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 can I 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,
Tags : devotion, encouragement, lifestyle, singleness
Hannah R says
Such a great reminder and helpful lesson to learn!
Thank you so much for all of your support, Hannah!!
I have learned something because of this. I’m having a big crush to one of my office mates. and the fact that it seems that my heart isn’t in a right condition for it his presence really distracts and disturbs my inner peace. It seems that he is the reason of my smiles to think that it isn’t good.
Ma’am, what should I do?
Hi! I am glad that you learned something from this blog post! Oh, crushes can be a tricky thing! I cannot tell you what to do; nobody can. But I do want to encourage you to truly chase after God right now and pursue an intimate relationship with Him. He is the only One that can satisfy! I know for me, when I’m closer to Jesus, I in turn tend to like guys that love Jesus. Guys that don’t love Jesus just aren’t as attractive to me. So right now, work on your relationship with Jesus, and pray about the situation as well!
Wow, I love this so much! I have been in a dating relationship for over two years, and I think that all of these apply to people in a relationship as well, and for both men and women. I often have conversations with my boyfriend about many of these topics and how we can love each other in the way that God intended while guarding our hearts appropriately, and this post just nailed all the main points right on the spot. Lovely job, Allison!
That is awesome! Thank you so much for your comment, Monica!!
Terry Yazzie says
I appreciate your blog and I’m hungry to read more! Thank you, Jesus!
I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you!
love this so much!! It made me think about things I’ve never considered before.
I am so glad, Emily! Thank you for your comment!!
I love this! Especially #4. This a such a great reminder of something we seem to forget about or place such little value in. Also, I love the new site look!
I totally agree, Mary-Faith. Thank you so much!!
Catherine Hathaway says
hey girl! I really liked this post. I have always practiced prayer for my future husband as a way to be more mindful in relationships.
Thank you, Catherine! That is awesome. I definitely love to as it helps me to be more intentional!
Stephanie Owino says
That is quite impressive …Bless your heart dear
Thank you, Stephanie!
Thank you! While this was short and sweet, it really spoke to me. I can’t wait for the blog on preparing for marriage.
I’m so glad! Thank you, Holly!
Rachel B says
Definitely needed this!
I’m so glad it encouraged you!
Its so much needed and especially for me. Thank you so much.. A big thank you
Awe I’m so glad it encouraged you! You’re welcome! All glory to God.
I agree – in a way – with most of what you say, but still I feel a deep sadness and lonleyness in you, almost a kind of desperation. None of us need to achieve all these things. We do not have to DO. We only have to let go of ourselves and trust in God. If you try to be/do so very much in hope of for examlpe get a husband you simply cannot put God first. You have to give Him everything. I am not a native English speaker som it is a bit difficult for me to find the right way to say this. Please excuse my English. What I want you to see/hope and pray that you will see is that none of us can do anything but love God and pu our trust in Him. And allow Him to act, to be the active part. If we are busy all the time trying to “do the right thing” we might not hear His voice when he talks to us. We need to be still, be in silence. To silence ourselves, body, heart and soul. To make room for the Lord. For Him and only Him. Not prepare for future husbands or anything but Him! Have you ever read S. Francis prayer? Even if you are not a Catholic it is the most beautiful of prayers. And what you try to do by encouraging young women to live a life of holiness is a beatiful thing to. God bless you from a sister in Scandinavia
Thank you for your comment, Molly. I acknowledge what you are saying, but do not agree with all of it. First off, I am definitely not sad or lonely. I have the best friends, family, and Jesus! And I’m also not desperate. I am a girl that loves Jesus with all of her heart, and is seeking to put God first above all else in my life. I want to be a good steward of this life that God has given me, and one way that I’m doing that is by preparing for my future. In Proverbs 4:23, God tells me to guard my heart. That is exactly what I am seeking to do, and why I wrote this blog post. I want to encourage others to do the same. I don’t see that as being separate from seeking God. I see it as a way to seek God. Salvation and a relationship with Jesus is definitely not all about works and “doing”, but we are called to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:13-16). We should do our best to honor Him, but also rest in His grace and love. Ultimately, we should all seek an intimate relationship with God, where everything is out in the open, and our hopes and dreams align with His. Blessings, Allison
Have been trying to do this but I see myself falling back… Thank you for this really encouraging
You can do it!! I’m so glad it encouraged you 🙂
Deby Deborah says
Wow! Feels like God spoke to me by seeing this post.
Thank you for sharing. For God to be glory!
Ahh that is so awesome! Yes, all glory to God!
You are such a clear writer!! I love love the part where you talked about being careful with dreaming about your future – I think it is so often left out or thought of as not a big deal as young Christian women, but it is so so crucial! It can be so easy to let your thoughts be overcome by fantasies about your future life, especially as a natural romantic/over thinker 😉 happy I found your blog. Blessings!
Thank you so much girl!! Oh my word, not dreaming about my future is one of the hardest things for me. Glad it encouraged you! And thanks for commenting 🙂
I love the part where you talked about,dreaming of our future husband and setting our boundaries,in order to guard our heart, it was difficult for me, but after coming across this blog, by Gods grace , i have been guarding my heart. I came back to comment and to thank you, to show my appreciation, for the good work you have been doing . i hope to read more of your blogs and to know you more in person. Thanks, Allison am grateful 💜
Good job! And you’re welcome!
Belinda Hatfield says
Thank you for this post. I am just now coming across your blog in February 2019. The thing that stands out to me the most from this post is #2 – Set Boundaries for Yourself. I am on vacation this week and, being a book lover, have spent several hours this week reading Christian fiction romance books. After a few books, I was getting really depressed about my single girl status. It makes me unhappy with my current life. I realized that this is not the way I should be. I started looking on Pinterest for posts on being a single Christian girl which led me to your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and for the encouraging words. It helps to know that there are other girls in the same boat! This post made me think. I think it’s time that I backed off the romance books and focus on the important things in life. Thanks again!!!
Hi Belinda! Girl, I totally get you. Romance books, even Christian ones, have been a stumbling block for me. I’ve had to definitely limit my reading of them. Thanks for commenting! It truly is my pleasure!