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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ex Prep, Part 4 - "I Can't Help Who I Love"


If the emotional door to your heart is unlocked, be prepared for a possible break in.

I have heard it said many times that we just cannot help who we fall in love with (or for that matter, fall out of love with). Sometimes it's not a matter of falling in and out of love, but rather leaving a teeny tiny little space open in the heart that has the potential to allow someone other than our husbands in (perhaps we already have). How do we lock up that space so it is reserved for one man only?

The first thing we must do is cling to these three truths:

  1. We can choose who our hearts belong too.
  2. We can choose how we act.
  3. We can pray and God will help us.

We Can Choose Who Our Hearts Belong Too

God has given us authority over our domains. One of our domains is our hearts. If there is one thing I have learned from following my heart, as opposed to guiding it in wisdom, it is that when I do I usually find myself in a mess. It's lovely to say, "follow your heart," but the fact is, our hearts are filled with foolishness.

"He who leans on, trusts in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered." Proverbs 28:26

If you have or are struggling with your heart being tugged by the memory of someone else (or someone else in reality), know that there is hope. You don't have to be in shackles; it is possible to train your heart. Keep reading.

We Can Choose How We Act

I am by no means saying that training our hearts is easy (in fact, we can't do it on our own - more on that later). It can be painful and challenging. It is worth every battle. For me, I have been believing a lie that I could not control my heart or how I would act if I saw someone that might open the floodgates to my heart. I was scared of myself and my emotions. The emotions may come, but the truth is I can control how I act and respond. I can have a plan ahead of time. I can be grounded in the truth.

We Can Pray and God Will Help Us

Oh, I love this! How wonderful that we have a God who cares and wants to help us..heal us. He hears our cries, and if we let Him, he will deliver us from the bondage of having feelings for another man. Prayer is powerful my friend! Sometimes we just need to get alone with God, on our faces, and pray and pray and pray. Sometimes we need a friend or mentor to pray with us and over us. If you are wrestling with feelings for someone other than your husband, do not keep it a secret! Find someone you trust and tell them. You need a battle partner. If God leads you, tell your husband as well.

Abiding in the above three truths will set you on a path to emotional freedom, but there is another truth that I want you to know...and to really believe. The truth that who you are married to is not a mistake. We will delve into that truth tomorrow.

I'm not just on my blog today! Come visit me over at Is This Modest?

Follow along with the "Ex Prep" series by subscribing here!

"Ex Prep"(intro), Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


mama's smitten said...

Hi Sarah! I have a luv'ly award waiting for you at my blog. Thanks for inspiring.

Homesteader in Training said...

Wonderful post my friend. As always.

Anonymous said...

This is soo true. One thing we really need to understand is that love is not based on emotions. Emotions can come from love, but they are not love itself. Love is an action (1 Corinthians 13). Every attribute love is, is an action: Love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast, it is not proud or rude; it is not SELF-SEEKING or easily angered; it keeps no records of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in the Truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Love never fails.
For a long time I had the wrong idea of what love was. I thought it was based on emotions and allowed my own heart to betray me.
Here's the thing...I knew what I was doing was wrong, but my flesh was weak (yet stronger here). I prayed it seemed endlessly (for several years) that God would change my heart and guess what? He did. He taught me what True Love is...and it's all the things 1 Corinthians 13 says. If I ever doubt again, all I need to do is line it up with these beautiful verses.
This is such a wonderful and important series. Thank you Sarah Mae for doing it!

southerninspiration said...

I agree with christin......it is an obedient action to choose to LOVE....and an obedient action to not give in to temptation, but rather live in self control. NOT AT ALL EASY, but nonetheless supported by the Holy Spirit living in us....completely doable, but hard.
Great post!

Robin said...

You hear that phrase "follow your heart" so often. They make it sound like everything will turn out wonderful if you just "follow your heart". It seems like I hear it most in movies that are made with young girls in mind.
God's word tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked. Certainly not something to follow and trust.

You are doing a great job wrestling with these hard issues.

Anonymous said...

Hello again! I left you something on my blog. :) ((Hugs)))

Kristy K said...

This series (and your modesty series) is great. My husband and I have been extra vigilant about this topic over the last four years, when seemingly innocent conversations with "friends" of the opposite sex almost ruined our marriage. Our problem didn't involve exes, but rather a woman my husband worked with and a man we went to church with. Neither of us were guarding our hearts and the results could have been disastrous if we hadn't put a stop to things, repent, seek forgiveness from God and each other and eventually leave that church.

I know people think we're crazy that we don't cultivate friendships with the opposite sex, or that my husband doesn't take part in lunches out with female co-workers, or that I don't meet up with male friends who I haven't seen in a while. But we both feel Satan is out to destroy healthy, Christian marriages, so we have to be on the offense. We hang out with a lot of other couples, but neither of us spend extra-curricular time alone with friends of the opposite sex.

Sorry this has gotten a little long, and our views may be extreme on this topic, but we've seen how easy it is for harmless friendship can escalate into discontent, flirting and worse.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I am realizing that this is something that we need to pray about regularly. I hear so many stories of temptations even when women thought their marriage was just fine. Then a man comes along who flatters and flirts and all of a sudden their marriage doesn't seem as exciting or satisfying.

This is why we need to continually pray and work to keep our marriages strong and healthy. Praise the Lord that He is able to help us with that!

Isabel said...

Yours is one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever visited. May I follow?

Thanks so much for the posts on modesty. I am exploring this area and you have helped me a lot!


Anonymous said...

I can not begin to tell you Sarah how encouraging your blog is to me. It has quickly become a favorite of mine.

It was so easy to let my gaurd down when my marriage was going through hard times and I quickly found myself in a bad situation. I have come to realize that no matter what the guard around my heart has to be up at all times.

Your an amazing inspiration to me!

Sarah Lynn

Anonymous said...

I don't mind if you post that on your blog at all. Have a great day!