Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …

The Art of Guarding Your Heart


“We have been trying to tell her to guard her heart, but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be working…” As I listened quietly on the other end of the phone, my heart stirred with compassion for both the mother and daughter in this situation.

“Have you tried explaining why it’s important to guard our hearts?” I gently inserted the obvious question, or “taught her how to guard her heart? She seems willing, but might not know the ‘how and why’”.

As I prayed for this family and teenager working through some tangled romantic relationships I began pondering my own journey and what it means to “guard our hearts”. In retrospect, I don’t know if I ever had a mentor, friend or parent explain to me what it actually meant to “guard your heart”. It’s a complicated concept and I wonder if the authorities in my life at the time even knew what it meant themselves, let alone being able to explain it to a struggling teenager.

In many Christian circles the phrase “guard your heart” is thrown around as frequently and liberally as we salt our French Fries. But what does it really mean to guard your heart, and more importantly, how and why should we guard our hearts?

For the past year part of my personal journey has been to take hiatus from dating or pursing any romantic relationships. Stepping off the field and out of the game for a while has allowed the Lord to work a different perspective in me. This new series “The Art of Guarding Your Heart” is going to be a collection of posts about the things the Lord has shown me about relationships and the “Why” and “How to” behind guarding your heart. This series is dedicated specifically to two of my younger sisters (We will call the Muffin and Doc) and to all the young women I’m privileged to call “my girls”.

The Art of Guarding Your Heart is as complex and deep as your heart and simple as your willingness to surrender. Please join me in this mini series I feel the Lord leading me to write! Next week we will look at some of the reasons ‘why’ we guard our hearts.

relationships 1For more posts on Relationships and for an easy way to keep up with this series please visit  the “relationship” button in my side bar – or if you don’t already – Sign up to get Not Unredeemed delivered right to your inbox! 

Author: notunredeemed

Jesus follower, people lover, truth scribbler. Addicted to pain (growth). Passionate about relationships, identity and the transforming power of Christ.

9 thoughts on “The Art of Guarding Your Heart

  1. I am SO looking forward to this series, Katie! Yes, I’m married, but I want to better raise my own children and more effectively disciple girls/moms….so write on! 🙂

  2. Hi Katie! I’m looking forward to reading this as well. There are so many different perspectives on this out there, even just within Christian circles…

    My one contribution would be that sometimes i think we can put too much emphasis on ‘guarding our heart.’ It becomes a pride issue–that we’ve never ‘given’ away part of our heart, when in reality, Jesus calls us constantly to give our hearts to Him and others. I think life is a calling to learn to love as Christ loves–and that sometimes means loving unconditionally, loving until it hurts…and even taking the chance to love when it might break our hearts.

    I’ve dated many guys throughout my 20’s and even though I’ve had ‘broken’ hearts many times, I’ve learned and grown from it all, and truthfully, the brokenness has become beauty more than it could have been before. I look back at each relationship and I’m thankful for the man and the experience. I don’t feel that I have any less of a heart for my future husband–but rather one that’s been refined by the process. I’ve learned to love–by seeing my selfishness and pride in relationships as well as seeing the way men loved me unconditionally. It’s been a neat journey with Christ using it all…I might have missed out on some pretty awesome things He’s done if I worried too much about guarding my heart rather than learning to love. Does that make sense?

    I really this is a tricky issue because we don’t want to become too emotionally intimate with someone too quickly. Yet if we’re of marriage-age, I do think we need to be willing to put ourselves out there because only by loving freely despite the risk of a broken heart will we truly learn to love…

    Just some 2 cents on a popular topic. 🙂

    • Laura! Thank you for your encouraging comment! I couldn’t agree more! I’ve actually been wanting to write this series for a while, because it has bugged me for so long that ppl guard their heart to avoid pain. That becomes a bit out of balance on a lot of levels! There will be one blog in this series that specifically addresses that. – so thanks for the encouragement that I’m on the right track. I love what you said here

      “I don’t feel that I have any less of a heart for my future husband–but rather one that’s been refined by the process.” Amen!

      • You’re welcome! You encourage me as well. Gotta love the Body of Christ! 🙂 Keep it up, dear sister!

      • Remove the biblical implications that the phrase “guard your heart” has and its easier to see that it is the linguistic opposite of putting yourself out there. Opposite. That you two think they are compatible is disconcerting, it is indicative of misplaced trust in poor sources. These are the same sources that say you’ve been refined instead of tarnished or stained by previous intimacies. Be careful.

  3. Katie – I am really looking forward to this series as well. I have been a “silent” observer for awhile…you know I am a BIG fan 🙂 but this series is something I talk with my kids (3) about all the time, “guarding their hearts.” Most mornings we pray together on the way to school and this has become our mantra….I look forward to your insights and thoughts on this.


  4. So looking forward to this Katie ! I’m with Laura…while my husband is my first and only, those previous “crushes” (as damaging as they were to me) helped me to appreciate and see what a blessing he is. I don’t even think guarding our hearts is strictly for romantic relationships, but friendships as well.

  5. I am really looking forward to reading this with Suzanna. Thanks Katie!! You are an amazing young woman. I am blessed to call you friend!

  6. Pingback: “Why” – Part #2 The Art of Guarding Your Heart « Not Unredeemed


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