Mike and I dated long distance (Florida to Louisiana) until we were married. So much of our relationship was spent on the phone. One of those days, as I was driving to a ministry outreach, we were talking. Before we said goodbye, he asked if he could pray for me. In the midst of him asking the Lord for a great night, a night of anointing and effective ministry, he said these words: “and Lord, be with my heart, let her know you’re with her and that every word she speaks is you speaking through her.” We said goodbye and I told him I’d call him later. As I hung up, I thanked God for a man that saw my callings, encouraged them and challenged them, but I also couldn’t get out of my mind his reference of me as his heart….
As I continued to think about the conversation and his verbiage, this scripture in proverbs came to mind:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.
I still think about what Mike said in that prayer those many years ago. He called me His Heart. He referenced me as the thing to be guarded, to be protected. When I think of this verse, I’m aware of its context. Yet, I also wonder if we could look at it from a perspective of guarding the things that make up our heart – the things that are sacred to us. Above all else, guard your family. Above all else, guard your marriage. Above all else, guard your purpose. Above all else, guard your ______.
When asked to write about family life at home, my immediate thought came to the challenge of protecting our families – far beyond the physicality of that word, but to create an atmosphere in our homes that breed protection from an enemy determined to kill, steal and destroy. To create boundaries in our marriages that protect us from being another sad story, and to create an atmosphere for our children that is safe when their questioning hearts breed poor decisions…So, how do we do that. In the simplest of answers, we have to be present to protect. There’s not a war that’s ever been won that didn’t demand a soldier on the battlefield to determine the victory. There’s not a game that’s been played that didn’t require players on the field to rack up points on a score board. In every win, in every victory, in every battle and every success, one thing is required in all – presence.
In every scripture that references the Lord’s protection over us – it also references His presence in the process:
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surroundme with songs of deliverance” Psalm 32:7
“The Lord is WITHme; I will not be afraid…” Psalm 118:6
How do we guard these things that make up our heart? We remain present. When the load of every responsibility you carry gets burdensome and you want to check out – remain. When your schedule is packed, you’re exhausted, and you haven’t yet spent any time with your husband – remain. When ministry is overwhelming and you’re ready to retreat – remain. When you are praying without answers, frustrated in the process – remain. Ladies, we cannot protect the things that make up our heart if we refuse to be present in them! So, I urge you – guard your heart! Remain present and rest in knowing He is ever present with you – ready to cover you, to fight for you and to protect the things that are sacred to you.