Above all else guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life.
– Proverbs 4:23
“It is easier said than done”, they said.
“The heart is deceitful”, they professed.
“It’s my life, isn’t it?”, I confessed.
“Guard your heart” simply implies that there will be things that will rise up against your heart with which defence is required. And if necessary, attack!
“Above all else..” suggests that this action of guarding should be of the highest priority to other activities or happenings pertaining to matters of the heart.
Most (if not all) of the issues or matters we face in this life affect our hearts, either directly or indirectly, be it food (yes, I just had to start with that one :-P), our jobs, our studies, careers, families, financial status, emotional status, the list is endless. But my focus here is on the emotional status of the heart , specifically pertaining to relationships: the Adam-Eve kind.
(PS: I am not any kind of love doctor nor do I posses any love-wizard skills, I am speaking form a point of observation and experience which I believe is worth sharing)
My heart is heavy as I think about this. Was I too naive? Was I just plain dumb?
Or maybe I was simply trying to play superwoman, when I knew all to well I wouldn’t make it on my own?
Well, you can judge for yourself.
He was handsome.
They all were.
And they loved the Lord too.
Some had purely angelic voices, others had such a sense of intellect and poetic words that would keep me silent for hours just wanting to listen to them talk all day and all night as I stared and just smiled back at, nodding to all the chocolate-coated words they uttered. Another had this killer smile (my oh! my) , and yet another had this way of making me feel like I indeed was the only other soul in the room, on the earth, in the universe!
And I don’t even know where to begin with the one who possessed almost all of the above qualities (let’s call him Sanji, for lack of a better name). He made me feel as if I was in heaven. Bliss!
But there was one problem with my encounter with all of this halo-crowned (to me, they seemed somewhat angelic) men. We never were in a relationship nor in anything that suggested something of the sort, yet, I seemed to have given out a piece of my heart to them.
So, coming back to Sanji. We were close. Probably way to close than was necessary, as I look back now. I assumed the many frequent visits we exchanged, the long late-night chats and calls, the extra attention we gave each other when in a crowd setting, the additional few seconds in the warm hugs and the sweet words we reciprocated, beyond the normal ones friends would exchange, must have been the cause of the spark – at least on my part.
So, bit by bit my heart was given to him, despite him never proposing anything more than friendship. The extra attention and affection brought my heart to the elevated level of a skyscraper, but only up to the point of realization that the feelings which had grown wildly within my heart and body were not mirrored in the other party. Then, my heart went on a bungee jumping spree, only in this case, in place of the excitement expected, was just pure pain, misery and tearstained pillows.
I was slowly dying inside while I gave out my heart to him. I don’t blame him. Well, not entirely.
I blame myself.
I blame myself for not guarding my heart when I knew all to well I ought to.
I was an avid fan of the books of Solomon so, I knew all to well what he talked about concerning guarding my heart, and not awakening “love before it so yet pleases”. I knew I was playing a dangerous gambling game with my heart; one that I wasn’t ready to give up in, but in essence had already lost.
I had to somehow break away, even it meant losing the emotional craze that made me feel like a woman. The extra attention that he gave me, which only deserved to be received by a queen of some sort, from her endearing king.
It wasn’t right because we were not glorifying nor honouring God.
I was not honouring God.
I was only focused on my emotional gratifications and pleasures, which were temporal instead of fixing my eyes on more permanent things.
Just as Timothy said, Everything that is spoken of in the Bible, every single word, is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in all righteousness.
So, God knew the prominence and urgency of us protecting ourselves from emotional entanglements with people whom he necessarily did not call us to be with. The fact that you are a Christian does not mean that you are perfect. It does not mean every struggle and challenge directed towards you will bounce back due to the protective effect of an invisible Christian’s-shield that’s always surrounding you.
You have to work out your way through things in life. The only difference is, you won’t be doing it alone. You have God taking you through it all.
Just as God is love, we are called to love and experience it, as well as receive the reciprocated love – but with the right person. And you will find (or be found), trust me!
Just as Adam put it: rib of my rib and flesh of my flesh, whilst referring to Eve the love of his life, we need to WAIT for the one who is cut out for us (in Adam’s case it was literal. Get it? Cut out? Heh? Oh well…)
As we wait, we need to focus on other important things in our lives, we need to grow ourselves- emotionally, socially, mentally, financially a even physically – and we have to build others too. All this should be done as we protect our hearts from the conniving Delilahs (the Delilahs can be men too) around, because such, tend to derail us from the purposes we have been called to – the issues of life.
So, in the meantime, enjoy your life, grow and learn to be happy by yourself.
In case you have managed to find your Rachel or have been found by your Jacob, it is also wise to guard your heart until the Lord gives the go ahead for the two of you to “become one”. The same still applies in your relationship with that special someone.
God commands us to guard our hearts. The same hearts which he gave us and specifically crafted to experience emotions such as love.
Everything He does is for our benefit and He does so out of love. True and sincere love that is not self-seeking.
Above all else we should guard our hearts by, striving to listen and follow His advice and commands, which are not burdensome and which work out for our good.
So, as far as you can, guard your heart with all diligence, like the treasure that it is…up until it’s found by the one worthy of beholding it!
Grace and Peace to you.