There are two places in the (NIV) Bible where the phrase 'guard your heart' comes up.
I grew up knowing and hearing that phrase all the time. But I didn't understand what it meant or how to do it until I was pregnant, single, heart-broken, abandoned (feeling) and at rock-bottom.
I gave pieces of my heart to a dozen different boys. I gave pieces of my heart to people whose affections and attentions I desired. I gave my body to different boys and tried unsuccessfully to not let my heart go with that.
Guarding your heart isn't just about boyfriends. And it isn't just about sex.
Guarding your heart is about placing your heavenly Father and wise Creator as a guard in front of all else. A filter, a screen, a bodyguard. It is about forcing out everything until you are certain that your number one (Jesus Christ) is and always will be first. It is about clinging to purity, not as a minimum 'no sex' policy, but as a maximum security lifestyle and state of mind.
It is about keeping the things about you that God made beautiful and protecting them. Holding on to your sweet gift of a heart for whatever gives you drive and passion. It is wearing fuzzy socks and dancing around because no boy matters as much as being yourself. It is about keeping your secrets sometimes and not sharing them just in a desperate attempt to create 'intimacy'.
Proverbs 4:23- Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Wellspring is defined as an original and bountiful source of something. That means that God didn't give us a little heart...it is bountiful. It is the original source of God, given to us at creation. It is our temple and home for our Savior.
The second place that 'guard your heart' is used is in Philippians 4:6-8. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
This verse gives us a genius practical application lesson. How do I guard my heart? I pray and accept the promise of God's peace - in EVERYTHING. I keep my mind pure by focusing on truth, nobility, and things that are right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
So, let's see. Where did I fail? Let's run the list of things I often thought about against the list of things I should have been thinking about...
1. Staying skinny....not real noble or praiseworthy.
2. Having 'trendy', 'hot' clothes...not pure or lovely.
3. Physical touch, often...not pure and not admirable, and not believing truth about how good waiting is!
4. Drinking, smoking...not pure, not admirable, not right, not noble, not excellent....
5. Ignoring my parents 'nagging' (aka wisdom)...not right, noble or excellent.
That list could go on FORever.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this. I want to allow my struggles and my sin to become a testimony of God's grace, His perfect, timely, saving grace. And His unconditional love. UNconditional.
I am especially hopeful that some younger girls will read this and something will click. I never slowed down enough and accepted enough wisdom to let this 'click' and my life spun out of control and my heart was so far from guarded that it got passed around, stepped on, used, abused and mailed back to me covered in filth. I pray that I can pass on enough to help even just one girl learn to guard her heart.
Thanks for listening :)