After prayer and reflection I have a few ideas I’d like to share over the next few weeks about Guarding Our Hearts. It is so easy for us to open our hearts up to many influences that are not good for us. I’d like to share some things we can use to examine our own lives and see if there are areas where we need to pull back the reigns and raise up some walls of protection to keep our hearts safe and centered on the Lord.
Open VS Honest or: Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe
Although our family does NOT allow dating for our teenage children, I’m going to write for the vast majority of families who do.
I just want to say that there is a BIG difference between being open and being honest. In any relationship, particularly a romantic relationship, it is imperative that we are honest with one another, but not always open.
- Dishonesty is a lie. God calls us to honesty in our lives, not to lie or pretend something is true when it isn’t. I think of the movie Runaway Bride, when Maggie changes her favorite kind of eggs depending on the man she is with. She put on a mask to try and make them believe she was exactly who they wanted. Unfortunately we do this all too often and then wonder why, after the other person finds out who we REALLY are, the relationship fails and both of us are left with hurt and distrust.
- Dishonesty hides God’s will. How can we ever determine God’s will for us in a relationship if we mask who we are; if we try to pass off a facade of who we WANT to look like in place of who we really are. We need to know who the other person is and they need to know who we are. Our prayers for wisdom and guidance are thwarted when we are dishonest.
- God also calls us to be discerning and show discretion. It is not appropriate to OPEN our hearts fully to someone who is not our husband! There are things that are just not appropriate to discuss in a dating relationship that hasn’t turned to engagement! I can be fully honest without being fully open. It is GOOD to say sometimes, “I don’t think I’m ready to share that with you right now.”
In our culture of sharing our most intimate details on Facebook, we have lost the wisdom and character quality of discretion. The dictionary defines it as:
the quality of being discreet, especially with reference to one’s own actions or speech; prudence or decorum
Knowing when we should hold something close to our hearts to guard it is part of wisdom, and wisdom comes from understanding God’s Word.
Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you…Prov 2:11
My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge. Prov 5:1-2
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion.” Prov 8:12
We should learn to not open our hearts fully to people we date, not until we are engaged to be married. Too often (even when we are as young as 13) we convince ourselves, “Oh HE is the one I’m going to marry!” and so we plunge head-long into an intimacy (and I’m not even talking physically) that God intended only for marriage. No, we should NOT be fully open with those we date. We need to walk in discernment and discretion, because there are parts of our lives that God intended to be reserved for our husbands alone.
So, in your relationships, be HONEST, but not always fully OPEN. Build discretion into your hearts and minds and speech. This is part of growing in wisdom, God’s wisdom!
All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com
(photo credit: titatoma)