The phrase “How to guard your heart from falling in love” is commonly searched and is the wrong approach for Christian singles unless they know they want to be single forever. The goal of guarding your heart when you like someone is not to prevent romantic love from occurring. Rather, the goal is to pursue romantic love in a biblical way that is honoring to God and healthy for your heart.
So how can you guard your heart when you have a crush? How you can be open to a new relationship while protecting yourself from emotional wounds? In this article we will discuss four helpful pointers when answering the question, “How can you guard your heart when you like someone?”
Accept Your Feelings When You Like Someone. But Guard Your Heart By Not Assuming You Will Be Together
It’s not a sin to like someone. You are not doing something wrong if you have a crush. You are not automatically discontent with God if you want to be in a relationship with someone. And “falling in love” is not worldly.
The reason, however, there is often so much caution placed around these types of emotions is because they can lead to heartbreak. Desires like this often lead to getting hurt because people often move from accepting their feelings into assuming their desires will come true.
Proverbs 13:12 states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” So to guard you heart when you like someone you should accept your feelings for your crush while fighting the urge to assume you will be together one day.
You will cause other forms of damage to yourself if you always deny your feelings for someone you like in the hopes of guarding your heart. By denying your feelings and resisting to accept that you actually like someone, you will always be stopping the possibility of something from actually happening.
Denying your feelings is not the way to guard your heart. You should accept, “Yes, I like this person” and then keep your emotions right there. Don’t move further in your heart by then assuming you will one day be in a relationship with this person you just met.
You cannot avoid disappointment, but you can avoid devastation. If you never want to be disappointment, then you should never pursue a relationship because most of the time things will not turn out the way you thought they would. You usually have to experience a lot of let downs before you finally meet and marry the one. While disappointment is a part of the Christian dating process, you really can guard your heart to avoid being devastated.
Guard Your Heart By Using Logic More Than Desire Early On When You Like Someone
As mentioned already, feelings, emotions, desires, and having a crush are not evil. They can present dangers, however, when not handled correctly. One way we mishandle our hearts is by neglecting our minds.
The mind and the heart are both extremely important but they both serve different roles in our lives. The mind should help us direct our heart’s desires. We should use our minds to make sure we are expressing and pursuing our desires in a healthy way. The way to guard your heart when you like someone is by using your mind, especially earlier in the relationship.
When a relationship has not actually begun or is very new, you should use more logic than longing. You should have enough self-awareness to know that your feelings are not yet based in reality and are more based on hope and expectations. Hope and expectations are not bad, they just should not be guiding most of your decision making at this point in the relationship.
By using your head over your heart early on in the relationship, you can avoid making many mistakes. You may feel like you want to start dating someone you just met, but your mind will tell you that you need more time and need to take things slower. Listen to your mind more when you have a crush. Be open to progressing in a relationship but we wise. By using your mind you will have a greater ability to keep your hopes in alignment with reality rather than getting too ahead of yourself.
If you start to get to know this person that you like and your relationship begins to deepen, then you can follow your desires more. The more substance that is in a relationship and the more trustworthy you know someone is, the safer it is to open your heart up in a relationship. So to guard your heart when you like someone, use your mind to guide your decisions.
Guard Your Heart By Being Interested, Not Infatuated
There’s a teaching given to singles within many Christian churches that I really disagree with. They are told you should just wait on God for a Christian marriage and things will happen when they are supposed to happen. When a single person does have a crush, they are told that they should just slow down, guard your heart, and wait for Jesus to make things clear.
I agree with the motive of this type of advice. Churches who say this are just trying to help Christian singles guard their hearts. In the process, however, I believe they are also slowing down healthy Christian relationships from actually starting. Actually doing something to make a relationship happen is not a lack of faith in God.
Being interested in someone is not a sin. Being infatuated with someone is. If a Christian single likes another Christians single, what’s the problem? This is what’s supposed to happen. Rather than tell Christian singles that they should resist all their feelings and just wait on the Lord (as if doing anything is a sign of not trusting God), Christian singles would be better served by being taught the difference between interest and infatuation.
Interest occurs when someone is open to the possibility of a relationship with someone they like. Infatuation occurs when someone is obsessed with being with their crush. Interest is a willingness to give a relationship a try if the opportunity presented itself. Infatuation is being fixated on someone when you don’t even really know this person that well. Interest is normal. Infatuation is idolizing a relationship.
To Guard Your Heart, Don’t Pray to Be With that Person You Like. Pray that God Would Reveal if this Is the Right Person to Be With
It’s my belief that the best use of dating for Christians is to use it as a season of life to gauge who it is that you want to marry. So the goal of dating is not to marry the person you are dating. Rather, the goal of dating is to figure out if you should or should not get married.
It’s kind of like when my wife and I were shopping for our first minivan recently. When we went on a test drive, the goal was not to buy that specific van no matter what. Rather, we went on a test drive to see if it was the right van for us. Likewise, when you are dating the goal is not to marry that person you like. The goal is to figure out if you want to marry that person or not and if God wants you to marry that person.
This mentality should also guide a Christian’s prayers for a godly spouse. Sometimes we shouldn’t pray that God would allow us to marry this specific person. It wouldn’t be wrong to pray this. But when we submit to the sovereignty of God, it is often more helpful to pray that we would be able to know and follow the plan God already has for us rather than telling God what our plan is for ourselves. So rather than praying to be with this person you like, it can be more helpful to pray that God would reveal to you whether or not he wants the two of you together.
When you change your mentality from hoping to be with this person to hoping for clarity about this person, you will not be so sad if it doesn’t work out. When it is revealed that you two are not meant to be, you can still be grateful because you got the answer you were looking for. You were not looking for a “Yes,” you were looking for God’s guidance. So when God reveals this is not the person he has for you, you can be thankful that he has answered your prayer for guidance and clarity.
As your relationship gets more serious, its healthy to hope you get married. I’m not saying you never dream of being with a specific person. My point is that dating is more about testing a relationship rather than making sure two people get married.
So one great way to guard your heart when you like someone is to ask God for clarity. You will protect your heart when you have the mentality of seeking to find the right person God has for you rather than working so hard to be in a relationship regardless if God wants this or not. When we submit to God and follow his leading, we will be guarding our hearts.
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