Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guarding Your Heart: Another Study for Middle School Girls

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.

 What does it mean to guard your heart?  Is it just something that one does in regard to romantic entanglements?

Matthew 12:34

34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

It seems that guarding one's heart involves more than just keeping yourself from falling for the wrong person.  
You are what you eat, you are what you think, you are what your heart is.  If your heart is full of boys, you'll talk about boys.  If it's full of anger, you'll speak angry, hurtful words.  A disrespectful heart is evidenced by your actions and speech.  

Our hearts are like fountains: no matter what we do, what ever is in our hearts bubbles up and flows from our mouths and penetrates every thing that we do.   

What kind of "water" are we using to fill our fountains?

*Friends/bad influences/peer pressure/good influences

*Movies/TV: inappropriate language and actions

***the more we disrespect others, the more disrespect grows in our hearts

***bad words breed bad things/thoughts

***encouragement/discouragement: ever had one good or one bad comment either uplift or ruin an entire day?
***topics: if you talk about something a lot, you will think about it a lot, and then talk about it a lot, and then think about it . . . a lot
*Music: the lyrics of the music that we listen to influences us and becomes a part of us

*Love: when you love someone and they love you, they begin to fill your hearts--what kind of influences are the people that you love?

The thing about water is that just a drop of something bad will contaminate a big old glass.  If I sneeze into your water, will you drink it?  If I poop in your water will you drink it?  What if I fish it out?  No way, Jose, right?  As totally revolting, disgusting, and puke-inducing as that example was, that is how sin is in our lives and hearts.  One "little sin" goes a LOOOONG way into working its way into our hearts and lives, and it can have far reaching consequences.  Remember Abraham and Hagar and how we are still paying the penalty for their sin?

What can we do to fill our hearts with God's love and His word?

Psalm 119:9-16

9How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
10I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
13With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

I have hidden your word in my heart--here again, we see that filling your heart with good things (God's Word) is a way to keep from falling into sin.  If we are thinking about God and talking about God, isn't it harder to disobey God?  By filling our hearts with God's word, our lips will recount his laws and we will rejoice in giving God our obedience.  Meditating on God and His wonderful ways will cause us to delight, to take joy in, to be cheerful in our obedience to God and in the reading of His Word.  

Now, we need to guard our hearts this way, but we also need to guard them from boys.  Your heart is precious.  It's a gift.  YOU are valuable.  Your value isn't in what you can "give" to a boy, it's not determined by how many boys you can date or who "want you."  Your value is in Christ.  Don't let some stupid boy trample on your heart and try to lure you into giving him what isn't his.  Your body is the temple of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6

16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

If you are following Christ, you have given yourself to Him--mind, body, and soul.   God has called us to purity.  Why?  Does God want us to be a bunch of prudes?  Not exactly.  God doesn't think that purity is "prudity."  To God, purity is beautiful.  He is pure, and He wants His children to be pure--He sent His Son to wash away our every stain.  Honor God with your body--with the way you act, dress, and interact with others.  Don't let what others are saying, doing, and thinking change you--let what GOD says and thinks be most important to you, and He will bless your obedience.  

People at college probably thought that I was a little weird because I didn't have a boyfriend.  Not only did I not have a boyfriend, but I'd NEVER had a boyfriend.  I was 19 before my first boyfriend, and that relationship didn't last long because we were not both headed in the same direction. 

 Shortly after that, I met Patrick.  I'm not saying that you have to do everything like I did it, but I will tell you that I am so GLAD that God led me to do things the way that I did.  I knew that my love was special, and I didn't give it away to just anyone.  My body was special, and I saved that too.  Patrick is the ONLY boy/man to whom I have EVER said "I love you," he's the only guy who's ever held my hand, and he's the only guy I've ever kissed (and that wasn't until we were married).  Again, I'm not saying that you have to do everything exactly like I did--I'm just telling you that doing things this way was a really good way to guard my heart from being repeatedly broken, and it also saved every aspect of a physical relationship between a guy and a girl for the one person for whom God intended me to be physical with--my husband. 

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