How often do you struggle with your heart?
Oh, don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about…I am talking about those naughty attitudes, nagging thoughts, and nasty little words that come slipping over your lips before you have a chance to stop them. When you have a chance to take a giant step back and objectively look at what just happened…you think “where did that come from?” I can tell you where…from your heart.
According to the Ancient Hebrew Research Center, the Old Testament Hebrews considered the heart to be the seat of emotion and of thought. This is illustrated by the two characters of the Hebrew word for heart. Hebrew is read from right to left. The first is the image in the word heart is of a shepherd’s staff and represents authority, like the authority a shepherd has over his flock. The second letter represents the floor plan for a nomadic tent and the family inside. When these two are combined it translates to “the authority within”.
In this 31st chapter in The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood and Beautiful Girlhood, we are made aware of how vital it is to our spiritual life to possess and maintain a pure heart. Purity of heart is a concept that is a basic principle in the individual Christian’s life because our hearts are the “authority within” that guides our thoughts and actions. Just like in the previous chapters, to teach it to your daughters, you must first understand it yourself. This leads me to ask you two questions.
How do you get a clean heart?
By now you know that without God our heart is wicked (Jer 17:9) and that only God can take a heart of stone hardened by sin and turn it into flesh Eze 36:26. Girls, this incredible exchange takes place the moment we put our faith into what Christ, God’s only Son, did for us on the cross and his rising on the third day from the dead. Without Him, there is not even a wisp of hope for us to possess a pure heart.
First things first, make sure you and your daughter know him as your Lord and Savior. If you are not sure, study the following verses. Romans 3:23. 6:23.5:8, 10:13, 10:9,10, John 1:12, John 3:14-16
How do you maintain it?
Heart health, in the scriptural sense, means to own and maintain a pure heart. The word pure means to be clean, holy, blameless, and righteous. Once this relationship with Jesus is established, how do we personally maintain a clean heart and teach our daughters the process as well?
- Guard it – because everything we do flows from it! Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Remember what the original Hebraic meaning of heart was? The authority within. We must make certain this authority is not tainted with the world. But how?
- Learn the Word – by heart not by head! Psalm 119:9-16
Psalm 119 9 How can a young woman keep her way pure?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.
The Psalmist in this passage lists several actions that can be taken to keep our way pure. He sums up the entirety of verses 9-16 with this simple phrase, “by living according to Your Word”. Then he gives a list of how this is done. Seeking, hiding, praising, recounting, rejoicing, meditate, consider, delight in, not neglecting.
The best way to guard the influence our heart has on our thoughts, emotions, actions is by living according to the Word of God. Not merely knowing the Word in our heads…but by heart!
Eternally grateful that He holds my heart,
1. In your quiet time, go through Psalm 119: 9-16 and list all the ways that you and your daughter can shield your heart and the benefits you will reap from it.
Above all else guard your heart,
it is the wellspring of life.
Ponder and Post
1. Mull over the idea of your heart being the “authority within”. What are some concrete ways you can shelter your heart? Your daughter’s heart?
2. I would love to hear from you and your daughter if this chapter has been useful for you?