In life we often exercise preventative measures and avoiding risk. This is definitely the case when it comes to the heart in love relationships. Whether single or well into a relationship, we have a decision to make almost daily to guard our heart or be guarded.
Guarding your heart says: “I’m doing what’s best for me.”
Being guarded says: “I’m defending myself against anything that could potentially harm me!”
There is a difference between the two. The first means that you are aware of yourself, your wants and needs and in tune with your spirit. Being guarded however, is when you are defending yourself from getting hurt, meanwhile not doing anything to let that heart heal. We’ve all been there before. You may have had a broken heart, broken relationship, toxic relationship that left you feeling broken, bitter, hurt, angry, and defensive. At that point you’d do anything to protect it, so you put up walls, cut people off prematurely, jump to conclusions when things don’t go the way you want them to. All of these are signs of being guarded, and what a limited life that is to lead.
Why is guarding your heart important?
Guarding your heart is important, because not everyone you meet is meant to have access to it. Your heart is “the wellspring [source] of life” (Proverbs 4:23 MSG); a driving source for what you do. One who guards their heart applies God’s wisdom to the situation. They lean not to their emotions but to the words of wisdom stored up in them to seek knowledge, weigh their answers, and respond confidently with sound judgment. It requires a determination to remove anything or anyone’s influence that can taint you and take you off that focus. For example, when we give our heart to someone without wisdom, you run the risk of getting hurt. If your heart is full of hurt from unhealthy relationships, negative feelings, bitterness or unforgiveness, you won’t have proper room for giving and receiving real love, a.k.a. you’re unfocused.
Unfortunately, some of us are acting guarded while calling it guarding our hearts. Guarding your heart involves recognizing risk and reward, exercising right judgment when it comes to make a decision in your love life. Being guarded is only focused on “survival mode,” remaining stuck in the past hurt, as if the next opportunity for love will be like the last. Perhaps your next relationship or dating/courting experience will turn out the way you desire, but if you’re stuck being guarded, how will you ever know?
Being guarded is rooted in one thing!
Being guarded is simply rooted in this one thing: fear. Fear that you’ll make a mistake, fear that you’ll disappoint yourself, your family, or God once again. It’s the fear that you’ll get hurt again and a list of other feelings. But guarding your heart involves courage and discipline. It includes being able to say no, being bold enough to stand for what you believe is right and best for you, and being content in being alone instead of compromising for company. It also includes being brave to open your heart to others, but only those who deserve it. Guarding your heart means that you love yourself! Our bodies, minds and spirit all need protection in order to be healthy and whole. Leaving any part of you hurt out of fear is not giving room for love.
Whether you’ve realized you’re guarding your heart or being guarded, make room in your heart for God’s peace. He knows your heart more than anyone and He’s the only one to heal, sustain, and protect it. I’ll leave you with Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
BMWK Fam, do you notice when you’re being guarded and when you’re guarding your heart?