When my children were much younger, they’d often come home from school spouting all kinds of information about who did what to whom, and for what reason, and the resulting consequences, and other people’s responses to those consequences, etc., etc. Knowing that kids are very capable of spinning quite colorful tales, I’d usually feel the need to ask, “And how do you know all of this?” Sometimes the source was quite credible, such as a teacher or other parent. Other times, say if the story came from another child, I’d have to explain that, before you believe anything, you must always “consider the source.”
Indeed, the source of any information must always be considered, even if that information is coming from inside our own selves. When people say, “My heart is telling me . . . ” a red flag usually starts waving in my mind. As a life coach, I want to start asking all kinds of clarifying questions to make sure that their hearts aren’t about to mislead them entirely!
It’s not that I don’t think people should follow their hearts — that is, after all, where Christ dwells when we invite Him to be Lord of our lives, and no decision should be made in life without consulting “our heart” on the matter. However, if we’re honest, our hearts simply can’t be trusted as the final authority on many things — especially a marriage relationship! It’s simply not a reliable source of information!
Notice how in the very next verse, God assures us that, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10 NIV). In other words, God is really the only one who can recognize what’s truly operating in our hearts. He is the best “emotional expert” to help us discern what we’re feeling, why we’re feeling that way, and the best course of action in moving forward.
If you’ve experienced the “What if my heart is telling me I married the wrong person?” question lately (and most humans admit entertaining this thought at various times in their marriage), I encourage you to consider this:
I know, I know, being transformed isn’t always fun. It requires work. And energy. And patience. And humility. But do you know what IS fun? Living a transformed life! Enjoying a transformed relationship! Resting in the security of a transformed marriage!
To be continued…
Gary Thomas, The Sacred Marriage (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002).
by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Published by W Publishing Group, and imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.