“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
I have never been good at guarding my heart. In the fourth grade, I fell head over heels for Jeff Smith, a little boy I probably terrified with my vocal adoration. In the ninth grade, it was Dustin Burnham, about whom I secretly penned poetry and spent hours upon hours imagining as my husband. In college, another, and in law school, yet another.
With each new phase of life it seemed, my heart would catch hold of a new person and kaboom! I was in love.
Unfortunately, almost none of these infatuations turned into actual relationships. My years of mooning over these young men resulted in nothing more than tears and frustration. But with each one, my heart became a little harder, a little more bitter. I developed a belief that my relationships would never work out, that no one would return my love.
In turn, these beliefs in my heart bore dark fruit in my actions – I engaged in over-eating and drinking to numb my emotions. My perceived failures led me to be insecure in meeting any new men and to run from the very thing that I wanted – a real relationship. I instead sought attention from men who treated me the way I felt I should be treated: badly.
I was trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle.
Breaking free was not easy, but it came through seeing myself not through my own eyes, but through Christ’s. Whereas I told myself that I was ugly, He told me that I was beautiful and perfectly made. When I told myself that I would never have a real relationship, He assured me that I already had one – with Him.
I do not want to make it sound simple or easy. It is often far easier to base our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions on the people around us rather than on the Lord. I had to forcibly reject my “wisdom” that I had built over the years and accept in its place the Lord’s wisdom.
When I met the man who would become my husband, I did not fall immediately in love. With clarity of mind, I could see his character, his heart, and his demonstration of constant affection for me. I guarded my heart and in turn, I was able to make a truly wise decision.
Join the conversation! Have you struggled to guard your heart or what spoke to you from Proverbs 4?