A Christian Woman Must Guard Her Heart
These are lessons I have learned and am learning still. I pray that your heart will be soft to these lessons as well.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it spring all the issues of life.” Girls’ hearts can be very complex sometimes, for they store up all manner of dreams, grievances, worries, wonderings, plots, uncertainties, hopes, and desires in these hearts of theirs. But it needn’t be that way. Like a valuable gemstone, complexity in the heart of a young lady is beautiful only if the many angles of the gem reveal new beauties, not perplexing and contradictory characteristics that cancel out all good.
The young women who are most valuable to God’s kingdom are the ones who keep their focus on what is most important while not vying for power or position, who are intelligent and imaginative without being confused or confusing, who are compassionate and sensitive without being moody or withdrawn. These are the women who guard their hearts.
What should you guard your heart from? Guard it from fancies that awaken premature longing for love and marriage. Guard it from vanity about yourself and your accomplishments. Guard it from anything that might get between you and your God, between you and your parents.
Yes, I said parents! Your parents will help you guard your heart, both as a little girl, a young lady, and a mature woman. Trust them with your desires and worries. Confide in them in every matter. Confess your sins and shortcomings to them. There should not be anything you give your attention to that your parents don’t know about, whether it be friends, books, games, young men, music, ideas, foods, or other desires. I say this because I know it is the nature of young women to cringe from revealing the secrets of their hearts to their parents because they fear they will be embarrassed or that their parents will be disappointed—but those are not valid excuses. The father in Proverbs continually says to his children, “Give me your heart!” The prophecy at the end of the Old Testament speaks of wonderful things to come in God’s kingdom, and it says, “The hearts of the fathers will turn to their children and the hearts of the children will turn to their fathers.” This is what your Lord and Master desires of you, dear one. Turn your heart to your father and mother. Be soft to their desires. Never resist their commands or guidance.
When you have entrusted your heart to your parents and emptied your heart before them, fill it up with every good thing. Learn to “approve that which is excellent,” as Paul commands young Timothy. Continue memorizing Scripture, but don’t just memorize it—meditate on it as well. Let it feed you, warm you, guide you, guard you. Take the Word of God into you as a vitalizing, nourishing drink from the fountain of life. Young women do not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Fill this guarded heart of yours with the precious commands of God, and you will be beautifully complex, well-rounded in every good thing.
A Christian Woman Must Guard Her Tongue
There was a girl someone once told me about who was very quiet. Others around her bubbled over with news and information whenever they gathered together for a party or an event. Though friendly and kind, with good sense and intelligence showing in her eyes, she rarely spoke a word. A friend of mine came up to this girl one evening and asked her why she did not say very much. The quiet girl smiled and said to my friend that she used to rattle on and on about all sorts of useless and unedifying things until one day she let her tongue get terribly out of hand and she said something that ruined a relationship. After tearfully apologizing, she decided that she would rather talk too little than talk too much, and she put her mouth under lock and key. Now she rarely said a word. My friend was astonished that someone could have this much control over such an unruly member of the body. Though this exercise in discipline was helpful for not erring on one side of the spectrum, it is equally important that we do not err on the other side.
What do I mean? I mean that there are many occasions that require a “word spoken in due season” like “an apple of gold in a setting of silver.” These are the moments in which it is equally wrong to not say something good as it is to say something bad. The tongue can mend and repair as well as tear and destroy, and sometimes our sin is that we do not encourage, correct, defend, or exhort when the moment calls for it. So be courageous, and speak the truth in love! You will be surprised at how soft hearts are to your words. The wise woman knows how to use her tongue for good and not for evil, knowing equally well when to speak and when to be silent. She also knows when a word of kindness or encouragement is needed, and she can use her tongue to give it.
Guard your tongue, dear one. Guard it equally from voluminous excesses and timid stinginess.
A Christian Woman Must Guard Her Time
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.” Before your strength runs dry and your mind grows dull, remember the eternity that you are headed towards and ponder the path of your feet. Do you remember your Creator and why He created you? He created you for a life of work, purpose, and fulfillment of the glorious commands He has laid out in His word. God planned, even before the beginning of time, that He would create you and place you within time, to work and worship Him!
Psalm 90 says that the days we have on this earth are short, numbered on average to about 70 or 80 years per person, and they are years that are filled with “toil and trouble.” It is true. We are not experiencing eternity yet, and there are pangs of longing that you will feel for the heavenly country as you get older. Therefore, “redeem the time!” Ask God to “teach you to number your days, that you may gain a heart of wisdom,” as it says in this Psalm. Ask God to establish and strengthen the work you do with your hands so that it may count for something when you are dead and gone.
All this instruction is well and good, and many girls know these things, but truth about their true character is revealed when they decide to continue in their life of carefree pleasure without a thought for how they could be using their time more profitably for God’s kingdom. Don’t be one of those girls. Be the woman who keeps a tidy “to-do” list so that she doesn’t get distracted by less worthy pursuits. Be the woman who makes time for Bible study, prayer, God’s church, and fellowship with the saints. Be the woman who finishes her work diligently and thoroughly, not so she can go play, but so that she can go serve more people. Be the woman who is always resourcefully thinking of new ways to work more efficiently. Be the woman who takes the Sabbath day holy, by worshipping and resting. Be the woman who is never bored or idle, but is always “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
Be the young woman who will make her Savior joyful, who enters into His rest hearing the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
That’s a place to start! I pray God’s richest spiritual blessings on you as you mature into a woman.
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 22, 2014:
Thank you for your sweet note! It can be an uphill battle sometimes, but our Lord is fighting for our hearts and minds! As you grow older, you will find that much of your knowledge of spiritual things was just knowledge, and an experiential knowledge (by acting and doing) will begin to replace that which was just head knowledge before. May God bless you richly as well! Stay strong my friend!
Noémie on January 07, 2014:
Oh, thank you so much for this beautiful post! I am pondering on this thought very often, to guard my heart and tongue, and this gave me rest and encouragement. I am in the midst of my teenage years, and it gets quite steep at times... Not because of peer pressure or conflicts, but just because seeking the Lord above your own pleasure is one of the hardest things. I love Jesus, and I will press on with His strength to seek the Kingdom first and His righteousness! May God bless you abundantly!
altitus on July 08, 2012:
Thank you! That does help :)
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on July 07, 2012:
I'm sorry-- I don't have the names of most of these! The statue is in the London Museum, the woman in the wildflower museum is an old print I have on a placemat (I know-- not too helpful for you!).
I do know that the one of the woman reading is "Girl Reading in a Sunlit Room" by Carl Vilhelm Holsoe.
Hope that helps!
altitus on June 17, 2012:
This is beautiful! I also love the artwork. Do you have the names of the artists?
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 24, 2011:
Thank you, aethelthryth! These are things that I must remind myself of as well, and I know many girls that have confided to me that these are areas they struggle in as well. May God be glorified!
aethelthryth from American Southwest on April 20, 2011:
My recommendation to younger women: if you find these recommendations helpful to read, do something to remind yourself to come back and re-read them in a few weeks or months. It is easy to drift and not notice.
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on March 31, 2011:
FrogyFish, I'm so glad you were encouraged! I need this reminder too, and it's not something that I've finished working on, that's for sure! Thanks for following— it's great to meet you as well.
frogyfish from Central United States of America on March 30, 2011:
What a needed message for our young girls! And the older girls need it as an encouraging reminder now and then also!
Happy to meet you and become your follower.
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on March 03, 2011:
Thank you, James! It is so good to have an old friend stop by. I always respect your opinion, and your advice is sound. Blessings to you!
James A Watkins from Chicago on February 28, 2011:
What a lovely message. Guard your heart, little one. Yes, indeed. Well done. It is very good.
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on February 21, 2011:
WannaB Writer, I'm working on applying these things myself! Thanks for your comment.
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on February 21, 2011:
TreasuresOfHeaven, I'm so glad you were blessed, and I hope that other young women you share this with will be edified.
Sima Ballinger from Michigan on February 19, 2011:
This is a treasure. You have spoken well. There is so much good information and instruction in this hub - it can be used as a study guide for Young Christian Women. I will share this with many.
I voted every possible way I could! UP, Useful, Awesome and Beautiful!
Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on February 01, 2011:
Well spoken words that it's never too late to apply. The hard part is applying them, as you have pointed out.
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 31, 2011:
I appreciate that, Kim! Just out of curiosity, what church are you a part of?
kimbrewaa on January 30, 2011:
I shared this on my FB page and I think a lot of my fellow Church members will like it as well :)
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 28, 2011:
Thanks, kimbrewaa! I pray God uses it.
kimbrewaa on January 28, 2011:
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 27, 2011:
Thank you, Rose. These are things you've taught me as well, by your actions and our conversations!
Rose West from Michigan on January 26, 2011:
What a powerful hub, Jane! Your words are so sincere and beautiful. Time is valuable, as you say, and though it is easy to grow lazy, it is so important to keep our thoughts and actions focused on accomplishing good. Thank you for this reminder!
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 26, 2011:
Joy at Home, I learned these things the hard way too! But God is gracious, gracious, gracious. Thank you for reading-- I hope God blesses your ministry to your own family and daughters in the coming days!
Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 26, 2011:
Yolanda, Thank you for reading my hub! I was honored to be asked to mentor this young lady, and I have had great joy in watching her grow in the Lord!
Joilene Rasmussen from United States on January 26, 2011:
I was gladdened as I read this hub. So much of this, I learned the hard, slow way. I hope you help many young women on their way to God's best for them, through writing this hub.
yolanda yvette on January 22, 2011:
This is such a unique and incredibly soul-stirring hub. I am glad I took the time to check it out. Thank you.