My daughters came up with this one a few years back… their theory is: All of dad’s relationships end with a big trip. It’s the Big Trip Big Dump, or B.T.B.D. for short.

They can rattle off the list of women and the corresponding trips. The list isn’t THAT long, but I’m not going there… And I’ve been on both sides of this, the dumper and the dumpee.

From my point of view they’re only partially correct. Some of these relationships did in fact end with a trip. There is one time where we actually went on the Big Trip that was planned well in advance, and I nicely let her know ahead of time I really wanted to go and enjoy the adventure, but unfortunately when we got back that we’d be splitting up. And we did. We went on the Big Trip… and… you know… We both agree to this day that it is a great memory. When we see each other there are hugs and laughs.

Not too long ago I received a very strong message from God… to guard my heart. It came in His perfect time and way. And was delivered on the same Sunday that I awoke to the most incredible feeling of peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit that I’ve ever experienced. Immediately following the most challenging week in my life… He delivered and took care of me. God’s Mercy. He demonstrated His power and love to me through one of my greatest weaknesses.

“Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23. There it was,  written all over the sermon notes handed to me on the same Sunday at a Church that I didn’t normally attend. But it was as if God wrote this message just for me, and the Pastor delivered a message that sank in deep. Really deep.

My Bible sums up this and the next three verses as follows:

“Our heart – our feelings of love and desire – dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon teaches us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections push you in the right direction. Put boundaries on your desires: don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to sin.”

When I share some of the stories of my past with good friends the response is the same, over and over again: “I’m surprised that you’re still dating!” I haven’t built a wall (well, maybe just a small one…). But it’s hard for me to live with a wall. My personality is one of a very giving and caring person, and I enjoy being close to other people. My heart feels healthy and is full of love. I believe that living in The Word is what guarding my heart is all about. Establishing safe boundaries. And sticking with them.

Big Trips… YES. Detours… Let’s pass.

What do you think about Guarding Your Heart?