Sunday, November 21, 2010

Guarding Your Heart

A friend of mine blogged recently about guarding your heart (something she reflected upon after reading Proverbs 4:23) and asked what "guarding your heart" means. How do you go about doing this? From a Biblical sense I agree with one of the people who responded by saying that "You guard your heart by loving Christ above all else. He will then lead your heart and protect it for you." Essentially, the Biblical intention of "guarding your heart" aligns with a phrase I've heard from a few of my friends, "A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek Him to find her." Now please excuse the sexist language, from my perspective this applies equally to men as to women and extends beyond heterosexual relationships. As a woman of faith, this does resonate with me. However, I think it is equally important to consider a practical application of guarding your heart. Afterall, God gave us free choice and as a result of doing so we have agency in our own lives (Thank God!).

From a more practical sense, guarding your heart entails wisdom as opposed to being "blind" or "naive." In essence, the pragmatic or practical intention of "guarding your heart" is being "informed by insight from past experiences" and yet remaining "open and sensitive to the present." This quote is from a book entitled "On Caring" and was actually used to describe courage; however, it resonated with me and seemed to provide a practical description of guarding your heart. In fact, as I reflect further, it takes a substantial amount of courage to guard your heart, which may explain why the phrase is applicable to both phenomena. As those who have experienced a broken heart know, it takes a great deal of courage to "guard your heart" rather than build a wall around it.

On the last season of The Bachelorette, one of the potential bachelor's was known for telling the bachelorette that he would "guard and protect her heart." The thing is, I don't think anyone can guard your heart except you. Its a paradox to believe someone else is capable of protecting your heart. Just as no one else can truly mend your broken heart, no one else can protect it for you. From my perspective, the condition of your heart is your own responsibility. An expression that resonates with me in relation to being in love is: "being in love with someone is giving them the power to destroy you but trusting them not to." The inherent implication is that YOU decide to give the other person that power and YOU decide to trust them with it. The hope is that you do so wisely and intentionally, that you guard your heart in the process.


AngelaMae said...

Amen girl!! I loved the way you took that and ran with it. I couldn't agree more... good be on this journey with you friend!

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