Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
To “guard” our hearts means to protect and defend what is going on inside of you (your emotions). Whatever is inside of you, will come to the surface when disappointments occur in your marriage. When your heart is in bad shape, if becomes almost impossible to maintain a healthy relationship. We need to pay attention to the state of our hearts for the sake of our marriages.
Practical steps to guarding your heart:
- Think about your feelings before you react. Identify the emotion that you are feeling and say it to yourself out loud.
- Think about where this specific emotion came from originally (perhaps from your childhood hurts).
- Speak to your spouse about the emotion that you feel by saying “When you did ________ I felt ________ .” Remember that there are no bad/wrong feelings.
A list of emotions to help you:
Abandoned, Afraid, Alone, Angry, Betrayed, Bored, Busy, Confused, Courageous, Discouraged, Disgust, Disappointed, Disrespected, Excited, Frustrated, Guilty, Happy, Hopeful, Hurt, Impatient, In Love, Inferior, Irritated, Insecure, Jealous, Left Out, Longing, Motivated, Negative, Overwhelmed, Pain, Picked On, Peaceful, Powerless, Proud, Rejected, Relieved, Sad, Satisfied, Sceptical, Shocked, Shy, Sick, Silly, Stress, Stupid, Surprise, Thankful, Tired, Ugly, Unappreciated, Unsure and Worried.
Recommended resource: Staying in Love by Andy Stanley