Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. —Proverbs 4:23
This verse helps us to see why guarding our heart is so important and why God demands we protect it from evil. Giving in to sin and evil separates us from God and destroys our relationship with the Lord. For this reason, it is important to consider what we need in order to guard our hearts as we take the journey from being single to married.
Guarding Your Heart as a Single Person
First, remember to have a heart that is set on Christ. No matter what dangers we face in this world, we can always seek haven in our eternal relationship with our Creator. We may become hardened by the long journey as we look for love. Perhaps our loneliness spirals into overwhelming feelings. Maybe someone we’re dating suddenly disappoints us.
As a single person, there are plenty of challenges that require us to guard our heart. There are certain expectations we have that – when unfulfilled – can leave us feeling hurt, sad or disenchanted. Through all of these challenges, we must remember God will prevail in truth for eternity. If we give our hearts to the Lord, our eternity in heaven will always be secure.
If you are single, trust God to look out for your best interests. Be patient as you search for your special someone, seek comfort in the Lord when you’re feeling lonely and remember that when others disappoint us, the Lord will never disappoint. Those who surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit will experience freedom from the control of sin and the flesh.
Guarding Your Heart While In a Relationship
The Bible says you weren't created to live this life by yourself, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). So, it’s no surprise that many of us feel such a strong urge to find another person to share our lives with. But, once we’ve left our single days behind and entered into a new relationship, there are a whole new set of obstacles for us to navigate.
If you are human, then you are exposed to the pressures of sex before marriage. From television and movies to billboards and online ads, we are assaulted with examples of premarital sex every day. At times, the idea of sex before marriage may be tempting, but the seventh of God’s 10 Commandments tells us not to have sex with anyone other than our spouse. And so we must follow that commandment in order to guard our heart from sin and to protect our future marriage.
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. —Hebrews 13:4
Sex before marriage is often just a way to seek the approval of others instead of God. However, waiting to have sex is a test of true love, and will keep your heart safe and pure. Focus on the person you’re dating and why they’re a good match for you. Enjoy your time together and the journey of getting to know each other. The wait is worth it and you’ll learn one of life’s most important lessons: that you can have a deeply fulfilling relationship without having sex.
Guarding Your Heart After Marriage
At the beginning of most marriages, it’s easy to stay focused on one another and your love for each other. As time goes on, however, it becomes easier to take each for granted. It also becomes easier to become argumentative and cynical. Before long, our heart is no longer pure and filled with love. Instead it is angry and filled with hurt.
Protect your heart by dwelling on the reasons your spouse makes you happy, or contemplating what made the two of you fall in love in the first place. If you dwell on the negatives, or the quarrels, you are at risk for an even greater sin: adultery. If there are deep problems between you and your spouse, these issues can lead you to turn elsewhere for support, and ultimately, for sex.
Guard your heart from sexual adultery. The Ten Commandments demand that you not only refrain from sexual intercourse with anyone who is not your spouse, but that you refrain from “coveting your neighbor’s spouse” as well. Guard your heart from these sins by focusing on your spouse only and seeking help from a Christian counselor if you have feelings for anyone other than your spouse.
None of us are perfect, though we can strive to be perfect. Great relationships (with ourselves and with others) don’t just happen, but take work. By guarding our hearts, we not only serve the Lord, but put in place the groundwork for amazing relationships. Guarding your heart is vital, if you wish to share your heart with anyone else!