Sonship Emotional Responsibility to tend the garden of your heart promotes growth in your life.
Emotional awareness is a learned skill. Many things can sprout up in our hearts; little foxes can come in and ruin our vineyard. Learning to recognize and be responsible with our emotions is a huge key in spotting them. This is part of having emotional intelligence. Many people have no idea of what is actually happening in their hearts. They are living in “numb-numbville” through counterfeit affections, as Jack Frost would say. God has a better way.
Cyndi has a great example: “The other day I felt restless and bored all afternoon. I often took breaks, going to the kitchen and opening the food cabinets looking for a snack; I was checking my email and Facebook repeatedly, just looking for ‘something’ to make the bored feeling go away. Finally, I tried journaling my emotions and telling God what I was feeling. Connecting with God’s presence helped some, however, something was still trying to shut my heart down and make me want to eat junk food. Eventually, I realized it all started when a contractor came by to give us an estimate and the house wasn’t as clean as I would’ve liked. This triggered feelings of failure and insecurity in me. Finding the source then enabled me to give it to God.”
Consider these verses:
Song 1:6, 2:15, 4:12-14… they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept. Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse… Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits, fragrant henna with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes…
The heart is like a garden – there are plants that bring forth fruit with wonderful life-giving nutrients but also weeds can pop up unawares. It is our job to know what is happening in the garden of our heart and to keep it well tended.
Every relational conflict, every craving, is connected to our hearts shutting down because of unrecognized emotional triggers. Knowing ourselves – awareness – is the answer to every problem – food, habits, lack of motivation, fear of failure, relational breakdowns…everything. This is the key to learning to work with yourself rather than fight yourself.
Our emotions are there for a reason. Honoring them and working with them rather than fighting and suppressing them makes a huge difference in how we walk out our lives. As the example with Cyndi shows, emotional awareness is a skill that can be developed.