The heart is more then just emotions. The heart does drive our emotions, but it pretty much drives all we do. What the heart desires is the most powerful force in our lives. Whether it be desiring to go to a certain place, desiring to be with a certain person, or desiring to be a certain way. Whatever your heart desires is going to drive and push your whole life. So we need to make sure to protect and guard our hearts from influences that will pollute or steal our hearts. As young people we are going to be around young people of the other gender, and even though they may all be Christians, we still need to be careful of how we act around them. I don't believe its right when parents or churches think it wrong for young people to be around young people of the other gender. I think there need to be guidelines and I do believe that they should never be alone, but you need to know how to act around guys/girls. It will make your time of courtship a bit uncomfortable if you don't even know how to act around the other gender. All of that said, here are a few ways to help you act right and guard your heart when you are around guys/girls.
1) Keep the friendship casual.
-There are four different levels of friendships: acquaintances, casual friends, close friends, and intimate friends. In order to save you heart for one person and not give it away to the wrong person, friendships with the other gender should stay at the acquaintance or casual friend level. it doesn't take long before you end up too close, you need to be very careful of sharing too much and forming emotional bonds. Even if this is the guy/girl that God has for you, you still need to be careful of giving your heart away sooner then God intends.
2) Avoid situations that will create emotional bonds.
-Basically, don't spend time alone with the guy/girl. If you spend too much time in a one-on-one talk with a guy/girl, your are putting yourself in a situation that can easily cause you to open up a little too much. I'm not saying its a bad thing to have a one-on-one talk with a guy/girl, but just be sure to have others around or not let it get too personal or go on too long.
3) Don't seek attention for yourself.
-I know for a fact that both guys and girls have a way of getting attention and making sure a certain guy/girl sees them. We as Christians need to be careful of that. Its one thing if your appearance or personality gets someones attention, but you really shouldn't be trying to get that persons attention. If you dress and act right around guys/girls, then don't worry about getting someones attention and just trust God to get the right guy or girl's attention.
4) Ask your parents for advice.
- Just remember that they have already went through all of this. Even though you might not think your parents are "cool", they still might be able to help you in this area. :-)
5) Guard your words when your with friends.
- If you have an interest in a certain guy or girl, don't go to your friends and talk about it. its one thing if you have a godly older friend who can encourage and pray with you. But if you're only going to them to talk about this person, don't. Spending time talking about guys/girls is NOT going to help guard your heart at all! Go to God, your parents, or an older friend for advice and encouragement.
6) Avoid things that can pollute your thoughts.
-The wrong type of movies or tv shows.
-The wrong type of things on the internet.
-The wrong type of music.
-The wrong type of books or magazines.
When God asks for our hearts, he wants all of it. There must not be any open spots that leave place for the enemy to get in. A heart that is truly guarded will not have a hole that is waiting for "Mr. or Mrs. Right" to come. God wants to completely fill your heart, and once you are happy and satisfied with Him, then He will open that spot for "Mr. or Mrs. Right".
God doesn't look on the outside, he looks at our heart. The bible tells us about man different types of hearts that God is looking for. So get out your bible, and go look up these verses about the different types of hearts God wants us to have. Have a time of prayer and ask Him to help you have those kinds of a heart.
- 1 Kings 3:9 & 12
- 2 Chronicles 16:9
- 2 Chronicles 34:27
- Psalm 7:10
- Psalm 34:18
- Psalm 51:10
- Psalm 119:80
- Proverbs 17:22
- Matthew 5:8
- Matthew 11:29
- Ephesians 4:32
- 2 Timothy 2:22
- James 4:8
- 1 Peter 1:22
*Some material is taken from "Before you meet Prince Charming" by Sarah Mally and "Just Friends" by Cary Schmidt and Mike Ray*