Living in Christian community, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “guard your heart”. It’s always said with a somber expression, with well meant warnings, and usually referenced by the scripture in Proverbs, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT)
All of this is wise, and very necessary, but as a young girl with not a whole lot of value for herself, I didn’t understand it at all. Guard your heart? How do you even do that?
At fourteen, with frizzy hair and a broken heart, I thought that was shutting everyone out. No one was penetrating those walls I put up. My heart was locked away behind concrete walls with no windows or doors. Don’t come knocking, because there’s no way I could let you in, even if I had wanted to.
Now, at twenty, with a healing heart and hair slightly less frizzy, I’m starting to get what it means to really guard your heart.
It starts with learning that your heart is valuable. It’s not something for people to toy with, to use and dispose of once they’re bored. Your heart needs protecting, because it’s worth it.
One of the leaders in my community said in a meeting one time, that guarding your heart was like a castle, with moats and a draw bridge. I started to think about this picture, and the Lord revealed a few things to me. When someone approaches a castle, there are two questions usually asked: Who goes there? What business do you have?
I’m gonna do a wee bit of a breakdown on these questions, because they’re important ones that have relevance to guarding your heart.
Who goes there? Or rather, who are you? When it comes to letting people inside the castle, you don’t let in every them, he, and her. You need to know who it is that’s knocking on the doors of your heart, and if they even know who they are. Are they firm in their identity? Do they know their value? These questions are necessary, because if they don’t know their own value, how can they know yours?
What business do you have, or, what do you want here? What is their purpose in seeking you out? People usually knock on castle doors for one or two reasons: they are there to honor who is inside, or to loot for their own selfish gain.
Each question can lead into the other; you’ll know who you’re dealing with when you know what they want in seeking your heart. You don’t have to let everyone in to every room of your heart, because not everyone is supposed to have access to every room. The royal family may let people take tours of the house, but I guarantee that the average person can’t hang out in the Queen’s bedroom. There are circles of intimacy, which can be a blog post in itself, that need to be established. The point is, don’t be afraid to ask those questions before letting someone in. Not every Prince Charming is all that charming once you find out their real motives, and not everybody knows exactly what they’re trying to do by requesting entrance. Some people don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing.
Your heart is important to keep safe, and you are worth it. Talk to someone in leadership over you or that you trust if you’re confused about someone you think may have intentions. Keep people involved so you have clear eyes. I promise you’ll be grateful for your vulnerability in the end.