Guard Your Heart

 Just the other day, when I was a young girl in high school, I began a friendship with a guy, thinking I could “win” him to the Lord, but before long I was the one who was in trouble. Soon, I convinced myself that he and I were in love, and before I knew it, I had given my heart away. I wrote these words in my boyfriend’s yearbook: “I give you my heart” (that makes me nauseous just thinking about it). It’s not the words that sicken me as much as the thought behind the words and the very fact that I opened up my life to someone who didn’t deserve to have that honor. I allowed myself to become vulnerable to another person who could never have been my husband (“Romeo and Juliette” type of thing). I used to joke and say, “I think God will have to move me 1,000 miles away from that guy to ever get me out of this relationship.” With His impeccable sense of humor, the Lord landed me at college exactly 982 miles from my doorstep.

Sure enough, the relationship ended and both of us moved on, but the damage of three years of emotional bondage had taken its toll on my heart. I found myself comparing every other person that I tried to date with my high school boyfriend and if they didn’t measure up, it was over before it even started, so-to-speak. Thankfully, one very perceptive Christian guy came into my life and pretty much told me he wouldn’t compete and he felt it was useless to try, or for anyone to try for that matter. That’s when my eyes were opened and I finally realized, I had to let God do some heart surgery on me.

 I’d like to say that emotional healing happened overnight and (POOF!) I was ready to be real and open with my heart again, but it didn’t. It was a long walk and I had a lot of feelings and baggage to deal with. I had to go through a lot of sacrificing and a lot of laying my “stuff” down.

Eventually, God got me ready and in the right place so that I could meet my husband (you can read that story here). Still, the fact that I even had to walk this road grieves me to no end. I was forced to pay a high price for not guarding my heart (my emotions/feelings) and if anyone can learn from my pain, I’d shout it from the rooftops!!! I realize that in all relationships, there is an element of risk, but for a young girl to form such an overwhelming connection was unwise and dangerous. Think about it, I was just a few years away from having played with baby dolls and pretend tea sets! Having girls now myself has helped me to realize how unprepared I was. I wish I had been taught early on the importance of guarding my heart. I wish I could have spared myself the heartache. And for those of you out there with preteen or teenage girls, I pray that you will diligently teach them to guard their hearts, for it is a precious treasure!

Even as a grown woman, I have noticed the need to continue to guard my heart. This realization has happened vicariously, mostly through others who have failed to create “safeguards” in their lives. Others may think chatting on the computer with members of the opposite sex is fine, but to me, as a married woman, it’s off limits. Others may think sending text messages or emails to another man who is “just a friend” is okay, but not me. I’ve decided not to do it unless my own husband, the other person’s spouse, or a trusted friend is in on the conversation. Others may think that flirting with their husband’s best friend or their child’s teacher is just innocent fun, but to me, it’s crossing a line. You just never know when the person you are talking to is vulnerable and furthermore, you might have a blind spot to your own weaknesses.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” His seeking is so subtle. What I might think is innocent and harmless can quickly become a recipe for the destruction of my marriage if I am not on guard. Know yourself! Guard your heart! There are too many marriages and families in ruins today because someone decided to let their guard down, someone foolishly decided they were incapable of falling, or someone decided to act selfishly in the moment.

How can you guard your heart? Read on...

The easiest way to make sure you are on guard is by staying in an intimate relationship with the Lord. He is your Creator and your Father and because of that, He’s an expert in all that you need. Make sure you are filling up with Him throughout your day! Read the Bible, keep devotions open on your desktop to read when you have a pause in your day, play worship music, get alone to pray and wait on the Lord. Soak up His presence! Simply put, stay in constant communication with Him. Rely on Him, especially in those times when you know you are emotionally needy!  Philippians 4:  6 – 7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Another safeguard is to make sure you are maintaining intimacy with your spouse and I’m not just talking about sexually (though that’s an important component)! Make time to connect, to really talk beyond the surface stuff like, “Honey, what’s for supper?” or “Don’t forget the kids’ game on Friday”. Schedule time together and don’t let anything get in the way of it. Make your relationship with your spouse a priority!

Lastly, make time for friends, even if you only have a moment to squeeze in a quick phone call. “A friend loves at all times” (Prov 17:17). God has given you friends as gifts! Make time to connect with them. I don’t know about your husband, but I know my husband would appreciate not having to converse about new trends in children’s clothing or the latest cute shoes;) That’s what girlfriends are for! Actually they are for much more than that, but I think you “get me” here!


I hope I’ve encouraged you be wise in your decisions and to protect your heart/emotions! The Word of God, as always, says it best:

 Above all else, guard your heart,
   for everything you do flows from it.
 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
   keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
   fix your gaze directly before you. 
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
   and be steadfast in all your ways.
 Do not turn to the right or the left;
   keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:23-27

For His glory,