Dear precious daughter,
Guard your Heart! "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23
Our hearts house who we are...our desires. As John Eldredge says in his book, Desire, "Everything that makes life worth living flows from the heart. Intimacy, romance, love. Adventure and meaning and purpose. Courage and sacrifice and joy." No wonder we're told to guard our hearts!
Girls have gone to great lengths to find love and acceptance. This world will encourage you to put yourself out there, be noticed. Oftentimes we do, hoping all along that we’ll be noticed and chosen to be the recipient of a man’s attention and affection. We search for love, giving our heart to undeserving candidates, and then we are left to deal with the consequences of pain and hurt.
We are so quick to give away the very thing that gives us life . . . our heart. It is the core to everything we are - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Physically- it keeps us living. Spiritually- it is the place the Holy Spirit dwells. Emotionally- it is where passions are birthed, joy or anger is felt, and desires are cultivated. Our hearts are the most valuable thing we have. Proverbs 4:23 … Above anything else guard your heart, for it is the source of life. The is the most valuable thing you will ever possess. GUARD IT. Keep careful watch as to who/what has access to it, and influence over it!
We think of guarding our heart with the opposite sex or when dating, but I think we overlook guarding our hearts with friends because we think we need to share everything with every friend. I had to learn the hard way that every friend can't be trusted with my entire heart. I'm sure that I'm not the only person that has experienced the hurt and pain that comes from a friend when you realize you've trusted them with a part of you/your heart that they couldn't handle with care. I will admit that it's hard to determine who to share what with without being fake. I have varying levels of friendships. Truth and honestly is essential in all relationships, but not all friendships have the same depth of sharing when it comes to my heart. I have friends who are, what I call, my soul friends. Friends of the soul. These are the friends that I can bare my soul to and know they can be trusted with my heart. Those soul friends were determined over time because Christ-like character had to be revealed in them.
It's hard to know to what extent to guard your heart in relationships, but I've found that it's good to land somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of too open and too guarded. I've been both extremes. When we're too open with friends who do not reflect Christ or the love, like He calls us to love, pain is inevitable. Being too guarded can be painful, too. It causes us to close ourselves off to what could be really great relationships. I don't think God wants us to live life this way. We were built for relationship with Him and others. Some of my greatest learning lessons have come out of situations where I let the guard down. Those lessons haven't always been painless; but, as someone once told me, "Stretching and growing is always painful." I don't want to be so guarded that I miss out on something that could be really great.
Remember, there is a constant help and a special companion, The Holy Spirit to help you. It is Christ himself, dwelling in you. An invisible friend, yet fully visible to the heart and soul. As you walk through the door today, and enter into a new season of teenage life, remember who lives and dwells within your heart, remember who is always present with you. Ask yourself these question and always answer honestly… would I sing this song with Jesus? If I could see him right now, would I sing the lyrics to this song with Him? Would I invite Jesus in to this peer/friend group to hang out? Can Jesus be with me right now on this date? Would he text this to a boy or to girl? Would He watch this movie? Would he drink this or not? The Holy Spirit, will help you to know what to do or what not to do. What to say and what not to say.
I can tell you today, with absolute certainty, that you will endure pain. You will let your guard down from time to time. You will fall short, and you will make mistakes. We all do. I have. I have made wrong choices in my teenage years and early twenties that I wish I could go back with giant eraser and take away. The most important thing I can share with you on this day, is that you are deeply loved by The Most High God. You are His beloved and there is nothing, NOTHING, that will ever separate you from the love of Christ. Bare your soul and your heart to Him. Come to Him with all of your junk, your hurts, your insecurities, and your desires and let God fill you up with His Truth. Don’t strive to be like anyone else, but be you, wholly and completely you. The expectations God has for your life is not that you are perfect, or the prettiest or the most popular. His expectation is that you will follow Him and allow Him to perfect Christ in You, beautiful girl.