Gardening Your Heart
By Kaitlin Garrison
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 [NIV]
I don’t know about you, but for most of my life, I’ve equated guarding my heart with building a thick, unbreakable cement wall around it. The phrase ‘guard your heart’ was always presented to me with a connotation of protecting my heart with utmost security. So I did. I built mighty, impenetrable barricades made of restraint, fear and caution. If this was such ‘wise’ advice, then why did I have so many unhealthy barriers in my relationships? How was anyone supposed to get to know me behind all of these cement walls?
One day as I was reading this verse, God revealed to me that guarding my heart was less about building protective fortresses and more about gardening.
Within the bounds of our hearts, God grows trees of righteousness, fruits of His Spirit and plants all kinds of seeds meant to flourish and produce lasting fruit. However, just as there are pesky rabbits that sneak into a garden to nibble at the fruit, foxes that destroy the new sprouts, and weeds that choke out the plants—there is the same opposition trying to demolish what God is planting in our hearts:
•Weeds of bitterness, envy, and jealousy that choke out plants of contentment in Christ.
•Discouragement, like a fox, that tramples on the newly sprouted pods of peace.
•Sinful habits, like rabbits, that eat away at the fruits of righteousness–causing them to rot.
When we allow intruders to take control of our hearts, our actions will surely reflect it. –Tweet this!
When we allow those ‘intruders’ to take control of our hearts, our actions will surely reflect that. Similarly, when our garden is overflowing with fruits of the Spirit, our actions will more and more reflect those of Christ.
To guard our hearts is to garden them.
We must pluck those weeds by the power of His Spirit and fight off invaders with the truth of God’s Word. We are to be alert and ready to protect what God is planting. Instead of “keeping others out” with a cement wall- Invite them to watch what God is doing in the Garden of your Heart.
“God, thank you for producing in me fruits of righteousness and characteristics of Your Son that only You can plant. Open my eyes today to see the things that are attempting to tear down what You are growing. Help me to garden my heart with all vigilance, wisdom and tender care. May my heart be a rich soil for the seeds You are planting. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Kaitlin Garrison is a wife to a youth pastor and a mom of two rambunctious puppies. She is a lover of writing, singing, and a good chat over coffee on the porch. She is passionate about investing in the next generation of women to follow Christ with their lives. You can find Kaitlin over at the Barefoot Blog and on Instagram.
Thank you joining us today. I hope you were encouraged by Kaitlin’s words to ‘guard’en your heart! ~Kelly Basham
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18 thoughts on “Gardening Your Heart”
I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing the insights the Lord gave you. It is beautiful the way He tends to the gardens of our hearts. Blessings!
Absolutely! I love the ways He teaches us! Blessings to you!
I think your analogy is a good one, and helps us to have a concrete image of what “guarding our hearts” really looks like on a day-to-day basis. I’m so glad you shared this with us at Grace & Truth!
You are welcome. Thanks for stopping by to read Kaitlin’s devotion. 🙂
Thank you Jennifer! I’m so glad it
Beautiful post, I love this verse and just like you, had misinterpreted it for many years, however, God is so good in the pruning and tending process. Thank you for a great message.
Thank you for stopping by Anita. 🙂
Thanks Anita! I agree, God is so good in that process and so patient with us!
Okay I just love this! May the garden of our heart be overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit. Nice to meet you, Kaitlin!
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Kelly! I’m glad when God gives us visual pictures to help us know things! Nice to meet you too!
Kaitlin- great post!
Pruning isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. You get the best fruit if the tree is pruned and all the branches get exposed to the Son.
Thank you so much, Julie! I know that process is definitely not the best, but it’s so good for us!
I like that idea of ” guard”ening our heart. For a long time mine was so hurt, I had to ask God to guard it, I was tired of it getting broken.
I can relate to that one! He’s the best protector and He’s always looking out for us!
Excited to see Kaitlin here. 🙂 Have a blessed day, Kelly! xoxo
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