Over-Guarding Your Heart

Brad Neese 02/21/13
Category: Guys ; 58 comments

So I'm having lunch with a high school guy, when he blurts out, "I just don't get this girl! She is very godly, loves Jesus, and I'm kind of interested in her—but her reactions to me have been absolutely frustrating! I ask how she is doing, but she never asks how I am doing. I ask about school, but she never asks me about school. I ask how she is growing in her faith and how God is moving in her life, but she never asks how I am growing in my faith or how God is moving in my life."

Not wanting this guy to be self-deceived, I quickly responded with a grin, "Is it possible that she thinks you are stalking her? Maybe she just doesn't like you." Those words were out of my mouth before I realized their potential for disaster.

With even more discouragement he looks up and says, "No . . . she doesn't think I am a stalker. She is telling her sisters and her friends that she actually likes me woman hiding her heartbut is 'guarding her heart.'"

His response made me think—I've heard that final phrase a lot growing up in church and in Christian school, mostly by women and girls. The scriptural basis is Proverbs 4:23.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

In the situation I just described, the girl applied Scripture the best way she knew how. But in an effort to "guard her heart," she also isolated herself from any potentially basic friendship with guys she felt attraction toward. Now, did she want to know more about him, his life, and his faith? Absolutely! But she was afraid that doing so would cause her heart to be unguarded. How do I know she was afraid? Because it is possible to interact with guys and still "guard your heart."

An essential part of the gospel is that all men and all women are made in "the likeness and image" of God the Father, Son, and Spirit (Gen. 1:27). This is the basis for common courtesy, care, and interaction with people (even guys). "Over-guarding" her heart caused this young girl not to live out the most basic truth of the gospel in her life—treating this guy as if he was made in the image and likeness of God by carrying on a simple conversation, asking about life situations, and listening to his evolving faith-story. Fear overshadowed living out the gospel.

As a result, a godly young man who was honorably pursuing someone with pure motives, initiating a relationship, encouraging her as a brother in Christ, and also wanting to protect her heart walked away frustrated. He wondered if she was ever going to let him see her heart let alone hold it.

So, here are some questions for you—I'd love to hear your response, so please pick one:

  1. Do you think there is even such a thing as over-guarding your heart?
  2. How do you find yourself over-guarding your heart?
  3. What does it look like to guard your heart without over-guarding your heart?

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Stephanie
    thanks so much! needed this
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:41 am
    This is God speaking to me!! I love you guys! lol Ive been struggling with this.
    Im over guarded. For fear of getting hurt again I take this passage so literally.
    It really isolates me and hurts the men who pursue me
    and it makes me seem cold, unloving, distant, uninterested... BUT i am I just dont want to fall or get attached
    by doing this it makes it seem like i dont care about him when i do =(
    1. Yes there is a thing as overguarding your heart
    2. -I find myself overguarding putting up a wall/ barrier
    -pretending im not as interested as I am
    -being overly cautious to the point where he cant have fun or be at ease with me
    -confusing him because he cant get through the wall ive put up
    -staying at a distance although he always texts, calls me
    -being unloving not asking how his day was, how his work is going because i dont want to find myself attached
    && lots of other ways i over guard my heart
    3. I think now that I think about i guess guarding your heart without overguarding it means having a friendship with him
    showing Gods love to him without fear
    BUT keep Christ #1 in my heart and hold onto wisdom.
    Jamie
    Hahaha I wish... =P
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 2:19 am
    Honestly, I WISH I had a problem with overguarding my heart! As of right now I just kinda fail at guarding it to begin with. So somehow I just feel this post doesn't apply to me at the moment. :)
    sister
    guarding ones heart
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 2:34 am
    well i love your articles and they really encourage me alot. good job, God bless.
    soooo about this particular passage i understood it differently... like uuuhm guarding ones heart doesnt necessarily mean guarding it from boys and all, i took it as guarding it from other things like what i watch,read and all those things, because out of the abundace of a mans heart he speaks....
    sooo no not guarding it from boys but guarding it from other worldly things...
    because I feel like if one is truly into God then their heart is hidden in Him,thus he will guard it for you...
    Alex
    Thank you!!
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:26 am
    Thank you thank you thank you!!

    I've been waiting for a post like this!! I love all of your blog posts and I try to heed my parents' instruction when it comes to boys, but sometimes the cautious, waiting for the right time, guarding your heart messages build up to the point where I get freaked out that a guy is actually interested in me and I don't know how to respond!

    I'm at this point right now. A godly guy started to show interest in me and I was terrified to the point where I would try to avoid him. It has gotten a lot better and it's gotten to the point where we can be friends without any issues, but I was definitely over guarding my heart.

    I think staying away from certain subjects in conversations with guys is a good start to guarding your heart. I think lots of prayer is important, trusting that God will guide you in your relationship with an interested guy. I think being patient is important and not being hasty in decisions involving the guy. I really liked how you put it: this guy is created in the likeness of Christ and to treat him less than that is simply unkind.

    Thank you once again for this! I'd love to hear more about this topic and any advice you have!
    Aj
    Right on point!
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7:37 am
    I'm glad I read this today.
    Just yesterday, I was talking to my friend and reflecting on my journey as a Christian and some of the things which I didn't understand back then in the early years but now do.
    I realized that most boys that I liked, dated and were attracted to were all wrong for me. Not to say they were all bad boys, most of them were good people but some weren't godly. I thought that didn't really matter in the beginning and I could try to change them but I always felt unfulfilled, like there was something missing.
    Because of this I was sometimes distant and didn't really want to do anything because it didn't feel right. At the time I had low self-esteem so I felt it was my fault and that I was driving them away by not opening up but I realise now that I did over-guard my heart, which was good when I was with the bad ones but doing that made being with the good ones so difficult to the point that I had to break up with them which was unfair to them since it was a 'no it's you it's me' kind of thing.
    I now understand that I have to seek God first and the approval of my parents before I enter into any kind of relationship. I now trust God to know what He is doing concerning my love life so when He bring the one He wants for me my way I won't be so skeptical and over-guard my heart.
    Ash
    Re:
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:06 am
    I understand where you are coming from, but I think this young lady realizes the foolishness of dating in high school. She probably realizes she needs someone who is committed to marrying her, not dating her just cuz he thinks she is cute. Also, it is pointless to date in high school without the purpose of dating being for marriage. Besides, many young men are still in school and cannot provide for a family. It would be foolish of her to go out with a guy in a relationship that leads nowhere. It is best she waits for someone who can provide for her and is not still a teenager, like waiting for when she is in college.
    Kaylee S. Smith
    Question #2 - My Answer
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:21 am
    "How do you find yourself over-guarding your heart?" I isolate myself from other guys by not interacting much with them - a lot like the girl in the story. Some days, I have a tough time guarding my heart and then the next day I'm over guarding it. I have to find a balance.
    Chris
    been there...
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:34 am
    I guess I question why this girl was so closed off. Guard your heart yes but be open to seeing who this person really is. If you seek God as you interact with this person and ask him to show you the truths about this person, surprisingly he does just that. Then you are able to make a decision if the relationship would be right for you. You might be surprised at what a great Godly guy you would have in your life as a friend or potential mate!
    Nicki
    guarding your heart
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:09 am
    I think guarding your heart means keeping apart emotionally. It is so easy to get caught up with a guy and be emotionally attached to him but we need to guard our hearts from being consumed with him. We definitely need fellowship with our fellow brothers in Christ, but we need to not be so consumed in him. Well that is my opinion :)
    lia
    my guarding-
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:20 am
    for myself, i'm not overguarding, i think. my view of guarding my heart was mostly just trying to not get emotionally entangled with a guy before the time is right, but i still interact with them quite a bit. I think over-guarding is definitely possible, though.
    Caitlin
    Guarding...
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:26 am
    I think a few girls are thinking that if they don't guard there heart like this girl, they'll be acting like a complete flirt, just throwing themselves out there so that guys will notice them. I've found myself feeling like that every now and then. Thanks for this blog, it was really convicting!
    Christina
    Over Guarding
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 10:03 am
    I do not think there is such thing as over guarding the heart. A person knows what their limitations are, and they cannot push farther than those. If they are one to fall so easy head over heels, than they need to take precaution. We all need to be cautious. Some need to more than others. There is no such thing as over guarding the heart. When you are someone like me, someone that's been through what i've been through, it's hard to trust someone. A person can guard their heart so they don't give it away so easy, but also guard their heart so they literally don't get hurt. I have trust issues. I find it hard to trust guys, and very rarely can i trust a guy. I find it hard to trust some people. I am always questioning whether someone really loves me or they're just saying it. Some days i believe it, and others i don't. The person never gives me a reason not to believe it! I could say that i do guard my heart, i don't want to be hurt again. I don't think i over guard it.
    Doula@16
    Over-Guarding Your Heart
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 10:17 am
    Thank you so much for this post! I had this conversation like, 3 nights ago with my mom. I have really been struggling with over-guarding my heart to the point that I have pretty much no guy-friends, and I find myself breaking in to a sweat when I even hand a boy a cup! (except my brothers!)
    The advice my mom gave me was that there are certian groups/ classes that I have and attend where no guy is like minded and I would never enter into a courtship with thoughts towards marrige. But then agian there are places where there are like-minded believers and I might become interested in a guy. It is appropriate in those situations not to flirt, but to talk to them about something they said they were interested in, clearing their spot at a table, etc. But when talking to them do not do it to provoke intrest, but build them up in Christ, as a sister in Christ.
    I believe that there is such a thing as over guarding your heart.
    I overguard my heart by not talking, making guys uncomfortable by how guarded I am.
    I am not sure how to have a relationship with a guy and not over guard my heart
    Marissa
    Re:
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 10:58 am
    1. Do you think there is even such a thing as over-guarding your heart?

    I definitely think so! This girl he was talking about sounded like she was over-guarding her heart. I understand that she's trying to protect herself, and she's trying to obey God, and that's great! But I don't think He wants us to isolate ourselves from even having a boy-girl friendship. The guy friends I have are some of the most encouraging people in my walk with God! It's easy to talk to them, I can be myself around them, and they really are a big part of my life, without having to be involved with me romantically. No harm done to my heart there. :)

    2. How do you find yourself over-guarding your heart?

    Well, I guess sometimes I find myself keeping away from all guys, especially if I've just found one I'm even mildly interested in. Sometimes I get really weird and even angry at the guy I like. I suppose it's because I don't want to feel those feelings yet. I feel like high school is too early. I don't think I'm wrong in that thinking. I've just got to work on the way I react to my feelings for people. It's something I'm struggling with, definitely. I'm not sure what the answer is yet. Usually I just run to God and throw myself into His Word asking for His guidance, and it works. I focus on Him instead of the guy, and I guess I'm back where I started. Having a bunch of wonderful guy friends and in control of my feelings. :)

    3. What does it look like to guard your heart without over-guarding your heart?

    Hmm. Well, I guess someone that guards but doesn't over-guard his/her heart, would be someone that can control their feelings. They can let people in, but not let themselves get romantically involved. They spend time with the opposite sex a lot, but use them as an encouragement in Christ and as a way to encourage others in Christ.

    But then, sometimes there's nothing you can do about an attraction. It's just there. Even when you really don't want it to be. I really don't know what to say about that. You can make it clear that you don't want anything more than friendship, but in your heart, you know it's not true. The best thing to do in that situation is ask God for guidance. Dating in high school isn't wrong, but we still want to guard our hearts, like we're told to. I suppose all people view that differently, so each has to make the decision in his/her life.

    I'm rambling. As usual.

    Anyway, great post! Really made me think.
    Interesting and What do you think?
    Re:
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:22 am
    I needed to hear this! I am certainly like this! My younger brother always talks to me about this. That "over-guarding," your heart can mean to be afraid and to run away. Does that make sense?

    One of the things also is, that I have an issue. All of a sudden out of the clear blue one of the guys who deleted me off of Facebook all of a sudden came back in my life after not speaking to him for 7 months! (He was on a trip) He wants to talk when he gets back.

    I'm a little worried about what he means by that. And I have a tendency to "guard my heart to much," where I run away. What are your thoughts?

    I know he's slow on relationships, and wonder if this is from God or not. I'll have to pray. I guard my heart to much because of fear sometimes.
    Elizabeth
    Overguarding
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:39 am
    I was having a conversation with a friend-who-may-be-more-than-a-friend about this. When a woman looks at a man as strictly a man, we do tend to overguard our hearts because we questions his intentions. But when we look at a man as a person, then sharing becomes easier because we stop overthinking about what it is we should and shouldn't be doing. The same goes for men.
    Hannah
    Wishing for Help
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    It's a relatively easy step to go from not guarding your heart enough to over guarding your heart. I'm on the opposite end of the scale. I don't guard my heart enough. I've had my heart "broken" lots of times and I don't want it to keep happening because it hurts. I wish I could guard my heart more, but I don't want to overstep it and lock my heart away in a love-proof safe. Help?
    Andrea Martin
    Re:
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    This one is kinda reversed for me. Like, I don't desire special attention and I'm totally guarding my heart for one man, and I'm only 15 so I have no desire to be in a relationship with a guy right now anyway, but I ride at the local stable with 3 guys pretty regular. They are all great Christian guys and fun to be with, and we all love horses. So we should be great friends, right. R-I-G-H-T. I don't believe I'm "showering" them with extra attention and being a flirt, I just ask them simple friendly questions and they replying nicely enough but they never start a conversation with me or acknowledge me when I walk in the stable, or I try to get a conversation going about a certain horse, or new training method, and the conversation will totally die unless I keep it going. Actually, it would even live unless I would start it.
    I'm frustrated. I think its a little better, they don't act like they scared or anything but FOR PETE'S SAKE, I JUST WANT TO BE FRIENDS!!!!!!!
    What's up? Am I being too flirty? I don't try to be alone w/ them, I don't get too close or wiggle my body all dumb or flutter my eyelashes or wear sexy clothes.
    I just think that because we all are totally into horses and are all Christian, we should at least be able to TALK to each other w/o getting into a relationship, right??
    Anybody out there have any advice on how to let a guy know that you JUST WANT TO BE FRIENDS!!!!!
    Thanks!! I'll be checking back. Wish I could give my email so you all could tell me personally what to do :)
    I know. Check out my Google+ page, under my name. I have a horse as my pic.
    Christina
    Re:Andrea
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    So sorry to hear that, and know that i don't have much help on this. I do know that if they're not putting too much into it than it might just be better not to talk to them. I mean, would you want friends like them. Try avoiding them for a while, maybe they'll notice you, if not than maybe it's just better. I have a friend that he doesn't talk to me entirely a lot (he's been getting better) except for when it's just us or i'm at his house, and that's becuse he used to all the time and then people started saying he liked me. I grew up with him. Now he talks to me around everyone else, but when it's just us, he flirts with me. What could that mean?
    Cati B.
    Re:
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm
    THANK YOU!
    This is a very big issue for me. If a guy, even a guy from my church, starts talking or interacting with me I find myself cutting off the conversation as quickly as possible and running for my life! I am kinda glad I don't have the opposite, but this is also a problem. You can't reach out to a non Christian guy if your running for your life at the sight of a brother in Christ!! My dad is glad i'm like that lol but I think I need to learn to have a decent conversation with a boy... I will have to marry one someday...
    Ashlee
    Question #3
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm
    Challenging and thought-provoking post! I am quiet and passionate about emotional purity, so I easily swing towards the "overguarding" side... :P
    3. What does it look like to guard your heart without overguarding? I think it boils down to love vs. fear. Living in love will enable me to encourage and share with the guys around me, while still being wise and honoring God. Operating out of fear will imprison me in an avoiding, overanalyzing, gospel-neglecting misery. Praise God for His love that conquers fear and inspires love in me. I will choose to walk in love and have faith in His Spirit, rather than fearing interactions with men. :)
    Thanks for sharing the Truth!
    Gabrielle
    Over-Guarding your Heart.... definitely real!
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    I really over-guarded my heart my freshman year in high school. And it was a mistake.
    I am homeschooled, and I was taking classes my freshman year of high school. I was the youngest student of all the high school students, who were in the same class. One day in class we were required to write a five minute speech and present it to the class, I will say that I spoke more in that speech than I did in both semesters of the class combined! That’s how shy I was. My teacher and I still joke about that!
    That year we took ballroom dancing and manners classes. During the ballroom dance class this one guy would always seem to dance with me. We did get pretty good, I must add. The teachers took notice of this and made us partners and the “lead couple” for the end of semester dance and dinner. Because there were younger students participating in the dance and dinner, the teachers assigned partners.
    Anyway, this guy was a total gentleman the entire time. My mom runs the classes, so my family had to arrive early to set up the day of the dinner and dance. Like any normal girl, I took off my heels and threw them in a corner, so that I could run around set up. When it came time for the dinner to start, I went over to put on my shoes, and my partner waited right there next to me the whole time. He could have walked off and talked with someone who actually liked him, (or so he probably thought!) but no, he stayed with me. I will never forget it.
    Next for the dinner thing we had to show that we knew how to set a formal place setting (I had been setting a table for years, so I could do it with my eyes shut!) While we were supposed to be doing this, I was asked questions or something by teachers. While the students were supposed to be setting their own places, my partner set my place for me. The ballroom dancing was really nice. He was supposed to have his right hand up high on my back, but it seemed to slip and move down to the small of my back. We were also just supposed to put our hands together, palm to palm, but he held mine lightly. I had thought for a while before that he liked me, but I wasn’t sure. I now feel miserable for shrugging him off.
    The next semester I would arrive early to help set up for the classes. I would plunk my stuff down in a chair and not know or really care who sat next to me. I bet you can guess who sat next to me…yep….my partner. He would try to talk to me, but I was so shy that I did not really try to carry on a conversation.
    Later, I was invited to his graduation ceremony. I was really rude, I will admit, but I was terrified of liking a guy three years older than me. I gave him one smile afterwards and then ignored him. All this on his graduation day! I must have hurt him so badly.
    Now I am a senior in high school (still homeschooled!) and have no idea where he is. When I knew him, he was a strong, wonderful Christian guy, but I don’t know where he is in his faith now. Lately I think God has been bringing him to my mind and I don’t know why. Maybe it was to share this with someone. I held on to my heart too tightly, and was not willing to make friendships with guys, and I think we both suffered from it. I plan to never give my heat wholly to a man until we are married. Even then, God will be first in my heart, and then our marriage will prosper. Now I have plenty of guy friends, not really close, but good guys that I know are Christians and would do anything for me. I am now known as the “most popular girl” in the classes that we take. I kept my heart so much to myself that I became almost a hermit…..I now know that God does not want that for any of his children!
    Caroline
    Yes yes yes
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm
    Is there such a thing as over-guarding your heart? YES. About a year ago, I began to read books about purity, waiting for your future husband, honoring your future husband... you get the idea. The books would say something like "why give your heart away, save as much as you can for your guy, would you do that if your future husband was watching?" Which is all very true but can be overblown! I became incredibly legalistic. Like, incredibly. I felt that even though I had a desire to hang out with guys and interact with them that if I said too much it would be a sin. I am already quiet enough but I basically never spoke to a guy unless I had to. I didn't even realize that I was being this way. I didn't feel like it was necessarily a sin to date, I just felt like there was a burden to "take the high road" and avoid that. So a couple months ago I started to like this guy. We'll call him John. John is outgoing and basically a huge presence in the room. I guess I felt attracted to him because I admired his ability to have fun and be easily sociable. Well this did not go well because my warped thinking (that I got from reading books made my well-meaning authors) took this as "oh the devil is trying to tempt me". So I tried to pray it away. I prayed that God would take these feelings away and that I would only be focused on him. Then I began to feel guilty whenever I would ocassionally talk to John. Guilt is the perfect word to describe how I felt. Then I finally talked to my mom about everything that was going on. I knew my views were messed up. I should have talked to her sooner! I realized that Jesus if freedom; not freedom from "liking" a guy but freedom from the guilt! I knew in my head that the feelings were normal but I wouldn't let myself believe that because I was afraid of falling into sin. But I have learned that "God does not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." I am not so quiet now and I'm acting 14 instead of always being so serious and planning for my life at 25. So it is a great thing to guard your heart!! Just don't go overboard like I did :) I am thankful that I have been set free from shame I was feeling that wasn't even warranted! Love is so much better than legalism every single time!
    Josie
    with guys in general
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm
    Do I over-guard my heart?
    Definitely. Thank you so much for this. It just is so convicting.
    At school, I have no issues talking to guys, because I know that all we'll ever be is just friends, because none of them are actively seeking God.
    But guys at church, well, I don't know how to talk to them, and usually we have really awkward two sentence conversations and then I return back to my friends that are girls.
    ARGH!!! I just wish I could treat them like friends, like godly brothers in Christ, but I don't even know how to initiate conversation without being flirtatious.
    Klove
    #3
    on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm
    Question #3- to guard your heart is to protect it. In that verse it also means "to keep" so you can kind of think of it like "to keep from sin; from wrong relationships; from pain, etc" I want to guard my heart against anything that would cause me to lose a piece of my heart. A godly woman once described it to me like a rose. A rose, in its whole, is beautiful! but once you start to pick at it little by little, it becomes torn and not as pretty. Our heart is the same way. When you start to like a guy, tread carefully. Wait on God till he gives you the go ahead, otherwise you will lose your heart in relationship after relationship. When you finally do find "the one" how much do you want to be able to give him? A whole heart, or a heart that has been picked over and torn? Be careful and God bless!!
    jb
    Re:
    on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:42 am
    I over guard my heart simply by not allowing any guys into my life, even as just friends.
    its me
    Re:
    on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8:48 am
    I overguard my heart by not being open with guys or letting them get to know me. I just don't talk to the guys in my youth or church.
    Elaine
    Absolutely!
    on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 9:06 am
    This is a really sticky subject just because you can you both ways and it's not hard to go overboard. You can overguard your heart or underguard your heart. Most people do not realize that there is such a thing as underguarding your heart and then some people use it as a lisence to underguard their heart, and judge others who are really careful in this area and do not date. I grew up with people who tended to overguard their heart and as a result of that in my early teens when I met pure guys who just talked to be polite I was terrified of them. I almost felt a need to tell them I was a girl (although it was very obviouse). I still feel a little odd when guys talk to me but I'm getting better.
    So I'm not sure if I personally overguard my heart but I know I still have tendencies as a result of growing up around people who did.
    I think it's okay to talk to guys around other people about things such as siblings, projects your working on, and school. I think as far as conversations go it can get dangerouse when you're telling him about your personal walk with God, special secrets, and stuff like that. Of course you wouldn't want to flirt or anthing like that. I think it's also important to not always hang out with guys. If you're in a group of families I would split my time, unless all the girls and guys are in a group together talking. Some guys it's best not to talk to them though, so we really have to be careful.
    Being exposted to both sides I would definately deem under protecting your heart more dangerouse though.
    L
    Re:
    on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm
    This story sounds almost exactly like mine. I defiantly have a problem with "over-guarding" my heart. I try to justify this to myself by saying "it's just my personality." Thank you for opening up my eyes and I pray God will continue to change me!
    Tabby
    Hannah
    on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm
    I've been on both ends of this; not guarding my heart enough, and guarding my too much. What I've tried doing is instead of thinking of guys as potential boyfriends, I try to think of them all as friends. Even recently, I've sort of been trying to stop being so... I don't know, "in-loveish" around the guy I like, if that's an okay term to use. I mean, I haven't stopped liking the guy, but I've realized how much more important it is to let Christ's love shine through me and not my own, if that makes sense. Just let guy-friends know you're there for them, talk to them, be open with the ones you trust, encourage them, but don't allow the way you feel affect how you see them or how you treat them, if that makes sense. Hope this helped!
    Abigail
    I am not sure!
    on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    Hi, I'm Abby. I read your post and this is actually quite out of the topic (it may be related) but could you give me an advice?

    So, I liked this guy for quite a long time, and I know he likes me but I am pretending I care for him only as a friend because (1) he is a godly guy, I don't want him to get distracted because of me, and (3) I'm afraid I might get distracted, too. Is this over-guarding my heart? Is this over-guarding him? Shall I just pursue him? But it is up to guys to ask girls out, right? (The problem is, he thinks I think of him as just a friend)
    C.Jazzy101
    Question about a Friend
    on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    HI! I do have a question.
    A friend of mine came back into my life a few days ago. He wants to talk again, and I want to give him a chance and see what he has to say. He deleted me off of Facebook even though we went out twice. I'm not really angry at him but do you think this is from God or not?

    It has been 7 months since I've talked to him. One friend says don't even give him a chance, don't even bother. But I think otherwise. What do you recommend?

    He does want to talk, and I would like to talk and see what he has to say. (He was on an adventure. )

    I could use help with that area. I do still like him, but I don't want to run away or push him away, I just want to give him a chance. Is that wrong?
    Shelly
    Question #2
    on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    Yes, i definitely over guard my heart at times. So much so that my girl friend told me about a week ago that if she was a boy, she would talk to to me BUT would never ask me out or ask for a relationship because she would be afraid of rejection. I was like WHAT? I so never thought about myself like that!
    However, with careful consideration, its probably true. Sometimes, as long as I think a guy is interested in me or I like someone, I just avoid contact with him and try not to think about him. The truth is that I think that I am afraid of relationships, getting hurt and I'm a bit insecure. However I'm praying and working on these things and I request that you prayer for me too, please.
    Abbie
    Definitely a struggle
    on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 3:08 pm
    I know that this is hard for me because I struggle with pride. I think that if I let myself appear less than perfect, than I have failed and am not behaving as a Christian. But in reality, I am not acting like Christ if I try to be a holy, untouchable girl. I need to relax and let people see my faults and get some humility. Thank you for this post!
    Elisabeth
    Re:
    on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    Great Post! Thank you...
    M
    Re:
    on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:33 pm
    This hit me SO HARD. I do this all the time. Not just with guys, with anyone. It took me a whole year to start calling this girl I knew my friend, and say anything more than hi. I'm a very reserved person, I don't do well with people. I can be in the middle of a crowd and start crying because no one talks with me, when really I just shrug off anyone who tries. I also am really bad with guys. I have friends who are, but just...yeah. I could use prayer in this area, about not guarding my heart quite so much.
    sunshine
    timely!
    on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm
    This is just what I needed today. Thanks.

    I want to love my brothers in Christ and interact with them in a healthy way instead of coming across as rude and withdrawn because I don't want them to think I like them.
    Emily
    Amen!
    on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:04 pm
    I think this was something God really wanted me to see. Totally applies to my heart!! I get so nervous that I'm dishonoring God and my future husband by talking to other guys about spiritual things that I end up treating them coldly. I need to continue to pray that God would work on my heart with that! Thank you for preaching Gods Word. :)
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Interesting and what do you think?
    on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm
    Can you meet with this guy and truly be interested in his trip and where his relationship is with the Lord...without any other agenda?? Seems like that would be a godly way to respond to any person in your life. See if you can enjoy the visit and listen to his heart.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Hannah...
    on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:37 pm
    I've prayed for you tonight--asking God to give you wisdom as you seek balance in your relationships and giving your heart away. I pray you will learn truth through His Word that will help you grow in godly relationships, and enjoy the company of others without the pain of having given your heart away too quickly or without reciprocity. Consider talking with your mom or youth pastor's wife and ask them to help you "guard your heart" in right ways. God bless you ~ praying for you!
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Andrea...
    on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:50 pm
    You are right; you "should" be able to all be friends. (I'm sorry they haven't reciprocated your kindness.) But as much as it "should" be true, you can't make it happen. Continue to be kind and nice ~ and wait on the timing being right for a friendship to form. If it happens, thank the Lord; if it doesn't, ask the Lord to make you a lovely witness of Christ and His spirit of humility and kindness. God bless you, Andrea.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @C.Jazzy101...
    on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 12:33 am
    Give him a chance. Don't look for anything except a nice conversation about his trip and where he is with the Lord. There will be plenty of time to decide what you should do after that. Pray and ask the Lord to give you the strength and courage to do what is right and make your heart right.
    Becca
    Over Guarding
    on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:28 am
    If you over guard your heart than you can't let any love in. Even if you've been hurt by someone before doesn't mean it'll happen again. i know this kinda doesn't have anything to do with the story but... that's my opinion.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Shelly...
    on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:31 am
    I consider it a privilege to pray for you that God will give you wisdom in relationships and give you courage to step out and enjoy the company of others. Praying for you this morning!
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Abigail...
    on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:46 am
    Take a look at these posts as you consider how to proceed in this relationship:
    http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=672 http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=522
    Enjoy the friendship...enjoy being around a godly guy...thank the Lord for him!
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @M...
    on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    Praying for YOU!... Heavenly Father, how I pray that you will speak, again, these words of truth for M's heart. Help her to see You and Your care for those around her, causing her to open her heart to accept them and let them in her life. Give her the courage and wisdom to know when to speak, what to speak and whom to speak to--and don't let her go until she finds the joy of open relationships with others! In Jesus' Name. Amen.
    @Sarah
    Thank-you for the wisdom
    on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm
    Hi Sarah!
    Thank-you so much I truly appreciate that!
    Everyone, well a good majority was telling me not to give him a chance. But I will, wise words, because that's one topic we didn't address yet about are you a believer? I believe he is from when I remember when he was in High-school.

    But thank-you, for those wise words. And I'll keep you posted.
    Aleese
    guarding my heart...now : )
    on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 12:59 am
    this blog really hit home for me!! lol i really needed to see this because i was in a situation that was not so good with a guy. Im actually SCARED to death to fall for a guy now and i ask all these questions and it makes it seems like im scary or what not but im really learning how to guard my heart now at 22 years old!! i wish i could have learned this a long time ago and some of the things that i have expereinced i dont want to happen again. im afraid that maybe the next guy that comes along for me is actually the guy that i may marry one day and i might run him off or something. But i think thats just the fear in me and im so nervous about it. The last guy i called myself getting to know was not for me and i felt as if it was one of satans traps again. : ( Im at the point where im learning the difference between good guys vs bad guys and staying FAR away from temptation. im so scared so im asking if u all will just pray for me. please : )
    Andrea M.
    @ Sarah, w/ the LYWB team
    on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm
    Thanks so much Sarah. Really helped make things a little clearer in my mind. I'll be w/ them tomorrow and I will remember what you said. Thanks.
    gacie
    Re:
    on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm
    This really encouraged me, to see the view of the guy...as a girl that way over guards her heart, we get so caught up in protecting ourselves we don't stop and think about how its affecting the people that we care about. thanks!
    sylvie
    over-guarding
    on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm
    I'm a girl who attracts a lot of guys but when I realize that the conversations are getting to intense, I start to keep my distance from them because I know certain affections will develop and I'm not willing for that.
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @Aleese...
    on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm
    Don't be afraid...trust in God. Spend time even now in His Word and in prayer. As you form these habits, you learn to hear from God and know His still small voice that speaks in your heart and mind. "And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21) I have paused to pray for you this night. Blessings to you.
    Rachel
    Re:
    on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm
    Yes I do find myself not willing to ask much about other people so that I dont get hurt in the end.
    Jeanette Oviedo
    Yay!
    on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm
    Thank you for your insight! This has been a battle for me even though I have two older brothers and have been capable of guy friendships in the past. Stuff happens though, so now I have been all confused about how to be friendly...but this helps so much...like I can breathe again, haha! :D
    Anne
    Over-guarding me heart.
    on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm
    I was and am over guarding my heart. Can I share my story? I met this young man through a Christian Dating site. He's currently in an army. He's a sweet God-centered man. He doesn't know that I've searched his profile on myspace and FB and saw how He loves Jesus and that his family are Christians too. (sounds like I've stalked him) but I just wanna make sure that he isn't just pretending to be the Good guy for me. We've communicated through sending e-mails then as time goes by I've noticed that our messages keep getting shorter and shorter unlike before. I looked back through our past messages and realized that I was over guarding my heart, like he says sweet things and my reply would be like (a girl full of pride/over guarding her heart) I didn't mean things to be that way. Till one time he just stopped messaging me. I've tried my best to stop myself from waiting for him to e-mail me but still I can't. Not to boast but there are other guys who likes me but this army guy was the only one who got my attention and interest. :(
    Meg
    Re:
    on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm
    This passage was much needed for me.... My boyfriend tells me all the time that I am too guarded and is always asking me to trust him enough to let my guard down with him. It's not that I don't trust him, I think I've just been hurt too many times to ever let another man have control over my emotions. I want to be fully Christ's and no one else's, but I don't know how to do that without shutting my boyfriend out.

    A lot of times I don't even realize I'm doing it, I just back away whenever I feel like he has control over my emotions. I feel that if he is effecting the way I feel, he is more capable of hurting me. I am afraid of being hurt again and the only way I know how to stay strong is to "not care". The only thing is, it is impossible for me not to care. I care very much about my boyfriend and our relationship and it worries me when I pull away. I know I need to let him in, but I don't know how to "un"-guard myself.
    This article was very helpful in shedding a new light on over guarding my heart and it is relieving to see that I am not the only one struggling with it. Thank you!
    MariahLynn
    Wow!
    on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    The phrase in this post "Fear overshadowed living out the gospel" really hit home to me. The boy I've been praying for really DOES need that prayer, and I shouldn't be afraid to lose my emotional purity if God is guiding me to pray for him; God wouldn't ask me to do anything that would lead me away from His will for me. Wow! This is so comforting!

    Also this post kind of indirectly reminds me of a quote from C.S. Lewis in 'The Four Loves': “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
    zoe
    Re:
    on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 7:59 am
    Yes this is so relevant hallelujah! There is this boy and my friends and mum know i kinda do but they don't know how much I actually like him. Now I feel as if I'm guarding my heart a lot, like I'm scared he won't like the real me or he will hurt me by pretending to like me then ditch me. This really has helped me and I will pray to God about this more, thankyou for this bog in particular and all the other ones :)

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