Guard Your Heart

Most of us enter marriage so in love that we would never think of divorce much less take the time to guard our hearts against it. When Joe and I got married we hadn't ever fought one single time. I thought I was entering a perfect, dream marriage. Divorce just wasn't something that entered our mind at that point. Sadly, it normally isn't until it's too late. Then we realize we should have been guarding our hearts all along. From the beginning we should build a fence of protection around our marriage and a shield around our heart.

How many times have you heard it said to follow your heart? Or maybe you've even given that advice yourself. Your heart is the center of who you are. It’s the doorway to your emotions and relationships. Where your heart leads, your feet naturally follow. No matter what the decision we have to make, we are encouraged by the world to do what we feel our heart tells us to do. We are told that we deserve it, to be true to ourselves. God tells us not to follow our hearts, that they are wicked and deceitful.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9

Anyone is vulnerable if their heart isn't guarded; from Sunday school teachers to members of the choir. Don’t underestimate the enemy. We are all at risk. Every. One. Of. Us. Satan wants to draw you away from your spouse. He would love nothing more than to see you stray.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 
1 Corinthians 10:12

As a wife, you hold the key to your husband’s heart. I specifically remember when Joe and I were separated he sent me a text message that meant more to me than he ever knew. It simply said "you still hold the key to my heart". Guarding love keeps your focus where it belongs. It protects everything that is important to you. You need to guard the love you've dreamed of.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life 
Proverbs 4:23

What are some of the dangers we need to guard against?

Relationships with the opposite sex - Although in our minds they may seem harmless, many times they lead to feelings that shouldn't be there.   It all starts with an innocent glance, a whispered phrase, a caring pat, a kind gesture, thoughtful word, or gentle hug. A hurried hand squeeze or double-meaning kidding. These are the danger signals. They all seem so innocent and warm, but can turn dangerous in a flash.

Anger - The temptation to sin seems to be greater when your angry. It just seems so much easier to justify then.

Pornography - Everywhere you look, it's there staring you in the face. It destroys marriages, period. This also includes books disguised as romance novels, such as 50 shades of grey series.

Worry - When you're consumed by worry, it pulls your trust from God. Remember, why worry when you can pray!

Comparison - Don't compare your marriage to movies. The problem isn't wanting a fairytale romance but trying to compare your marriage and your spouse to those whirlwind romances in the movies. so many times I've been guilty of that myself, and I simply set myself up for disappointment and failure. We need to truly love our husbands without unreal expectations.

Control - Leave family leadership to the husband, that is God's plan for marriage. This is my stumbling block. This is probably the single hardest thing for me to do.

Attention - Remember marriages don't look like the fairy tale romances you see on movies. As women, we crave attention and when we don't feel our husbands are giving us enough, we go looking for it wherever we can find it.

How can you guard your heart?

Understand your man - Men are different than women, especially sexually. Men are visual creatures by nature and can't help noticing females physical appearance.  

Share your radar - Women have a sixth sense about other women. We can spot a woman who has designs on our husband a mile away. We can even sense which kind of woman would be attractive to him. It’s god-given radar alert.  Share this with your husband. That way the two of you can protect your marriage.

Be committed - Don't waver in your commitment and your desire to guard your heart, guard your spouses heart and guard your marriage.

Ask God for help - Spend lots of time in prayer talking to God. Ask Him for help and to protect your heart. God is the only true protection for marriage.

Allow God to search your heart - That's where guarding starts, it's a matter of the heart. Allow God to search your heart and find areas that are weak and in need of repair.

Establish openness with God - When Joe and I were separated,  I would talk to God like He was sitting right beside me.

Take some time today to sit down, search your heart, talk to God and ask yourself some hard questions. Ask God to meet you where you are and change your heart. He will never fail to give you the grace to guard your heart.