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We need to guard our hearts because in our pursuit to be loved, we can lose sight of what that even means.
Love is central to all human desires. We want to feel loved and pour that out onto other people. That want comes from God. He created us to be loving creatures, to be in relationships with one another, and to know one another. But there are times when we are rushed into relationships, or more often “things,” with someone who isn’t right for us. In our pursuit to be loved, we can lose sight of what that even means. Romantic love can be excruciating if sought out to fill a void. In the moment, it may seem like a romantic, sexual relationship will be fulfilling, but eventually, the lust dries up, and you are left to pick up the pieces of your shattered soul. I believe God weeps when He sees us in pain that way. He never intended for love and sex to hurt us so terribly. These are my thoughts on how to guard your heart.
God calls you His daughter. You are a daughter of the King and should never be treated any less. When God looks down on you He sees the perfect creation.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:13-14
He handcrafted every part of you – from your physical body to your personality, to your interests and deepest desires. He picked His favorites of each of those categories and blessed you with them. You are His favorite. If love like that exists, how is there comfort in settling for someone who does not see that in you? You are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” so be wary of the people who will throw false confessions of love your way. There will be people who do not see you as the woman of God that you are.
I think I have a new crush on every cute boy that walks by me on the street. If I have a good conversation with someone, I am very susceptible to getting carried away in my head and thinking we are meant to be. Other times I think “I’m not good enough for them. They’re way out of my league.” This is toxic thinking! Take that person off of the pedestal you have set them atop of and realize that they’re just a human, too. It is both unfair to yourself and them to view them so highly. That puts you in an inferior position, which you aren’t. We are all God’s children, and each so unique and loved perfectly, equally. Also, the pedestal raises them to unfair expectations of how we think they should be. It puts unfair pressure on the other person to be perfect. Holding someone up so high (idolizing) is exhausting for the one crumbling under their weight and for the one killing themselves to not be a burden.
The Song of Solomon is a beautiful book in the Old Testament of Hebrew love poetry. It is overflowing with sexual innuendos and proclamations of physical and mental beauty. This book is sexy! And yes, it is in the Bible. These two lovers are gushing over each other and cannot say enough about how much they adore one another.
The woman in this story is providing wisdom to women. She is telling us, do not rush into love until the time is right. Wait until it pleases the Lord. Wait until it is divinely time. Okay, that is HARD. So, you’re going to have to set boundaries if you’re going to wait until the right moment to awaken love. Decide and set your boundaries before you’re going to need them. If you’re in a relationship; set a curfew for yourselves. Pick a time in the evening to stop texting or to go home from each other’s place. Like my mom says, “nothing good happens after midnight.” It could be near impossible in the heat of the moment to say no or set a boundary. I can’t stress this enough: set your boundaries before you need them. If you’re single, think of what you value and expect out of your future mate. Prepare for this conversation and don’t be afraid to know what you want and say it!
Let the record show this does not mean play games with someone! This is in reference to your emotional intimacy with another person. When you share your entire life with someone; the joy, the pain, the wants, the should-haves, you’re sharing a very intimate part of your life that you can’t erase from their memory. Before you divulge all of your heart to another person, make sure they are trustworthy and deserving of the information. Intimacy is not only a description of physical closeness but also emotional closeness. Being emotionally intimate with someone should come with a great amount of trust. Sharing your entire life with someone means that you should trust them through the good or the bad. And those people, the ones who deserve to know your entire being, are rare. Giving your entire self emotionally to someone is a big risk to take because once you share you have no control over what they do with that information. It’s a leap of faith. Be mindful of who you are opening up to on this level. Not everyone who is kind to you has earned the right to know you so intimately. Be stingy with your full story. A great way to know if this is a person worth opening up entirely to is asking yourself “do they share their story with me?” Every relationship is reciprocal. There are two people involved and it is not one person’s job to be the ears and the other the mouth. Each person is entitled to both listening and sharing. Ensure this mutuality before you dive deep.
Know your worth in the Lord, and don’t settle for people that make you feel any kind of shame for who you are. Remove the pedestal from underneath the feet of those upon it and see each other eye to eye, for who you are. Set those boundaries LONG BEFORE you need them! And finally, ease into emotional intimacy when the time is right.
Guarding your heart romantically is not an easy feat. I encourage you to lean on your friends and seek counsel from God during that season. Constantly be praying to the Lord for the strength you need to see your value and worth. It is my prayer that YOU know how loved you are. That YOU know how uniquely stitched you are. That YOU know your value and how you should be treated. I pray you don’t settle for less.
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