like a defenceless, broken-down city without walls.
Without being invited, any passerby can come into their emotions – and stay there for as long as they want.
That is why we see The King’s children get emotionally involved with people they shouldn’t get involved with; people who do not ‘make sense’ – but are single and available; people who are not aware of their existence; even, people who don’t like them.
There are mature singles who have been in no relationship – but have badly-damaged, multi-fractured emotions because they have always been ‘joined’ to the nearest available single who looks ‘okay.’ Once that relationship ‘breaks up’, the pain is almost as real as if both people had been in an actual, consensual relationship – and it happens to them repeatedly.
Physically single. Emotionally attached.
Their inner cities have been badly battered and broken down, the glass windows of their fragile hearts have been smashed to cutting pieces, and the mental ‘streets’ in their cities have been filled with bags of garbage – a sense of worthlessness that they are not ‘worthy’ enough to be ‘attached’ to.
Sadly, some of those who cause heavy damage are not ‘cruel heartbreakers’ who deliberately lead on – then dump. Some are innocent passersby who do not even know the damage they have caused.
Yet, for other singles, it’s almost as if they have to be ‘joined’ – their emotions need that feeling of ‘falling in love’, ‘chemistry’, ‘attraction’, ‘awareness’, whatever name it goes by.
That’s a sign that there is no wall. Something is wrong – and marriage will not put an end to these feelings. The same ‘gate-less’ and ‘wall-less’ emotions you had before marriage would be the same ones after. When the honeymoon-high fades, your emotions will, in time, latch on to someone else for that ‘something’. While you might not physically/sexually have an affair, your emotions would constantly join, wander to, or fixate on someone other than your spouse.
In these last days, especially, God does not want His paired generals to have their hearts fixed on anything or anyone other than Him – and the assignment(s) He has given them.
As a unit, you cannot afford distractions. No wandering thoughts or gazes. Complete focus and concentration.
God perfectly understands you have emotions. After all, He made them. But He also wants you to know that how they run is a choice. So, in Bootcamp Emotions, He begins to teach you how to handle them:
~First, He heals your bruised and battered emotions.
~He helps you repair your damaged walls and gates – and teaches you how to keep them up.
~He shows you how to set emotional boundaries, and only allow in people He has chosen – or people you have deliberately chosen.
~He trains you on how to keep your emotions in check, even though you meet people who are amazing Christians, who meet all your ‘specs’ – and are still single.
~He reveals to you the difference between liking a person – and liking the ‘feeling’ a person generates.
~He also sets watchmen over your emotional walls to alert you when “Someone’s coming.” (We will see some of these guards in subsequent postings.) Even when anyone tries to sneak in, your guards are aware – and know how to prevent them.
In Emotional Bootcamp, God teaches you how to ‘Guard your heart with all diligence.’
He teaches you how to be really ‘single’ – as a single person.