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Most importantly, they did not understand this passage to have anything to do with Americanized dating.
While we view the heart as the seat of our emotions and our will, Israel understood the heart to be the center of the whole person—not just the source of emotions and will but also of wisdom and perspective.
Instead of following God’s leadership in how much vulnerability to allow, they seek to set up rigid boundaries on emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy.
Let’s be honest—people like rigid boundaries over seeking the Lord because it seems easier; that is, until you realize it doesn’t work.
Most books on dating treat the idea of guarding your heart as if it merely involves protecting yourself from too much intimacy with someone of the opposite sex. It’s a call to protect your character in all that you do.
Unless you catch this kind of vision for why you need to guard your heart, it will remain a legalistic, minimalistic endeavor in your life. Since most Christian dating books put such a premium on guarding your heart, the result is that it often leaves people paralyzed as a relationship develops.
How you approach your relationship with God is going to directly impact how you approach your relationship in dating. (Obviously, the only go-ahead for physical intimacy is in the context of marriage.) In other words, it’s a progressive process.
But if guarding your heart means protecting who you are so that you can influence what you do, then “How long?
Therefore, it is essential for you to guard your heart in dating because what you do in a dating relationship flows from who you are in a dating relationship.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Paul tells us that prayer is the pathway to guarding our hearts and minds with the peace of God.
When you read most Christian dating books, one of the key pieces of counsel they provide is to “guard your heart.” They establish that guarding your heart is an essential component of correctly pursuing any dating relationship.
The verse they generally appeal to is Proverbs , which says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” However, these generalized calls to guard your heart in the midst of dating fall short in three ways: How do you guard your heart?