"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." -- Proverbs 4:23
My First Place 4 Health group started a new study series, "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge. We are trying to figure out why we are the way we are and why the way we are causes us problems.
Thinking about it this morning, I think one of the problems we have is loving ourselves and the way we are...loving the things we want and desire...loving ourselves enough to take care of ourselves....loving ourselves enough to want better for ourselves.
I think that's why we got involved in the First Place 4 Health group in the first place...To do better for ourselves. God wants better for us. He doesn't want us unhealthy...He doesn't want us unhappy...He doesn't want us not to have the things our hearts desire. As the authors of the book say, we are created in God's image...God's heart. Why would He give us his heart and all that comes with it and then say you can't have those things?
Yesterday, we talked about movies and characters that we love and why we love them. We don't all like the same kind of movies, but we all have dreams about what we wish our lives were like. Real life never lives up to our expectations, but those dreams we have give us hope.
What kinds of games did you play when you were a little? What kinds of dreams and fantasies do you have about how you want your life to be?
We read yesterday that the desire to be "romanced" comes natural to women because God Himself wants to be pursued and loved. What do YOU think romance is?
When I was a teenager and in my 20's, I read a LOT of romance novels. I then would have fantasies in my head about myself in those roles as heroine. I wanted a guy to want me bad enough to fight for me...I wanted to be swept off my feet...I wanted a guy with a big heart, but also wanted the hero of the book.
We want these things, and when they don't turn out exactly like our fantasy, we sometimes let that make us think we aren't worthy of the fantasy. So, we squelch the dream...and our hearts break a little.
I think it's natural for us to want those things...God made us to want those things. But...remember the Proverbs verse above...we are to protect our hearts. We need to nurture our desires, but carefully... and have HEALTHY AND REALISTIC expectations. God knows our hearts...He GAVE them to us. Shouldn't we let Him be our guide through life instead of relying on our own, flawed expectations?
When we don't take care of our hearts, our addictions can take over...we eat too much, we drink to much, we look for other things to fill that void. We don't have to do that!!!
I am hoping this study helps us all learn to love ourselves more...helps us realize we ARE worthy of the natural desires God placed within us, and helps us reset our expectations for our lives and makes us want to FIGHT for something better! Are you with me?