Who Has Your key?

Guard Your Heart
Young love is rare.  I mean real, true love – the kind that God ordained.  I am incredibly passionate about young ladies having confidence in themselves so that they don’t have a need for the approval of others to build their confidence. So many more times than not I see girls who have a poor image of themselves so they find themselves desperately seeking approval from boys to help build their confidence.  With each new boyfriend, they fall in love quickly and feel like this one is THE ONE.  Sometimes it causes them to lose who they are, and sometimes they find themselves doing things they are incredibly ashamed of and would never do otherwise.  It’s a difficult place to be.  I know because I remember being there.  I know that’s why God has lit a fire in my heart to help build confidence in the lives of girls.

Psalm 4:23 says Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.  God tells us that we are to keep our hearts guarded — locked tightly where he is the only one who holds the key.  Re-read that.  What would happen if you locked your heart up and gave Jesus the key to hold only to give it to you when you found the man you were meant to marry?  How much easier life would be!  There would be no heartache, no regrets of decisions you might have made to impress a boy, and you wouldn’t have to question Is he the right one for me?

He doesn’t do that, though.  He wants us to show self-control and keep our own hearts guarded.  Dating has become something that’s not “important”.  If you walk into your school and ask everyone in class if they are dating someone, you’re sure to hear that almost all of the students are dating.  It’s just not a big deal to anyone.  Now, before I go farther, I want to preface by saying please DON’T hear what I’m NOT saying.  I’m NOT saying that you should never date.  I am saying that you should date with caution.  With each boy you date, you are giving away a piece of your heart whether you realize it or not.  The longer you date, the less guarded your heart becomes.  Okay, first keep in mind that not only was I once a girl dating, but I work almost every day with girls just like you, so I know that your eyes might have just rolled a little with those last sentences.  I really have heard it all, and I know that you don’t feel like it hurts anything, but it really does.  The purpose of dating really is to search for your future husband.  Wait!  Don’t close out of the post just yet.   I’m not telling you what to do or not to do, but I would like for you to really put some thought into what I’m saying.  If you don’t believe me that dating is to ultimately find your husband, then please send me comments to tell me other reasons, but really think about it first and be truthful to yourself.

Did you know that it’s okay NOT to have a boyfriend?  It really is.  Having a boyfriend should not determine whether you are happy or not.  It shouldn’t determine if you are “popular” or not.  Think about your reasons for dating, and see if it’s worth it.

I dated when I was younger.  I didn’t guard my heart.  I got hurt.  I want so desperately to save you from that hurt.  I know I can’t save all of you from it, but if just one of you heeds this advice, it was well worth it.  GUARD YOUR HEART!  Keep it safe and far away from the enemy who is prowling around like a lion seeking who he can devour because the hearts of those who love God are his favorite meal.   Go ahead and give that key to Jesus and don’t allow anyone else to have it but your husband one day.  Think about how special that could be.

Here’s an idea!  You could find a key this week and write a letter to Jesus about your heart and the key you are giving him.  Then write a letter to your future husband about how special this key is and why you are giving it to him.  Put it away.  When you find that man that God has already chosen for you, give it to him on your wedding day, and read what you’ve written.  What an amazingly special gift that would be for him!  Whether you’re 11 or 41, if you are single it’s the perfect time to do this!

I want to pray for you regarding this subject: Father God, I pray that the young lady reading this post today sees the importance of keeping her heart guarded.  I pray that she declares at this moment that she won’t freely give her key away to every boy she comes in contact with, and I pray that if she has already given her key away and found herself with heartache that you heal her broken heart.  Change the lock and give her a new key and make her a new child.  I pray she remembers every day that she is a princess, and if she is not being treated like one that she will leave the situation she’s in knowing that is not your best for her.  Daddy God, wrap your arms around the reader of this post and speak truth to her giving her confidence in who you created her to be.  I thank you so much for this beautiful girl reading today, and I praise you because SHE was fearfully and wonderfully made.  ~Amen


UPDATE/DISCLAIMER:  Although I did not intend for the “key to your heart” to mean your virginity, I noticed that it could very easily be interpreted as that, and I do like the analogy.  However, your virginity is not the only thing that opens up your heart; there are so very many more things that unlock your heart.


18 thoughts on “Who Has Your key?

  1. This post just has my name written all over it Misty, you have NO idea!
    Before I came to know Christ, I had given that key away to so many boys and ended up heart broken every time.When He came and gave me a new key, He gave me a much different lock, my beautiful Anya. Now I know that when I meet the man who God wants me to marry I am giving two keys away, not just one. For that reason, I guard my heart closely.
    But it is such a strong desire of mine that other girls don’t have to feel the same pain that I’ve felt or become teen moms themselves to realize what a precious gift that key is.
    Thank you for everything you share with all of your readers and for your amzing heart!


  2. Misty thank you so very much for being so transparent! God is using you and I thank Him that you receive it. I am continuing to pray for you and know that you are truly blessed!

    Much love (Mom) Bev


  3. I am in full agreement! I love this! Thank you so much for posting this. I do have a question though. One of my Youth girls wrote on her facebook, “Guard your heart, if you give it to the wrong person, it can easily be broken.” Of course I ‘Liked’ her status and asked her on chat, “If someone asked you how to guard their heart, what would you tell them?” and she said she would have to think about it.
    I am currently writing a sermon on this subject and would like to know what you would say if someone asked you how to guard their heart.
    Again, Thank you for this post!
    ~Tracy Ann


    1. This is a question my girls ask me often, and it honestly looks different for each person. There are so many things girls do regularly without even realizing it that is doing opposite of guarding their hearts:
      *saying I love you (big big biggie. If she’s saying this then her heart is not at all guarded).
      *talking about marraige or kids even if joking around.
      *late night texting (opens lots of doors that might not otherwise be opened).
      *being alone; being alone in a dark room; sharing a blanket (sounds harmless to some, but she also needs to understand what is going on in the boy’s head while they are doing this. It’s giving him signals and feelings and urges that can start leading them down the wrong road).
      *The need to talk to a specific boy or be around him all the time is a big sign that the heart isn’t guarded.
      *The longer they date, the more unguarded their hearts become, which means the more hurt they will feel.
      *some girls drop their guard when they simply hold hands. They need to know that this is too far. Not everyone falls into this category.
      *Kissing is one that makes a heart be less guarded, and this is true for more girls than not. This is one that a lot of girls don’t like to hear. I’m not saying kissing is wrong, but thought needs to go into it. what is it doing to their hearts? What is happening within the boy? Remember that even if we aren’t convicted when we do certain things, we need to look at our brothers and see if it’s making them fall.
      *I wholeheartedly believe anything more than kissing unlocks and opens the door to a completely unprotected heart.

      I have another post that goes a little more into detail https://mistygatlin.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/boys-and-shoes/ I have two chapters of my book dedicated to boys and dating and guarding your heart. I feel like so often girls are starving for love and attention. Whether it has come from lack of seeing it in the home, poor self-image, abuse. . . it’s something that is very common and has been for a long time. I remember being that girl starving for love and attention. When that is the case, the heart is not guarded with anyone, which is why they “fall in love” so quickly and easily. Nowadays, it’s almost like a girl “has” to have a boyfriend in order to be considered popular or just to be included in a certain group of friends.

      I hope this helps a little, and I might write another post one day going more in depth with guarding your heart. It’s one of those messages that some girls absolutely hate. I mean, I have some girls and parents even who literally get angry when anyone in our church talks about it. A lot of times that anger comes from conviction they have in hearing this. I will say to be prepared for questions from both girls and their parents. Be able to back everything up biblically. If there’s anything I’ve said here that you want to know what I’m biblically basing it on, I would be more than happy to share it with you. I am not against dating, but I stress to my girls that dating really is to look for a spouse. With each boy they date, they’re giving a small (or large depending on the relationship) piece of their hearts away, which leaves a broken heart that’s not whole for their future husband. Although it does happen on a very rare occasion, junior high and high schoolers don’t usually find their spouses in school. There is so much growing and changing that happens in our 20s, so it’s difficult for young love to last. After your 20s, you’re usually a different person. I’m not sure if that makes sense. Hope this helps a little. As you can see I’m extremely wordy.


  4. Hi Misty, Thanks for this message. I think its a great idea and I intend on doing it RIGHT NOW. Ever since I made the commitment a week ago to set a year apart to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus (I will be turning 25 in two months) I’ve just been lacking sleep. It is currently 5.44am but I think this is a great idea to really activate and solidify my decision for Jesus. Thank you again.


    1. Happy early birthday to you! When you can’t sleep, start praying and reading God’s Word. I went through a time where I was waking up every night for no reason. I finally started reading and praying. One night I stumbled on some scripture that I knew was meant for one of the girls I had been working with. Come to find out, she had been earnestly praying for help with something she was going through, and that scripture was what she needed. You might be dealing with something similar — where God wants to use you to answer someone else’s prayers. Or it could be that you just need to spend some alone time with him where you won’t be interrupted.

      I pray that you find a closeness with God that you’ve never had before, a peace within you that surpasses any understanding you have, and a renewal within your spirit. I pray you find rest soon as well. Thank you for reading. I’m glad it spoke to you.


      1. Thank you for your reply Misty =) I slept so well right after I wrote the two letters and made a list. I think I had trouble trusting in God that I would still get married after 25. Like you, I really wanted to marry young. It’s sad that I’m not even in a relationship. But I’m choosing to put Him first by first seeking Him. It has led to some sleepless nights. I will take your advice on board and use that extra time to pray and meditate on His word. Thank you Misty! I believe you are changing the lives of many girls.


        1. Thank you for such sweet words! I do hope lives are changed, and I’m so blessed to be able to use my voice, whether written or spoken, to lead others to the truth of God’s word.

          I’m so glad you were able to sleep. Don’t be concerned with your age when you get married. So much growth happens even into your early 20s that it’s often best to be married later. not that God doesn’t place people together early on, but you get what I’m saying right? You hear a lot of times that people “fall out of love” because their spouse has changed. Well, of course they changed. Do you really want to be exactly the same for 20 years? No way! That means your life is stagnant. On top of that, people who get married young find that their spouses (as well as they) have changed a lot because of the extreme growth that happens in our 20s. The important thing is to grow closer to God, which will also cause you to grow closer with one another (think of it like a triangle. If the two of you only grow to one another, you create a straight line leading to each other. If you grow toward God, who is above you and the center of your relationship, you’re also growing closer to one another. Does that make sense?) If I could draw it on here I would.

          It may or may not happen for you at 25, but if you’re trusting that God is working on growing an amazing spiritual leader to lead you and future children in a Godly manner, then let God work in both you and him, and you’ll find that it was completely worth the wait!

          Have fun trying to BE THE ONE rather than FINDING THE ONE. 🙂


  5. Wow this is Amazing! And so true, but how do I walk away from a 2 year relationship where we used to be so happy and now he has changed so much, it’s so hard to do…


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