Guarding the Heart!

Posted: August 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

As a father, I am convinced that God will hold me accountable if I do not help teach my daughter how to guard her heart.  According to Proverbs 4:23; Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life, our heart is the seat of our emotions and are very precious.  When it comes to my daughter’s emotional well being I am to help her understand this verse.  Also, according to Proverbs 16:1, The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord, I am to teach Rebekah that God will guide her and I am to help her understand how God leads her.  I am constantly working on ways to help Rebekah open herself to God’s leading in order to allow the Lord to prepare her heart.  I did something the other evening and I pray that God will use it in order to help my daughter understand how precious her emotions are and how special it is to “fall in love”.

I believe that we live in such times that little girls and boys are promoted to be boyfriend and girlfriend before their emotions are able to handle it.  My daughter had an experience at camp this past year where a boy camper asked her if she would be his girlfriend.  She spoke with me about it and I told her I felt it was too early and that if she wanted to trade email addresses it would be ok.  He kept persisting and she told him she would be his girlfriend.  She was so excited and we did not want to place a damper on her excitement.  Gail and I had to leave early from the camp and we left Rebekah there with the rest of the group.   We found out later that this young boy told one of his buddies that he was only using her because he wanted to have a girlfriend.  It broke my daughter’s heart.  She cried and was hurt but she acted so mature.  She confronted him about this statement and he confirmed it was true.  She then told him that his treatment of her was not cool and he should have come to her and told her instead of telling others.  He later came back and apologized to her for what he did, which does say something about the young man’s character.

As a result of this adventure I decided that it was time for me to take action in order to prepare her and teach her to guard her heart.  The picture you see here is a ring that I purchased and gave to Rebekah this past Monday evening.  I had a special time with her where we went to get ice cream.   As we sat down I presented the gift to her and told her that God had bestowed on me the duty of guarding her heart.  The ring is in the shape of a heart and it represents her heart.  I told her that I was watching that ring and it was to stay on her finger until she gets married.  I told her that she was to treat that ring like she would treat her heart.  In this explanation, I told her that if I were to see her using that ring improperly or abusing it in any way I certainly would call her attention to it and even say no in some instances.  It would be the same thing if I saw her abusing her emotions or treating them without care or concern.  As long as the ring was on her finger it meant that she has not given her heart in marriage to anyone.  When she did find that special love she was to wait until her wedding night to give the ring to her husband.  It would be when she gets married that I release my duty of guarding her heart over to her husband.

I pray that God will honor this act and I pray that Rebekah will find the love that God has given me in my wife Gail.

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Comments
  1. Mike Madaris says:

    Tim,
    That’s awesome. I know that it is still several years away as far as my little girl (and the one on the way), but I am right there with you. Standing guard.
    Mike

  2. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Mike,

    I envy you as you are raising that precious little girl. I do not like living my life in the past, but I certainly do miss those days of being able to hold her on my chest and talk about things with her. Rebekah still discusses things with me, but it just is not the same. :)

    Stand guard as she grows. I noticed that it seems the adults around her are the ones pushing this boyfriend/girlfriend attitude. I am trying hard to help her understand that at 11 years old she has plenty of time to find a boyfriend. In the book; The Dance of Restoration, it references an adulterous relationship and how that relationship is formed. The authors relate the reasons sex outside of marriage is so disastrous on the marriage relationship. They say; when the sexual relationship has started, the soul relationship has been forged. So they work hard to make the relationship succeed, and they deny the signals that might be telling them not to marry. I believe sex outside of marriage is the result of the heart not being guarded by the parent.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  3. Norman says:

    Tim,
    We did such a thing with our sons, as well as our daughter. During the “ring ceremony” we gave them letters written to them by godly grandparents as well, as encouragement to guard their hearts and bodies. We had this ceremony when they were 14. I believe you are wise in doing it earlier as the pressure on our children to be sexual beings or at least involved in opposite sex “commitments” comes earlier and earlier. Some parents will be reluctant to interject themselves into the relationships their children are wrestling with. While we cannot control them, it is important to be involved, clear, consistent and loving; to be present and open to conversation and questions; to establish clear expectations and standards and it is never to early to talk about the love you have for their mother/father and how precious and sacred that love is. Thank you for posting a personal moment.

    Norman

  4. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Norman,

    Thanks for the encouragement from you. I wish I had thought about the letters from grandparents and Gail, that would have been a great extra for the time we had together eating ice cream at Baskin Robbins and just enjoying each others company.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  5. Tre Lawrence says:

    Excellent article.

    I hope your daughter understands the effort her father is putting in to ensure her happiness and alignment with God’s plan.

  6. Tim Rogers says:

    Brother Tre,

    We had to get the ring sized so I took a picture of it before we took it back. She has been without the ring for 2 weeks. On Friday we received a call that the ring was ready. When I picked her up from school, I took her by the store to get the ring. She was so excited and it really shows in how she is treating the ring.

    She is already talking about how to keep up with the ring. It has made a difference in her out look now.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  7. Joy White says:

    Tim, that is such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing—and more importantly, thank you for being a great dad and spiritual leader for your family. Blessings, Joy