Recently I was having a conversation with a single female who was asking me about how to pursue a relationship well with a guy whilst following the teaching of Proverbs 4:23: “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”

The question she asked was, “How do I navigate pursuing a relationship with this man whilst still guarding my heart?”

This particular scripture is a key scripture that is often referred to by our Senior Pastor. However, I have to admit that I had not heard this scripture applied in this way before, and it took me by surprise. While talking to other single females I found that this was a common thought and teaching and, as someone who is passionate about relationships and marriage I felt compelled to ponder on this and to consider how to apply this scripture to our lives. My question is,

“What is the scripture really instructing our hearts to be guarded from?”

The keeping. We are not to destroy our appetites and passions, but to keep them in subordination: keeping the heart is not murdering it. Vigilance is the price of everything good and great in earth or heaven, nothing but unceasing watchfulness can keep the heart in harmony with God’s heart.

(Christian Age.)

Everything flows out of the heart, so guard what you let in. This is what Solomon meant. This doesn’t just mean a relationship between two people. It’s broad. It’s wide. It covers a multitude of subjects, topics, conversations, relationships, issues and circumstances in life. It is not subject to the opposite sex. It’s wisdom – guard your heart, for out of it springs the issues of life. It is vital to be asking ourselves “What is the condition of my heart? Am I guarding my heart against things like unforgiveness and bitterness? Am I guarding my purity?”

So having said that, I believe that are times when we need to consider opening our hearts up to people. We can only receive salvation by opening up our hearts to Jesus, not by guarding our heart from Him:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” Revelation 3:20 NIV

Now obviously there are times when we need to have wisdom and discernment in who we open our hearts to – but my question is, “How can you ever have a meaningful relationship with any person if you are always guarding you heart.”

So how do we go about building a relationship with a person of the opposite sex? I believe this is done in the same way you would build any new relationship. You share a little bit, open up, if that goes well, you trust a bit more and share a bit more. The only difference is, that you have an attraction! So please consider how well guarding your heart from all people of the opposite sex is helping you with your dating!