Wednesday, February 27, 2013

over-guarding your heart

(In modern terms: Twitterpated

I have no idea who Stephen is above.... hehe....but, I like that quote! Fits perfect with my post here. You may be interested to know the article below is written by a male :)

Also, to be clear on my end, I believe in guarding your heart & that of the opposite gender, but I do not believe that you should avoid light hearted conversations. I think there ought to be a safe balance. In maturity & propriety of course this can be done. :)

Over-Guarding Your Heart

Brad Neese

So I'm having lunch with a high school guy, when he blurts out, "I just don't get this girl! She isvery godly, loves Jesus, and I'm kind of interested in her—but her reactions to me have been absolutely frustrating! I ask how she is doing, but she never asks how I am doing. I ask about school, but she never asks me about school. I ask how she is growing in her faith and how God is moving in her life, but she never asks how I am growing in my faith or how God is moving inmy life."
Not wanting this guy to be self-deceived, I quickly responded with a grin, "Is it possible that she thinks you are stalking her? Maybe she just doesn't like you." Those words were out of my mouth before I realized their potential for disaster.
With even more discouragement he looks up and says, "No . . . she doesn't think I am a stalker. She is telling her sisters and her friends that she actually likes me but is 'guarding her heart.'"

His response made me think—I've heard that final phrase a lot growing up in church and in Christian school, mostly by women and girls. The scriptural basis is Proverbs 4:23.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
In the situation I just described, the girl applied Scripture the best way she knew how. But in an effort to "guard her heart," she also isolated herself from any potentially basic friendship with guys she felt attraction toward. Now, did she want to know more about him, his life, and his faith? Absolutely! But she was afraid that doing so would cause her heart to be unguarded. How do I know she was afraid? Because it is possible to interact with guys and still "guard your heart."
An essential part of the gospel is that all men and all women are made in "the likeness and image" of God the Father, Son, and Spirit (Gen. 1:27). This is the basis for common courtesy, care, and interaction with people (even guys). "Over-guarding" her heart caused this young girl not to live out the most basic truth of the gospel in her life—treating this guy as if he was made in the image and likeness of God by carrying on a simple conversation, asking about life situations, and listening to his evolving faith-story. Fear overshadowed living out the gospel.
As a result, a godly young man who was honorably pursuing someone with pure motives, initiating a relationship, encouraging her as a brother in Christ, and also wanting to protect her heart walked away frustrated. He wondered if she was ever going to let him see her heart let alone hold it.
So, here are some questions for you—I'd love to hear your response, so please pick one:
  1. Do you think there is even such a thing as over-guarding your heart?
  2. How do you find yourself over-guarding your heart?
  3. What does it look like to guard your heart without over-guarding your heart?


  1. YAYYYYY! I love this topic.

    Guarding your heart is SUCH an over-rated topic. I mean, yeah, you want to guard it, but to the extent that a lot of people say is RIDICULOUS. That really tripped me up during my teens and it's been a huge stumblingblock since in my relating to guys. On Kindred Grace today (formerly YLCF) they posted a FANTASTIC post about this, so I thought it was a really cool coincidence that you posted, too. :)

    Liking a guy isn't going to kill you. It's not going to mess up your future. (Neither is being in a "more than friends" relationship with more than one guy before you're married, but that's a whooooooooole 'nother topic. ;))

    1. Allie, the Christian walk is never easy. I will have to look up the article you speak of :) I still tend to be so very careful with guy/girl relationships, good to be on the safe side, but so important to know that we are made in Gods image & He has made given us natural attractions & also the ability to discern.

    2. ooooop! haha... thank you for your comment!

  2. I think it is very possible to over-guard one's heart in exactly the circumstances you said. I wonder if there's a certain amount of *fear* involved in over-guarding one's heart.

    1. Hi Hannah! I think so too. I think we can scare young men away by our persona. Again, we have always taught our girls to be friendly in Godliness. Self explanatory :) blessings :)

  3. Mrs. Ferrar, can you write a book? I can't tell you how frustrating this "principle" is for basic functionality within the homeschool sector. To even talk to a young lady it often feels like I have to go through the TSA, be interrogated by the FBI, and then receive security clearance from the CIA.

    Then after you actually run that gambit, it is like interrogating a Russian. They give you yes and no and the rest of the time you just sit there talking while they keep their eyes down and give you a half smile occasionally. If you do happen to look around you while you are attempting to converse, you will see the lady's security team hovering in the wings. Depending on the girl, you might have two or three personal keeping tabs on the situation. All in the name of guarding their heart. It's funny how those who are close to a young lady take it upon themselves to 'help' her guard her heart. (Another issue...)

    So all that to say, I appreciate that you are pointing out the hyper-guarding of the heart. (Because some guarding is good, otherwise you'll be throwing yourself at ever half way handsome face.) Not just for the guys sake, but also for the girls. More so for the girls for the very reasons you stated.

    1. Hi Josh! A book? Nah, dont need more enemies :P So good to hear from a young man with wisdom! I dont have sons, but I can only imagine how difficult it must be to talk to a young lady & she automatically thinks you like her. I believe parents have good intentions with their daughters, but maybe to a fault. We are responsible to protect & to make sure they are protected, but not to the point where they are not able to function & be social with grace. A HUGE fear of ours while raising our girls.

      Russian, huh? haha.. ok,that was funny. What joy is there in a one sided conversation? I do believe everyone should guard their hearts, its necessary, but not where its so very difficult to even be able to read a person. And why is it young ladies seem to think if a young man speaks to them, or just says, "hi" that they automatically think the guy is after them? Where did this come from? Poor guys out there, so much pressure. True. You cant win for losing :/

      Its tough out there! God is good though, all the time! :)

  4. EXCELLENT post--probably my favorite so far. It has a very open-minded feel to it; I like that. It's easy to get caught up in the whole "should guys and girls be friends" spiel and forget that. . .while we're protecting each-others hearts, we can't "hide" or ignore the opposite gender! THAT is even more dangerous then emotional attachment. If we completely isolate ourselves as women (or vise versa)--how are we supposed to find a mate?

    So anyway. I love this article. :)

    1: Do you think there is even such a thing as over-guarding your heart?

    Absolutely! Nothing is more unattractive (even to me, as a girl,) then a young lady who is scared of men or refuses to simply treat a brother in Christ as. . .well, a brother. Guys are HUMAN. It's interesting, because a lot of girls who are "keeping themselves pure by NOT speaking to the opposite gender", are often the most boy crazy. They've learned to view EVERY man as a potential. If more Christian young women could learn that every guy isn't some breed of creepy-alien-with-absolutely-no-self-control, they'd be less boyfriend-focused and more brother-in-Christ focused. The single men in our lives are our brothers--they need encouragement. They need to feel wanted (not in a romantic way, obviously,) and they need to KNOW they can take the lead when the Lord calls. Ignoring guys isn't the answer to purity.

    2: How do you find yourself over-guarding your heart?

    Not really sure how to answer this one. I try to go out of my way to be friendly to my male friends--I don't have one-on-one relationships with all of them, but I am polite and friendly. I've never had "real" brothers, but these guys have been a great learning tool. What, brothers? I have at least 20. ;)

    3: What does it look like to guard your heart without over-guarding your heart?

    I think I outlined that above already. ;) Guarding our hearts is very important--but again, not to the point that we seem "stuck up" or afraid of men. Friendly but not overly-personal conversation is wholesome and edifying. It's also very helpful to socialize with guys in a mixed setting. Make the male friends in your life feel human--but don't manipulate them or push. When and if they are interested they will let you know. GIRLS--let the guy take the lead! And trust me. . .they don't all like you. . .simply because they are men. ;)