The lie of guarding your heart.

Here’s what I’ve decided.

Guarding your heart is a cop-out.

It’s one of the most vague ridiculous terms we’ve taken and skewed to keep us safe inside a little box of protection. From a young age we’re warned not to get too close but to “guard our hearts.”

Unfortunately this warning usually never comes with instructions. So we’re left to our own devices to figure out what that means. What amount of conversation is appropriate between two people? How do you even guard your heart? How much do I invest? Once I’m in, I become invested. Regardless of it’s two dates or two months, my heart is usually involved. How do I stop that?

I don’t know that I’m supposed to.

Sure, the Old Testament talks about guarding our hearts because it is the wellspring of life. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say to guard my heart from deep relationships with other people. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say to guard my heart from being seen and known. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say to guard it from the chance of getting hurt.

Now granted, I’m trying not to say hearts should be given out freely. Nor that there isn’t damage done when we give it away too often. I’m simply saying that guarding your heart is a catch-all cop-out and the way we’re communicating it in the church keeps us locked inside a cage of masked faces. We buy into the lie that offering who we are somehow breaks the admonishment of “guarding your heart.”

For me, the most valuable thing I can offer someone  and the deepest way I’m known is through my words. It’s how I truly express the deepest desires of my heart. When I start to feel something, I have to say it, or write it, or communicate it. I think this is where I have failed my own heart.

I’ve given away words too freely.

Where my physical purity has remained pretty much intact, my words have been given to many. Or have been said about many. I’m quick to put definition to my heart’s stirrings. It’s not often that I’m interested in someone and I won’t have something to say about it. And while there haven’t been a lot of instances where I’ve fully communicated things that possibly should have been left unsaid, there have been too many.

Sometimes I wish I could take back those words and love letters. I wish I had kept them closer to my heart and protected them. For that, someday I’ll need to apologize to one man. Because chances are, I’ve said things before that should have only been said to one.

And I think the way I can protect my future is to be more cautious with those things. To save the part of me that’s my special thing to give for one person. I want my words to be held closely and not floating around with several different people. They don’t belong to me. They are meant for another and not mine to give to anyone I choose.

I believe we have to live vulnerably to connect with each other. Knowing and being known doesn’t have to stop because we feel the need to guard our hearts. I think we guard our hearts by saving those precious things that make us so very uniquely our own for one or two. The last thing I want to be is safe and sorry.

they always told me I should guard my heart
no one told me not to guard too hard


thoughts? agree? disagree?


2 thoughts on “The lie of guarding your heart.

  1. I agree that “guarding your heart” to the extent we’ve been taught is a terrible teaching. There is no way to have a relationship that leads to marriage (or any intimate relationship) without giving part of you to the other person. If there is no giving of both parties, there is no relationship!
    However, I don’t think you should be ashamed of nor should you need to apologize for former love letters, or former communicated feelings. They were your feelings, they were real, and they mattered. You shouldn’t need to apologize to people for any feeling you have or formerly had. Those feelings will influence your relationship with your spouse in that it was a learning experience from your life, but they aren’t part of the marital relationship. Just like you can have your first kiss before marriage and not feel the need to apologize, you can have your first feelings of love before marriage as well.

  2. Pingback: The New Purity | Restore Our Love

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