A Tender, Responsive Heart

 

“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 11:19  (NLT)

I know of a young woman in her twenties who, when asked about dating, constantly says that she wears her feelings on her sleeve. When it comes to dating men, she admits that she’s afraid of letting them get too close because of her fear that they will eventually break her heart.

There is always going to be a risk involved with choosing to love someone, and this risk is one of not knowing whether the other person will disappoint or hurt you deeply. We will often want God to protect us in such a way that we never get our hearts broken, but if you’ll take some time to really think about it, you’ll see that this is not a realistic expectation.

Human beings are not perfect. We come with deeply embedded dysfunctions and funkiness. Sometimes you don’t actually get to see this reflected in someone’s personality until you’re around them for an extended period of time. It is also possible that you can sense the real essence of a person within a matter of minutes. In either case, as singles desiring to be married, we’ll sometimes ignore these things, and doing so might lead to a hurtful situation down the road.

God doesn’t want us to get hurt, but life brings with it both joy and pain. One of the ways that God equips us for the pain is to follow His instruction in Proverbs 4:23. It warns, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’ Like the young woman I mentioned, many of us have tender hearts, but that doesn’t mean that our hearts have to be weak. No one had a more tender heart than Jesus Christ, but we also know that there wasn’t, or has ever been, a more strong-hearted individual on the face of this planet.

His heart was tender with compassion, and was full with God’s love. He never allowed himself to become obsessed with people or things. The friends of Jesus Christ and people he should have been able to count on disappointed him more than any of us can imagine, but he never allowed emotions of discontent to overrule his allegiance to the things of God. His faith was not shaken by emotions, situations, or people. This is the way we must operate as well. As single Christian women, nothing can ever be more important than pleasing and loving God. That’s how we guard our hearts, and it is how we remain stable and confident in Christ regardless of the disappointment and hurt we might experience.♦

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

 


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