"Above all, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." - Proverbs 4:23.
is probably one of the most altered, mistaken, and perverted (in the
old sense, not the creeper sense) verses that is talked about in the
There are twelve words in that verse. None of
these twelve include any of the following: virginity, penis, vagina,
body, nakedness, sexuality, marriage. And that's just a partial list of
all the words that aren't in this verse.
Proverbs 4:23 is unequivocally not about sex.
This is not a pro-abstinence tract, nor is it restricted to women. This
verse has been used for restriction, laid down like some kind of law,
as if there were a punishment attached to the end. As if there were
eighteen words instead of twelve, and the remaining six were, "Or you
will go to Hell."
Guard your heart. What is the heart?
It's the metaphorical center of love and caring. It's the part of the
analogy-body that feels and empathizes. Even if people thought the brain
was a giant radiator, the mind was the center of thought,
wherever in the body it was thought to lie. The heart is reserved for
pure emotions. So in the end, what are you guarding? You're guarding
feelings, emotions like trust, love, dedication, kindness, and empathy.
You're not expending your every last drop of energy on the pigs, who
will not appreciate the pearls you've thrown before them. You're making
sure to take care of yourself, not in a self-centered way, but in a way
that will protect your stability and energy and enthusiasm for life.
You're not letting other people take advantage of you, even though you
may care for them and help them. You maintain a center, where you can be
strong and capable, despite what the world may throw at you.
your heart isn't about keeping it in your pants. There's no mention
about pants here, or any of the body parts under those pants. What it's
about, is keeping your priorities straight, and not throwing yourself
away. Wanton promiscuity is a definite danger, don't think I'm saying
otherwise. Throwing caution to the wind and ruining your body is not
taking care of yourself. Disease and unwanted pregnancy are torments to
the mind and heart. But the point is the damage they're doing, not the
Guarding your heart means having
respect for yourself. It means choosing good lovers and good friends
and good coworkers. It means not letting anyone crap all over you and
not being a pushover. It means maintaining your cool and your stability
among the hurricane that is humanity. It doesn't mean alienating
yourself, or being prissy, and it certainly doesn't mean being
abstinent, or not dyeing your hair, or not shaving your head, or not
getting a tattoo, or caring about this or that political issue and not
the other one, or preaching to every person you see, or...
means, have respect for yourself. Take care of yourself. Treat your
body right, and your mind right, and your heart right. Don't let
humanity drown you. Don't let others destroy you. Don't throw yourself
into a situation where you know you're just going to come out a ruined
Does that happen to people? Yes. Does it mean they didn't guard their hearts? Not always. But sometimes you can see it coming.
You can only do so much. This verse is asking you to do just that: what you can
do. Not what you can't, not what you couldn't account for. But what you
can do, right now, to be good to yourself, to protect yourself.
Guard your heart. And go be free.