Guard your heart… a very common cliché that we hear especially in youth groups and gathering of singles in the church. Easy to say, right? But what does it really mean to guard your heart? Or, should I say, what must we really do to guard our hearts?
The most common mistake that we tend to do when someone says, “Guard your heart,” is not to talk to the opposite sex, especially to those whom you find attracted to. Or if we talk to them, it’s barely superficial — we talk about ministry, about our school, about work-related stuff. We become so afraid of getting hurt or hurting others that we miss out the opportunity of having great friendships.
Also, I noticed among the ladies that they have the thinking that men are just going to hurt them and leave them hanging on the edge of the cliff. On the other hand, the men have the thinking that the ladies might fall for them and think that their actions are based on romantic feelings. As a result, we tend to run towards the opposite side of the road rather than embrace the differences through friendship.
In my journey with Christ, I learned that we are to live in perfect harmony with all believers. Jesus said in His word,
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
The apostle Paul also taught us on how to relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ:
“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.” – 1 Timothy 5: 1-2
The challenge now is, how do we put this into application?
- If we are going to encourage a brother or a sister, we should do it to all, not just to a specific person. Men, if you show kindness by being a gentleman to a sister, make sure that you do it to all of your sisters (open the door for them, help them carry heavy stuff, initiate to help them), in that way, it will help us ladies to keep our minds from assuming that you do feel something for us.
- Ladies, if a man is being a gentleman and is showing kindness to you, please, never assume that there is something unless he states it. Trust me, he will tell it to you if he has feelings towards you. But if you really see that he’s treating you exclusively, then you have two options. Either you ask him why he’s doing that, or limit the time you spend with him. After all, we are all responsible for our own actions.
- Be mindful of how you dress (ladies). Men are visual and gets distracted if we show too much skin. How you dress reveals what’s in your heart. I love what Shannon Harris said, “There’s a difference between dressing attractively or dressing to attract.” Guard your brother’s hearts (and eyes) by dressing modestly.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4
It’s normal to be attracted to the opposite sex. It’s a God-given desire, but you have to seek God in this–through His Word, your parents, your godly sisters/brothers– but never run away from friendship. Stay friends and make sure that you treat him/her no differently than others. Never give up on each other. Focus on Christ, not on your emotions.
Never ever forget that your brother/sister is bought by the blood of Christ. You are to treat them as a son/daughter of Christ and know that they are precious in His sight too.
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10