Imagine for a moment that your heart (emotional heart) is like a garden…the kind that is surrounded by protective walls and an ornate gate. Just like any garden, the garden of your heart needs to be tended to and protected in order to grow properly. Tending means to take care of or look after which is very important when it comes to the garden of our hearts and Proverbs 4:23 encourages us to “guard” our hearts because it is “the wellspring of life”.
Tending and protecting the garden of our hearts can be done by having healthy boundaries. In other words, we must decide what we will allow into the garden of our hearts. These decisions happen all the time every day – news, music, tv, magazines, and conversations – and can either nurture the garden in our hearts or destroy it. It is important to also consider who is in the garden of your heart. Danny Silk, founder of Loving on Purpose, shares in his book Keep Your Love On that not everyone should have the same access to you. Here are some of his statements on boundaries…
- A boundary is simply you telling someone else what you will be doing. It is the ability to communicate that you have priorities and a dedication to protect those priorities.
- I didn’t set this boundary to either offend or please you I did it to manage the priorities and goals I have for my own life.
- The more others encounter us honoring the boundaries we have set for our lives, the more they will know they can trust us with their lives.
- Needs cannot get met unless they are communicated. So, overcome your fears. Trust the other person cares. Speak out what it is you need.
- Boundaries keep the things you want in your life in. Like love, joy, hope, or peace. Boundaries will also keep out of your life what you do not want. Like disrespect, fear, hopelessness, or anxiety.
Boundaries are the walls that protect the garden of our hearts.
We are the gate that chooses what we allow into the garden of our hearts. Luke 6:45 says, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” When we listen to what comes out of our lips we will begin to discover the condition of our gardens. What’s in your garden?
May you be encouraged by what you find…