Let me start out by saying, I understand. I KNOW! What I’m about to say is old fashioned in the least, possibly pre-historic. It’s a concept that is mostly unheard of in today’s society. I GET IT… It’s not easy doing the thing that NO ONE else seems to be doing.
I understand that to some this concept will sound ridiculous, extreme. That’s OK. But, will you allow me to share with you from my own experience? From my heart? From the truth that I have encountered?
When I was in middle school and high school I never really dated. My parents had rules that to most seemed pretty “strict” regarding the world of dating. If I remember correctly the rule was NO dating until you are at least 16 and at that point it was still very STONGLY discouraged. In a society where we encourage are children to have a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” in kindergarten and most kids start “dating” before they even know what dating is, this seemed a bit crazy. Of course I had the middle school boyfriend because they couldn’t really keep that from happening, but outside of school, my parents never went out of their way to allow us to hang out together, even when all the other parents were. At the time, it didn’t seem fair, BUT now as an adult, you know what? I’m THANKFUL. They were guarding my heart.
And then, I can remember when I started dating my first “real boyfriend”. I was 17 and getting ready to leave for college at the end of that summer. He was handsome, older, and more experienced. O, yeah, and now he happens to be my husband ;). He still teases me to this day about my twice a weak rule. When we first started dating, I told him that I was only able to see him twice a week. We joke about it now, but looking back, I’m glad I did that, you know why? I was guarding my heart.
As we got more serious in our relationship, we set boundaries. Boundaries that to most were unheard of, especially for 2 adult people who were “in love”. We made the choice to wait to have sex until we were married, and set other boundaries regarding physical contact. It was not the popular decision. It was not what most of the people around us were doing. In fact, a lot of our friends did not believe that we would actually follow through with our boundaries. BUT, looking back, I am so glad we set them. You know why? We were both guarding our hearts.
I know this is a concept that you don’t hear much about, but CAN I BEG YOU? I beg you to start now. Start guarding your heart. Don’t pour out your heart and all your secrets to some boy you just started talking to… Don’t spend all your time and energy trying to impress a boy that you barely know…. Know that it’s OK to not date, to NOT hold hands, to NOT kiss, and ultimately, to NOT have sex. The boundaries will look different for everyone. BUT what boundaries could you put in play to start guarding your heart today?
As I look around at my friends who made the choice not to guard their hearts, I see hurt. I watched them search for love, for acceptance, for their identity in a relationship. And, some of them never found it….
Ask the Lord to guide you as you set boundaries to guard your heart and allow HIM to be the keeper of your heart today!
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for from it flows the springs of life.”