What Does “Guarding Your Heart” Mean?

Proverbs 4:23
“Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.”

Guard your heart.

That is one phrase I have heard so many times in my life yet haven’t really fully understood. I mean, I knew I was supposed to guard my heart for my future, especially my future husband, but I’ve never really got exactly HOW I was supposed to. What exactly does this passage mean? Yes, I have saved myself for marriage (whenever that may be) and haven’t dated anyone, but does that mean I’ve successfully guarded my heart? What does it look like to actually guard your heart? This verse shows us just how important it is (it determines the course of your life), but how are we supposed to guard our heart when we don’t really know how to?

These questions have been on my mind on and off for the last few years. I’ve rolled around different answers and different thoughts, but each time I never really found a conclusion… until a couple days ago. I was reading through a Bible app on my phone when I came across Psalm 119:9 (ESV).

“How can a young man (woman) keep his (her) way pure?
By guarding it according to Your Word.

I am pretty sure I have read that passage hundreds of times, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that I really got what it said (maybe because before I read it in NLT?). We guard our hearts according to God’s Word. We hide it deep in our hearts and meditate on it day and night. (Psalm 119:5, Josh. 1:8)
(Just a quick side note: I’m not sure we’ll ever fully understand how exactly to guard our hearts. We can do our best to do what Scripture says, but life and mistakes happen. Know it’s okay if you aren’t successful and end up giving your heart away to someone who doesn’t deserve it. With God there is always healing, redemption, and multiple second chances. He is able to create new and and make pieces whole. From here on out there is hope for you. Start here and start new.)

So, what exactly does Scripture say? How exactly do we guard our heart? And can we guard it without completely walling ourselves off?

Well, first of all, know God has your best interest in store for you! He’s not going to ask you to do anything that will give you 2nd best, worsen your life, or cause you any harm. He has THE best future for you, THE best man for you, and THE best guide book the world has to offer: the Bible.

Second, one of the best ways to guard our hearts is to stay away from anything harmful in our lives (even if it means we will have to lose friends or those we hold dear who don’t hold the same standards as usĀ in the process). 2 Timothy 2:22 says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
This passage is not sugarcoated. By flee, Paul means FLEE. Don’t flirt with the idea of something “bad,” just stay away from it. Pursue what is right, noble, honorable, etc (Phil. 4:8-9).

Third, “He has made everything beautiful in His time…” (Ecc. 3:11). One of my favorite quotes says, “Do what you love and you will find someone who loves the same thing. Do not look for love, beg for love, or suffer for love. Just live.” When we delight ourselves in the LORD, He gives us the true desires of our heart… in His perfect timing.

And last… continue meditating on both passages above (or all, that’s good too). Keep seeking Christ, reading your Bible, and praying about it. God will give you wisdom on how best to guard your heart, because trust me, it’ll be worth it! One of these days you will be grateful you made a stand and set your standards high! Where your heart/desires are… there your life will follow.

I hope this was helpful for you! Let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, whatever. Either comment on here or email me: womanofpurity@gmail.com

Many blessings to you,
~Woman of Purity

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