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Today’s Truth

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

Friend to Friend

You know how kids are. Older children tend to think it’s their job to educate younger children about the facts of life – and I do mean the facts of life.

Two of our grandsons, Justus who is seven and Hudson who is five, often play with several boys in the neighborhood. Up until now, the older boys have protected Justus and Hudson and have always been kind enough to include them in whatever game they were playing. One of the 10-year-old boys told Danna that Justus and Hudson are the coolest little kids he has ever met. He attends our church and is such a sweet kid. He truly loves our grandsons and thinks of them as his little brothers.

Last week, Justus and Hudson came in after playing with this boy. Our daughter immediately knew something was bothering them – especially Justus. Since he gave his heart to Jesus two years ago, Justus has had such a tender heart for God and desperately wants to please Him.

Danna wisely waited for one of the boys to speak up. After only a few minutes, Justus said, “Mom, I need to tell you something.” Hudson solemnly nodded in agreement.

Danna stopped her dinner preparation and came to sit by the boys. “What’s wrong, honey?” she gently asked. Tears filled his eyes as he explained that one of the boys had explained in vivid detail how men and women make babies. Hudson said, “Mom, I didn’t understand it all, but I didn’t like it.” Justus said, “I knew the way they were talking about it was wrong. They made it sound dirty, but I know it isn’t. My heart hurts, Mom.” Danna gathered both weeping boys in her arms and said, “Come with me, guys.”

Danna took the boys upstairs to the bedroom they share and pulled out their Bibles. She had them turn to Proverbs 4. Danna read the whole chapter, stopping along the way to answer a question or explain a verse. But when she got to verse 23, Danna said, “Guys, this is the verse I wanted you to hear.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

“You are going to hear and see things that you know are wrong. Jesus tells us that we have to constantly guard our hearts to keep the bad things out. We need to fill our hearts with good things. Can you tell me what some of those good things are?”

Hudson said, “Like when we read the Bible at night before bed. That’s a good thing, right?”

“It sure is, Hud!” Danna said.

“Talking to God about everything and trying to make Him smile are good things,” Justus offered.

“Absolutely!” Danna responded. “Jesus loves it when we fill our hearts with good things, but He also wants us to guard our hearts to keep bad things out – like what happened today. Justus, you were right when you said it is not a dirty thing when a man and woman who are married want to have a baby. It is a beautiful thing! But those boys made it seem dirty. You have to guard your heart and not let that kind of thing in.”

“Mom, I didn’t know what to do,” Justus exclaimed. “Those guys are our friends, and they take care of Hud and me … and they even go to our church!”

Danna said, “Well, you could have done a couple of things. You could have put your hand up and told them to stop, or you could have gotten up and walked away. They would have gotten the message.”

Then our daughter painted a beautiful picture we all need to see. We are in a war – the war between good and evil – and we always have to be ready to fight. We never know when the evil will come or where it will come from. It could come from a television show, a movie, a conversation over the back fence with a neighbor or over the phone with a friend or family member, in an email … and yes, even from someone who goes to our church.

Danna picked up one of the Lego army figures that Hudson and Justus play with every day and said, “Picture soldiers stationed around your heart by God. They are standing shoulder to shoulder and when something bad tries to come in, Jesus yells ‘Incoming’ and those soldiers hit it full blast!” Justus and Hudson laughed … and then Justus quietly said, “You are so cool, Mom. Thanks.”

We need to do what Danna encouraged Justus and Hudson to do. We must fill our hearts with God’s Word and prayer. And then we must station God’s soldiers of truth and light around our hearts to keep the junk of this world out. How’s your heart?

Let’s Pray

Lord, today I come to You with a new commitment in my heart – to pray continually and to read and study the Bible. Strengthen me through Your truth and empower me to stand against temptation and sin. Lord, I want to be a godly woman, a woman of discipline, and a woman whose life honors you and draws other to You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Read 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” Can you identify the attacks of the Devil in your life?

More from the Girlfriends

If you need help learning how to trust God, get Mary’s new book,

10-Day Trust Adventure, now available in hard copy. Perfect for personal or small group study, this book addresses the decisions you have to make in every area of life and teaches you how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and trust God. Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Time to Soldier Up!”

  1. lisa says:

    Thanks for this TODAY, Mary. Believe it or not, it is my husband who the evil has come from. Who I have to protect my heart from. My son & I moved out 2 months ago, and I have been praying for my husband’s heart to change. Skip through to yesterday when I sat MY 12 yr old son down last night and said I would be filing for divorce. His response: he took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eyes and said ‘oh, thank God. Mom, you need this. You don’t want it but you need it.’ My Christian school educated boy is more perceptive than I, and your devotional today reminds me. I never wanted to be here, at this moment, making this decision. God has put me here for His purpose, made things happen that are too coincidental not to be of His doing. I must remain strong and guard my heart.

  2. Amber says:

    Thank you for this today Mary! What a beautiful example for all of us in our faith walk, but also of godly parenting! Huge props to how your daughter handled this, so inspiring and spot on! Deff the spirit flowing through her. I love how you applied it to us all too. It really blessed and encouraged me. Thanks again! You are very talented. I pray you are blessed and well! 🙂

  3. Ana says:

    Thank you so much for your words, Mary! As every morning, I read this devotional before going to work and it was absolutely what I needed. I started a new job and after only three days, I am already seeing some of this in my coworker. Your words were such a blessing for me this morning! We are definitely in a spiritual battle and there is a lot of junk in this world. God really used you for his purpose to encourage me and give me strength this morning!!! May God bless you and your family!

  4. Having worked family daycare I stopped a five year old girl from explaining it to another. And I remember as teenager even, back in the day when Christian schools first cropped up having older women, in their own way of trying to protect the girls instilling the fear in. When you do have that tender heart,you don’t like the filth and adults have to be careful of that as well. Danna did a good job, I ‘d be proud of those boys, and hitting girls is another thing, I always encourage people to foster or adopt if they can, but there are some hard cases.

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