ladies, stop following your heart
I don't blog often about marriage. I believe God is still showing me the marvel in this union. I believe I can blog more about marriage after I have been married for 20+ years. I know God is refining me daily in marriage. The person I was when I married my husband is so much different than the women in this photo today. That is because of the Grace of God.
Everywhere I look today: social media, magazines, talk shows, cute instagram posts, and even in the school system, you will hear people say, "follow your heart". Even more common, statements that sound like this come from homes where marriages are being ripped apart because someone "followed their heart". Many have followed their hearts right out of their family's lives to make themselves happier. The most common quote is this, "we all deserve to be happy, so follow your heart!" I loathe this quote so much that I will not even tell my kids, "follow your heart"... when it comes to a cute little pep talk.
As Christian women, married women, I believe this rational to be one of the most dangerous mindsets to walk in. Everything about our ministry as women and disciples of Christ is to be less of me and more of HIM (John 3:30). What does more of 'Him' look like? Does it look like happiness or does it look like holiness? Does it look like my heart or does it look like HIS heart?
Jeremiah says, (17:9-10) "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds."
In the Bible, the word heart is talked about 570 times in the NIV (New International Version), and 830 in the KJV (King James Version). Ladies, God wants our hearts. The heart is essential to us in every way and is a vital masterpiece of the body. It makes everything flow well. The heart not only is a huge component of our physical bodies but our spiritual body too.
Mark 7:21-23 says, "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."
We are not to follow our hearts. We are to follow God. God himself has a heart and He understands our confusing heart. I know God's heart is not confusing because God is without sin. Sin is what makes our heart so deceived. But, God can bring resolve to that. Psalms 44:21 ...would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. There is a dangerous and narcissistic pattern to a person who believes they should just follow their heart in life and even worse in the married life.
Medical professionals and scientific studies show our emotions are run from our heart and then to our brain. The Institute of HeartMath says this:
............"studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with the brain — our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. However, we now know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. And the brain responds to the heart in many important ways."
This tells us that we are not wise enough to operate our own bodies. God really does know what He is talking about when He put this into scripture: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). I have spent some time studying the science behind the endorphins, hormones and even pheromones that are the cause of our emotions which trigger our blood (heart) and signal the brain. There is always a high and then always a drop-off period or fall off in this happy state. The cycle of this emotional happy state does not last forever. That is why we had butterflies when we first met our significant other and after living with them our endorphins get comfortable and that emotional butterfly state can wear off or drop off.
We live for something bigger than an emotional state of being. We can seek happiness over and over and follow our wild heart but in the end we are setting ourselves up for failure. The biblical fact is this, God doesn't promise easy, he doesn't even promise happiness. God promises to love us and has the BEST for us. Like our own children, even us adults get sidetrack with a foolish heart. Yes, God loves to see us happy, just like we want to see our kids happy. But, most importantly, God wants to see us safe and holy just like we want to see that for our kids.
I am witnessing a multitude of women who have the "Christian" tag on their writings (books and blogs) all while they are changing the Gospel and the doctrine of the scriptures. In the end, they are creating a false sense of God's very heart for us. There are women in the public eye, like Jen Hatmaker and Glennon Doyle Melton (see article below), who proclaim to be Christ-followers but make their own version of what we are to do with our heart. They are leading many women astray. They are pushing happiness and self heart-seeking pleasure above godliness.
Our heart is to be fully committed to the Lord. When this happens everything else falls into place. That does not mean we are always in our content place of happiness. In fact, John 16:33 says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." We can find Joy in all circumstances even in our distress, Paul shows us this example. But, to constantly be following our own heart is the opposite of what God's word says to do.
A verse that the modern day Christian parent will quote, but often not follow themselves is Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord, with ALL YOUR HEART, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make our paths straight." Our ways, our heart, and our temporary happiness will lead to destruction. Our superficial webs of immediate gratification will hurt many others along the way. Part of being a Christ-follower is allowing God to do the changes in our own hearts as we seek His heart (like David- a man after God's own heart).
It is not wrong to have a desire in your heart. Our heart is the gauge for which we can tell what we have passion for. But, we follow God and God directs our hearts to what is holy. He directs our plans and our paths. We do not follow our own heart. We follow God's heart.
"Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart"
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.