July 5, 2022

On Guarding Our Hearts

“You, my expensive, are the queen of guarding your coronary heart.”

My fiancé despatched that textual content message to me a couple of week in the past. It’s true. I guard my coronary heart with fortified partitions that solely come down after I really feel prefer it. Even when he asks me inquiries to get to know me on a deeper degree, the partitions return up. I get scared.

I wasn’t all the time that approach. It’s the results of a damaged coronary heart, the scars of which constructed every certainly one of my partitions. They’re there out of concern. But it surely’s lonely to not be identified or to be identified however by no means understood. Or to really feel like an outsider as a result of you’ll be able to’t join simply with others.

There have been a number of weblog posts floating across the Web about guarding our hearts. Some argue to not guard it in any respect whereas others really feel we have to guard ourselves extra. I even noticed a meme on Fb the opposite day accompanied by a C.S. Lewis quote about vulnerability and guarding our hearts.

My fiancé and I are studying Earlier than You Plan Your Marriage ceremony, Plan Your Marriage by Greg and Erin Smalley. In it, the authors advise us to protect our hearts when crucial till we really feel we’ve entered a protected house the place our emotions will likely be revered. There’s a time and a spot for guarding our hearts.

However I’ve guarded my coronary heart unnecessarily for too lengthy, and now as I’m approaching marriage, I’m studying how a lot injury that causes. And I’m studying to take the partitions down one after the other. I needed to share with you what I’ve realized lately and pray that it helps a few of you keep away from the identical errors I made.

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Be Susceptible

The Bible does instruct us to protect our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), however typically Christians take that and use it as a method to maintain individuals out. We use it to justify our concern of vulnerability. We don’t wish to get damage. In doing so, we not solely damage ourselves, however we damage others, too.

My greatest piece of recommendation on this topic, and my strongest phrase of warning, is that this: Do guard your coronary heart. However don’t guard it so tightly that your love grows chilly.

“To like in any respect is to be weak. Love something, and your coronary heart will definitely be wrung and probably be damaged. If you wish to ensure of maintaining it intact, you need to give your coronary heart to nobody, not even to an animal. Wrap it rigorously spherical with hobbies and little luxuries; keep away from all entanglements; lock it up protected within the casket or coffin of your selfishness. However in that casket — protected, darkish, immobile, airless — it is going to develop into unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” —C.S. Lewis, The 4 Loves

I noticed that by guarding my coronary heart so tightly, I used to be not capable of empathize with others. It turned all about me. I didn’t wish to damage when others damage, or cry with those that cried. I needed to take care of a stone wall of emotion that was laborious to learn. I didn’t wish to let anybody get in.

I constructed a wall that induced me to cease feeling. If I don’t connect myself emotionally, I received’t get damage. That’s the lie I instructed myself. It will definitely caught as much as me. Now it hurts me after I can’t categorical concern or empathize with somebody who shares something private with me.

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Guard it Proper

We guard our hearts from feelings, and we additionally guard them from intimacy. I constructed a wall that induced me to be so targeted on not crossing bodily boundaries that even when there was no hazard, I couldn’t loosen up and luxuriate in affection. I pushed it away out of concern. And since certainly one of my fiancé’s high love languages is bodily contact, you’ll be able to think about the rejection he felt each time I turned down a hug or an harmless kiss on the cheek. I additionally naturally don’t provoke affection due to the vulnerability that requires. There’s all the time the prospect I may very well be rejected, and that may destroy me due to my fears.

I’m studying, and I’m rising as I come to grasp the significance of letting myself be identified.

Be clever in the way you guard your coronary heart, and keep in mind there’s a time and place for it. However love is a threat, and it’s one God calls us to take.

Copyright Amy Kessler 2014. All Rights Reserved.