The Adulterous Single

I thought a commandment didn’t apply to me.

Yep, one of the TEN COMMANDMENTS.

It’s the one about adultery. Because I’m a single, I definitely felt like that just didn’t apply to me. I’m good on that one God, because obviously, doesn’t apply! That was my exact thoughts. Mark it off, I’m good.

But here’s the thing on this. I don’t have to be married to commit adultery. Obviously the very literal line of thinking leads to sexual immorality, whether it’s pre-marital or any of the other related immoral acts related to sexual relations. The one that hit me though was that I have a propensity to an adulterous heart. A heart that puts so much above my covenant relationship with God. A heart that will easily lean into work, people, stuff with more love and focus, giving itself away above my first love, that love with God.

Ouch.

Adultery does apply to me as a single individual. It applies to all of us, regardless of our marital status. It is a heart issue, it’s a covenantal issue. One that starts with God and my heart, not at the altar with another individual.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)

Never has that verse become more vivid, breathing and real than looking at it in the context of my adulterous ways in relationship with God. Everything I do flows from my heart. Every action, thought, word…every bit of it, and if my heart isn’t committed and pursuing the love of God in all things? Well that’s where the convenient opportunity of adultery slips in. When I am not guarding that fickle heart, being on consistent watch of it’s consumption and output, then it’ll easily wonder to other, lesser loves. It’ll pursue side pieces that catch it’s eye rather than God Himself, the One Who has proven faithful and good, over and over again.

As much as I’d like to believe I have that adultery thing on lock-down as a single gal, the truth of the matter is that I am far from it, and it does apply to us all. My adulterous heart should be the guarded heart, giving life to the relationship with God and not to the other pursuits that so easily ensnare and entice me from my first love.

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)

I am not sure there’s a verse that has been more studied or dug into in my life than that one above. I look at different versions, commentaries and pray over it practically daily.

The heart defines your life. It is your character, the overflow of what you are filling your life with. And yet, it can be easily broken, hurt and captured if you aren’t careful.

Diligence requires alertness, awareness, and steadfast watch. It means a constancy of guarding of this fragile heart, prone to wander, prone to idolize, prone to desire.

Oh this heart…you are the complete package of will, affections, mind and thought. You are the cause of actions in my life, and the lives of others. If we aren’t on watch, with a strict eye, sometimes things/people/satan slip in through an avenue undetected. We are caught unawares in the midst of hurt, pain, sin.

So we come back here. To the place where our heart first felt whole…to bring the broken to be mended, the wounded to be healed. We come back to the place where we find that we have another Guard, with our good in mind, His strength made available. We come not to ask but to give.

To leave this heart here for Him. To live in constancy of a heart that is full of Him and not us. A heart that desires after the things of Him and not our whims and affections. A heart diligent in the work set before it.

A heart guarded above all else to flow out with love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…a heart whole in Him.

An Armored Heart

Photo courtesy of disciplewalk.com
Photo courtesy of disciplewalk.com

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

For so long this verse meant to me a focus on your heart when it comes to relational involvement…boyfriend/girlfriend, crushes, marriage, and the like. It still does in so many ways. Lately though, I have found that guarding my heart has taken on a much different perspective.

I was not careful to guard my heart when it came to every relationship or situation. Instead I bore out my heart to people in ways that ended up being used to harm me–ultimately altering the course of my life.

I assumed the “guard your heart” business meant around those non-believers, those seeking ill toward me as a believer or having lascivious plans for my heart. Never did I once think about guarding my heart from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Isn’t that often what we find though? That we are hurt by those carrying the banner as family in Christ?

A guarded heart is one aware, not naive, but cautious in it’s pursuits and relationships. Not self-seeking but also not freely given. Guarded hearts seek understanding yet are slow to react. Choosing quiet and responsiveness over impassioned reactions. (Yes there is a difference between a response and a reaction) It is always on alert, armed for conflict and patrolling around the entire perimeter of the inner self, the heart within. There’s a reason why thieves often choose the cover of night to slip in, they need the darkness to intrude and steal.

A guarded heart is to be valued, above all else. It means not only I be on guard but entrusting it to God to safely hold it, knowing His promises are true and faithful. It determines the course of my life, and when not taken care to protect, it can lead to heartache and trouble that could have been protected against. The heart pursues, often after desired things-things not put before Him but of the flesh, when it is left unguarded. Taking care to mind what it engages in, and what it doesn’t, makes the courses of life diverge greatly in two directions.