Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Anybody else out there wondered what it means to guard your heart? In youth group, I was always told to guard my heart. I didn’t want to give my future husband only a part of my heart, after all.
But I was confused as to how to go about guarding my heart. I really did try to think about what it meant, but I always drew a blank.
It was only when I began thinking about what I was doing wrong as a single girl that it clicked. Guarding my heart was essentially guarding my mind, body, and purity.
It still may not be so clear to you, so I wanted to give you 5 ways you can begin to guard your heart right now as a single girl, or even as a girl in a relationship. Because you still need to guard your heart when your relationship status is “taken”. But first, I want to talk about why we need to guard our hearts!
Why You Need to Guard Your Heart
I think that the answer to this question comes from the end of the verse above. “For everything you do flows from it”. I love how the Message version translates Proverbs 4:23, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.”
Life starts in our heart. If we just let anybody come in and mess it up, or even allow ourselves to mess it up, what kind of fruit will we be producing? Bruised, old fruit that nobody wants to eat. But when we guard our heart from intrusions, the fruit is beautiful and delicious.
In other words, the way we act, love, and overall treat ourselves and others directly flows from how we guard our heart. We are able to give the best versions of ourselves to God, and eventually our future husbands.
Ultimately, guarding our hearts glorifies God, and I think that is the best reason of all.
How to Guard Your Heart
1. Check your thoughts
For me, this is probably the biggest struggle. What girl doesn’t want to dream about their future husband? Or even about what it would be like to date so-and-so? It’s fun, and doesn’t make you feel so lonely.
But if you aren’t careful, it can be sinful. When you want a boyfriend or desire intimacy, you go to your dream life, instead of heading to God and His Word for comfort or intimacy. It isn’t real, it just makes you feel good in the moment. In reality, it doesn’t help anything. It’s like taking Tylenol for an infected tooth. You need to get it pulled, but you just take medicine to mask the pain.
It is also awakening love before it’s time (Song of Solomon 8:4). The Bible tells us not to do that, and I truly believe it is for our own protection. It’s protecting our hearts from unneeded pain and longing. We should focus on Him and all of the other blessings in our lives!
2. Set boundaries for yourself
This one is big, and also very unique for each person. Determine what makes you lust, desire intimacy, or sin, and remove it from your life. Yes, it will be hard, but so worth it. I promise!
Maybe for you that is watching certain movies, reading romance novels, listening to love songs, hanging out with a specific group of people, or like I mentioned above, dreaming about your future. I know you know what it is, so I’ll let you set your own boundaries!
3. Don’t go “as far as you can go”
So many couples ask “how far they can go” without going “too far”. Let me give you another way to think about it: “How far away from sin can you get? How close to purity and God’s plan can you get?” Those are much better, God-honoring questions!
Practice it now before you enter a relationship, and it will be so much easier for you to remain pure and guard your heart!
4. Put God first in your life
Seems simple, but let me ask you a heart-to-heart question. Is God truly number one in your heart? What do you turn to when you’re sad? (yes, chocolate is wrong 😉) Lonely? Happy?
If it’s anything other than God, I encourage you to focus on making Him first in your life. Actually, focus on making God your life. Not just a part of it.
Guarding your heart is so much easier, and worth it, when God is your priority and help.
5. Prepare yourself for a relationship
Begin preparing yourself to be the best God-honoring girlfriend and wife you can be. Not only will it help you to guard your heart in dating relationships, it will help you to guard your heart now by remaining busy and having an objective.
How do you prepare for marriage? First off, study the Bible for what a man and woman’s roles are in marriage. Also, work on areas of your life that could use some improvement. Honor God by being the best you that you can be. And I’m not just talking about your physical well-being, but also about your emotional and spiritual. I know your future husband will appreciate it and respect the fact that you care about yourself!
I will be talking about preparing for marriage in another blog post in this series!
Guarding your heart will be one of the hardest things you (we) will ever do, but also one of the most worthwhile! Even if you never get married, guarding your heart is important. Remember, it glorifies God. Giving God only parts of your heart is not honoring Him.
But I’m right here with you girl! I’m not writing this because I’ve successfully made it to marriage while guarding my heart, but because I’m right in the middle of the battle, and I want to encourage you as well!
So how do you guard your heart? Which of these is the hardest for you to master? The easiest? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
This was part 2 of my singleness series! I hope you are enjoying this so far. You can read part 1 here. Stay tuned for next week! We will be talking about finding hope and fulfillment as a single girl.
With all my love,