I wrote this piece for our Girl's Magazine here at ATLstudents...
A Dad’s Thoughts…
There is something special about the relationship between a daddy and his little girl. It’s uniquely different in every way. As the father of a little girl, I desire for my daughter to experience God’s best for her life, and the best way to teach her that is to teach her to love and apply God’s Word to her life. Here are a few thoughts in that regard…
There is a passage of Scripture in the book of Proverbs that has very practical instructions for you in regards to how you deal with your heart. The heart is a big deal for you as a young woman. It is the control center of your emotions. It’s where love resides and is developed. In fact, the heart is such a big deal for you that the Bible offers some very important, but practical instruction on how to deal with it.
Proverbs 4:20-27 reads, “20 My child, pay attention to my words; listen closely to my sayings. 21 Don't lose sight of them; keep them within your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to one's whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. 24 Don't let your mouth speak dishonestly, and don't let your lips talk deviously. 25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 27 Don't turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.
The first instruction you need to pay attention to is GUARD YOUR HEART. To guard means to watch, to preserve, to keep close. Your heart is very precious to God. All your thoughts, dreams, aspirations, and goals come from your heart. Your fears, feelings, hurts, and hindrances reside in your heart. Be careful to GUARD YOUR HEART. Be intentional about what you let in your heart. Guard is an action word; it means to be intentional about protecting the most precious thing you have. The command center for all your relationships is your heart. Take that seriously. Remember, your heart is your life source.
The second instruction you need to be attentive to is GUARD WHAT YOU SAY. In today’s language and culture, the word “love” has lost its meaning. In English, there is one word for love and you ascribe to a variety of things. The same way you would describe affection for a person is the same way you would describe interest in a movie…you “love” it. The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and that language had multiple uses for the word love. As the Scriptures were translated to our language over the years, we have lost the true meaning of love. Remember, GUARD WHAT YOU SAY. Telling someone you love them communicates many different things, some good, and some bad. While I think there are appropriate times, places, and circumstances to communicate love verbally, remember to GUARD WHAT YOU SAY. Verse 24 in this passage reminds you to guard your mouth and your lips. Specifically, you are advised to not speak dishonestly and deviously. These words remind you to only speak truth. Especially in your relationships with guys, speak with truth and honor. Refrain from saying what you think they want to hear, that will only lead to trouble. GUARD WHAT YOU SAY.
The third instruction given in this passage is to GUARD WHAT YOU HEAR. Verse 25 reminds you to keep your gaze and your eyes ahead. This is a reminder to stay focused. Know this, a guy will tell you he loves you to get what he desires from you. GUARD WHAT YOU HEAR. Your instruction to keep your eyes fixed ahead literally means to pursue a direct and focused purpose and to avoid temptation. GUARD WHAT YOU HEAR. Don’t believe everything you hear, stay focused, and GUARD WHAT YOU HEAR.
The fourth and final instruction given you in this passage is to GUARD WHAT YOU DO. Verses 26-27 instruct that you carefully consider the things you do and the places you go. GUARD WHAT YOU DO. The word consider in verse 26 refers to being careful in your choices. It means to mentally weigh right and wrong. The word path references your journey. Think about your life course, the road you’re following. Who is it you are becoming? Are your choices helping you become who it is you desire to be? GUARD WHAT YOU DO. “Your ways will be established” refers to preparation. God has wonderful things prepared for your life. He has a future prepared for you that is full of hope and opportunity and peace. Be careful to keep your feet on the path and GUARD WHAT YOU DO.
As you continue to grow and develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as a young woman, please remember the instructions given in this passage. No matter what your life has been up to this point, you can begin now the discipline of “guarding.” Maybe you’ve already given your heart away; it’s not too late to guard it. Maybe you’ve already said more than you should in your relationships, it’s not too late to guard what you say. Maybe you’ve believed everything you’ve heard from disingenuous guys and others that only wanted to hurt you emotionally, it’s not too late to guard what you hear. Maybe you’ve wondered off the path a time or two; it’s not too late to guard what you do. You have a heavenly Father who loves you more than you could ask or understand. He loves you unconditionally for who you are and not what you have or have not done. He desires that you keep yourself pure and guard your heart above all else. Then, you will position yourself to experience His best for your life.
From the heart of THE Father…
….and the daddy of a daughter,
Student Ministries Pastor and Daddy of Anna
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