February 7, 2012

A Couple of Thoughts on Guarding Your Heart

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -Proverbs 4:23
Guard your heart. We hear this a lot in Christian circles, particularly us women pertaining to the subject of guys, but I think in some ways we've misinterpreted what that verse really means. Half the time I'm told "guard your heart" I think that's really just code for "don't get to close" or "be careful," but since when has any type of a relationship been "careful?" And how on earth are we ever to be truly known, if we can't get "close" to a person? Relationships are always going to be messy to a degree. It's putting two sinful, imperfect human beings together and having them live life with one another. Can we all agree that things will get ugly at some point and that risks will need to be taken? And what does this "guard your heart" look like on a practical level? Or what does it really mean?

Take a look at that verse in context. If you read the whole chapter we see a father giving advice to his son. Basically he tells him to get wisdom... and more wisdom... and even more wisdom... and yes, more wisdom. I think what he's ultimately trying to communicate here is both you and I need to fill our hearts with wisdom, then wisdom will flow out, bleeding into the choices and decisions we make.

Where do we get this wisdom? From the Word of God, the proverbial Naomi's (i.e. counselors) in our life, and by inviting the Holy Spirit to lead us. I'm saying all this because I see girls at times using this as an excuse not to enter into (or even just pray and think about) a relationship with a great, godly man simply out of fear. Guarding our hearts is not about putting up walls due to fears we may have. Guarding our hearts doesn't mean we will avoid ever getting hurt. The fact is, we can do a really good job at guarding our hearts but still experience pain.

Please don't hear me say that as women we should just throw out all our emotions, dreams, desires, baggage, etc. on display for the man to see right off the bat. I know some girls who do this on the first and second date and then they end up scaring the guy off. There's a right and wrong time for everything. And in the beginning of a relationship we shouldn't lay out all of the cards in the deck for the other to see. (Although to quote Mark Driscoll here, "if anyone shows their cards first, it's the man.") There should be boundaries in the things we share, discuss, and do in our relationships. Then as trust and commitment is built we can adjust those boundaries, all the while following the Spirit's leading. This is why it's so important that we're praying for... can you guess? Wisdom! Guidance! As well as getting the outside counsel from others who see our lives, know our hearts, and can point out the red flags should they pop-up.

So to recap, I think we do need to be careful in our relationships, but not to the extent that we're really just using that verse to hide behind out of fear of entering into a relationship that has great potential. Every single relationship is going to involve some risk and times of stepping out in faith, which is why we need wisdom to help us navigate these waters. Put wisdom into your heart, and wisdom will flow out, thus helping us to make wise decisions in our relationships.

I don't know if much of this makes sense (plus it's really late as I write this)

I think what I'm trying to say Joy has at some point touched on in these video posts: Guard Your Heart and Emotional Boundaries.

But I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, so please do share!

P.S. I'm blogging over at Singing in The Rain Today on Stewardship as a Single. Pay me a little visit! =)

1 comment :

  1. Yes, wisdom! In the first couple chapters of Proverbs it says, "And the beginning of wisdom is this: get wisdom." Seeking after wisdom is so essential to finding living out our walks in tune with God, and the best part about it is that he WILL give it to us when we ask.

    I really really like this post :)


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