Just Follow Your Heart

"Don't play that song." I heard my eight-year-old say as they watched the bonus features on one of their DVDs. "Mom doesn't like it."

"What don't I like?" I queried. I am not keen on the kids putting words in my mouth. I thought I'd better check.

"The song 'True to Your Heart'." they said.

I did not remember specifically saying that I did not like the song, but I DID remember taking the opportunity to talk to them about the fact that the "truth" presented in the song is in direct opposition of scripture!

I could not hold back a little smile. They had been listening.

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The sad thing is that this song represents a common philosophy in today's culture.

Baby, I knew at once that you were meant for me.
Deep in my soul I know that I'm your destiny.
Though you're unsure, why fight the tide?
Don't think so much, let your heart decide.
Baby, I see your future and it's tied to mine.
I look in your eyes and see you searching for a sign.
But you'll never fall, 'til you let go;
Don't be so scared of what you don't know...
Girl, my heart is driving me to where you are -
You can take both hands off the wheel and still get far.
Be swept away. Enjoy the ride.
You won't get lost with your heart to guide you...
True to your heart, you must be true to your heart!
..Open your eyes - your heart can tell you no lies...
Why second guess what feels so right?
Just trust your heart, and you'll see the light!
...Your heart knows what's good for you.
Let your heart show you the way - It'll see you through.
from the song  True to Your Heart

I thought of that conversation and this song again as I read an email from Secret Keeper Girls this week:

According to a recent study published in The Annual Review of Psychology, "falling in love" has overtaken any other kind of love in bringing two people together to marry. It wasn't always that way. In the early days of our Western culture, people married because each partner had internal qualities that held the promise of mutual commitment to one another. Attraction, they assumed, would follow.  
Today the most common quality a young woman tells me she is looking for is "a sense of humor." But a humorous guy may or may not have a good work ethic, be willing to serve his wife and children, or embrace a deep relationship with God. Funny is neat, but no less superficial than external appearance... 
The modern trend of seeking attraction rather than specific internal qualities was first identified by a sociologist in 1926, who said the "romantic impulse" would eventually create "family disorganization." In other words, "falling in love" would result in some unpleasant consequences -- not just for the individual but for society as a whole. 
...Marriages built upon choice, commitment, and practicality tend to last longer. "Falling in love" is the language of the Craving. It is fueled by emotion. It's based on a feeling. And following your feelings will get you hurt. 
Perhaps it'd be a good idea to observe the wisdom written in 970 BC that we "not arouse or awaken love until it so desires" (Song of Songs 2:7). 
Well, I don't mean never. The steamy poetry of Song of Songs wouldn't exist if we never gave way to physical attraction. It's just that, in a healthy relationship, ahaba [Hebrew word used to describe two people falling in love; characterized by a spontaneous, impulsive display of attraction and physical affection] never grows stronger than agape [the love of God for Christ or humankind; unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love]. Attraction will exist, but it can not be where you begin true love.
From the book Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

I came accross this quote as I was reasearching for this article:
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If only it were that simple!

I am constantly reminding my kids that a great life does not happen by accident - it requires a planned strategy.

"No one wakes up one morning and decides to be a drug addict or a homeless person. Who says 'today would be a great day to destroy my family with an affair' or 'I think I'd like to go to jail today'." I say to my kids ad nauseum. "These things are the result of living in the moment. Of doing what feels right right now rather than following a set plan. You have to look into your future and decide how you want your life to look, then plan out the steps you need to take to get there and follow them."

I say it so often, they could probably quote me. I really want it to sink into their brains and help to form their life philosophy.

We recently finished reading the book of Daniel, so it is easy to use him as an example.
Daniel 1:8 says:

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. KJV

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. NIV

But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. NLT

But Daniel  made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. NASB

resolve verb - to fix or settle on by deliberate choice and will;
resolved adj. - determined; firm in purpose; resolute.
determine verb - to settle or decide by an authoritative decision
determined  adj. - resolute; unflinching; firm. syn. stanch, inflexible, unfaltering, unwavering
American College Dictionary

I especially found these words interesting:
purposed in his heart
made up his mind.
I like them both. Together. It conveys the concept that we can tell our heart in which direction it should go.
If Daniel had been the kind of guy who lived in the moment, who "followed his heart" there would not have been "Daniel in the Lion's Den" many years later. His feelings would have told him to stop praying and avoid trouble. "It's only one month!" his heart would have said. Instead, Daniel made up his mind in the early days of his life about just exactly what kind of life he was going to live, then he purposed it in his heart - he pulled his emotions in line with his purpose.

This brings to mind 2 Corinthians 10:5  "...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
It's the purposeful, intentional, deliberate, willful resolve not to allow emotion to lead us astray.

As these ideas have rattled around in my mind in the past few days, I could not help but think of Adam and Eve. It occured to me that, even though they knew in their minds what they should do, they chose to live in the moment and do what felt right just then - without thinking through the possible consequenses of that decision. Doubting, in fact, whether they would really have any negative consequeses at all! (Was God lying? Was He withholding some kind of blesssing from them, and they were missing out?)

They did not reason it out...
Weigh the character of God...
Consider the source...

They followed their hearts, and their hearts led them down the wrong path.

 The truth of the matter is that our hearts CAN and WILL lead us astray.

"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

What method are YOU  trusting with your future?
The unwavering Word of God? - - Or the volitile, changing emotions of the heart?


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