How's that for a loaded title? Stick with me though as you see me somehow tie them all together. Not sure yet how, but we'll see what I can come up with. :)

As I continue to share my thoughts on marriage, (trust me, I'm almost done with the seminar and then we'll go back to our regularly scheduled blogging), I want to focus today on Gary Smalley's open discussion. Many of you may have heard of Gary as he has been around for quite awhile, and is a leader in the area of family relationships. I truly appreciated the transparency of all the speakers from the conference as they shared that they too are ordinary people who struggle and fail within their own marriages. They were authentic, and you could relate to the challenges they face on a day to day basis.

Gary confessed to trying to change his wife for many, many years. He only recently has come to the conclusion that his heart was full of himself, with only a small corner of it focusing on Christ. But, as he prayed and meditated on God's word, he was touched by Proverbs 4:23 and found God's love for Christ and others to be edging out the focus on himself.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

I love coffee. Love it. If I pour myself a cup of the good stuff in the morning, and don't stop when I get to the rim, what's going to happen? It will pour out and spread, won't it? Now, think of your heart as the cup of coffee. If you fill your heart with God's word, God's love for others will eventually overflow and spill out, and ultimately, it will spread. You can't meditate on God's word, and not have an outporing of love in word and actions for others. So, if you are critical of your spouse, dig into God's word. Pray for God to change your heart. Only God can give you the love for others that mirrors his love. But, if you genuinely desire this, you will touch others, and you will touch your spouse with a love that is only possible through God's love. Will that change your spouse? Only God can take that job. But, you can be an instrument of him through your words and actions. Are you shining God's light through you in how you respond when your spouse walks in the door at the end of the day? Are you calling on God to help soothe your soul when you are hurt? Are you focusing on things above, rather than the mundane of below? Work on your own quality of life by improving your relationship with God.

Okay, we watched "The Bachelor". I admit it. We started a few weeks in and generally did a quick DVR run through to see who survived the rose ceremony. Once we got down to the last 4 or so, we stuck with it and named our favorites. But, we had not had a chance in the past two weeks to watch so the recordings were piling up. So, last night we sat down to fast forward through most of the episodes to get to the good stuff - the final decisions.

We were honestly floored as to how many times the comment was made, "I need to follow my heart."

Those of you who have seen the movie Fireproof know why this didn't sit well with us.

Granted, this is a reality show, but the people involved were a microcosmic study of all that is wrong and troubled with relationships today. The myth of following your emotions was perpetuated beyond belief. People were nodding, audience members agreeing, yes, you need to follow your heart. You can't fault someone for doing so. Love is leading. My head is telling me this is the right decision. Then, when asked, the Bachelor defended his position and how he will tell his son in the future that you need to do what is right. You need to follow your heart, with integrity, even if it may mean you hurt someone.

We need to stop the myth right now. We need to talk to our kids about leading your heart. LEAD your heart. Don't flow on the stream of emotions, because those feelings are going to fade away, ebb, flow, change. LEAD your heart, and lead it in the direction you want it to go. Go with God's help. If you have girls, pray for them to be led to a godly spouse, one who loves the Lord, and will take their role as the head of the household. If you have boys, pray they will be led by the Lord to a spouse with a heart of respect for her husband, and submission to his authority. If you, right now in your marriage, are feeling there is no hope, or the feelings are gone, or the path would be easier with a new model, or someone who doesn't know all your baggage, LEAD your heart. Lead it to hear God's calling, lead it to reflect on your marriage covenant, LEAD it to the path God is intending for you.

As for "The Bachelor", I hope they are happy. I hope they make it. I hope they find true love. But, I know love is true unless it is based in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because reality is, romantic love ebbs. Agape love lasts. The word needs to get out - it's not about following. It's about being a leader.

Where are you leading your heart today?
2 Responses
  1. Amy Says:

    Oh the unredeemed heart...yikes! To follow that is like the Psalms says, " Is like a tree that blows back and forth whenever the wind blows through it." Whoa! Love is a choice... you don't just fall into it.... you choose it. I don't like those shows because there is no way anyone could make such a huge decision by knowing all these different women for just small increments of time. No way! I get all angry and mad at the!!

    I hear ya tho! I don't know how my honey and I could have ever walked through the fires we have walked through with out Jesus in our court. Seriously. I don't know how marriages last without Him.

    Hugs.. Amy

  2. Christine Says:

    That show drives me crazy...and YES I watch it! I so caught that comment he kept making and I kept yelling out, "Lead your heart!" I have to keep going back to Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is more deceitful than all else. I have a ton of reading to catch up on here...I'll be back! Great Post! =O)