My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil. (Proverbs 4: 21-27 NLT)
This part of the wisdom of Solomon is beneficial to us as pastor’s wives as we manage not just our marriage and family, but our role as a pastor’s wife as well. All of chapter 4 speaks of our spiritual walk: good judgment, wisdom, embracing goodness and righteousness and rejecting evil and wickedness. But today, I would like to hone in on verse 23: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
The role of the PW can sometimes be on the defense so often, that we forget Whose we are and how we are to live and respond to the stresses of ministry. God knew once sin entered mankind that we would experience stress, disharmony, and frustration. He gave many words of wisdom, but no one (besides Jesus) has the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon knew what this life was like and was gifted by God to convey to us just what God wanted us to know. Our hearts, the essence of who we are in our thoughts, character and being, need to be protected because it determines how we live! This is why it says “Above all else…”
Solomon goes on to teach us, implore us even as we guard our hearts, to be careful how we speak and what we hear, to fix our eyes ahead and not behind, and to hold fast to his words, allowing them to penetrate our hearts so that we live out life to its fullest.
So, our focus must remain not on what the church leaders are saying or doing or not doing, not what the other moms may or may not say about you and your family, but on the mission He has called us to–to love God with all our hearts, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. To focus on the words of Jesus in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Lives full of love, peace, wisdom, and obedience.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”