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Keeper of the Heart Makes the Best Keeper at Home - A Lesson for Wives

By Kim Thompson

Recently, I spent time with a few Bible college friends, and I just marveled as I looked around the room! Some of us have been through some very serious heart-wrenching situations, but thirty plus years later, here we sat, smiling and laughing (and eating)as we reminisced about our college days! As the talking progressed to a more serious nature, I thanked the Lord for my good, godly friends!

All of them at this stage of life have had numerous opportunities to throw in the towel. And maybe we all have thrown in the towel even if just for a few hours, maybe days, but we didn’t turn our back and walk away from where we threw down that proverbial towel. We just stood there, crying and hanging on for dear life, but eventually we picked up that towel (so cross-like in nature) more determined than ever to finish well since our Lord Jesus Christ is quite worthy of our commitment and devotion!

One friend in particular mentioned a phrase that has become my new mantra for my marriage: “Your heart, your job.”

Being a helpmeet and a keeper at home has been the greatest, most satisfying part of my life. However, somewhere along the road, I put the job of Keeper of my Heart on others, mostly on my husband, and that was never anyone else’s job description. Proverbs 4:23 tells us or reminds us, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” It’s your job to keep your heart! It’s my job to keep mine! Let me clarify:

I can take you to the very spot where I first saw my future husband. I didn’t need a cardio workout that day! Adam Thompson got my heart to racing, flip-flopping, and pitter-pattering all in one smile! He was so handsome, and he could preach so well even at a young age! (Friends have said that he was wise beyond his years.) After college graduation, we got married, and at the writing of this blog, we’ve been married thirty-one and half years- pretty amazing for 2022.

The day I went from Miss to Mrs., I had some preconceived, erroneous ideas about this new union.

These ideas I’m sure put undue pressure on my husband, or it’s highly likely no pressure at all since he was unaware of my expectations. He was supposed to be my knight in shining armor in every situation, but he was also supposed to be like my twin sister, agreeably listening to me and understanding why I needed that third chocolate chip cookie! Boy, oh, boy, he was NOT Lynne! (Lynne is my twin sister.) I started looking for the Customer Service sign so that I could discreetly return this beautiful man back to his mother! (wink, wink)

Proverbs 4:23 is one of the most quoted verses of the Bible, but this truth just recently took root in my own heart. I am to be the guardian of my heart, and you, dear sister, are to be the guardian of your heart- it’s no one else’s job to make you happy or to protect your happiness. Wives, God never gave a direct command to the husband to “keep your heart with all diligence.” If your heart gets blindsided, hurt, or even sabotaged, it’s your job to do what you need to do to make your heart healthy again. I’d like to take this a step further and even remind us that God never gave a direct command for us to trust in anyone but Him. Hopefully, you married a trustworthy man, but if not, you’re to “keep your heart with all diligence,” and “trust in the Lord with all your heart.”

As the return of the Lord draws nigh, our American culture, which once seemed to be about living for purpose and meaning, is now about living for entertainment and pleasure. If a hard task (i.e. maintaining a good marriage) isn’t fun anymore, people bolt. The hurt or disgruntled mate imagines that the choice of spouse must have been wrong since “I don’t feel love for this person; this marriage was a mistake.”

Friends, I go on the record to say: the grass may be greener on the other side, but it’s not your grass.

Abigail was a great Biblical example of someone who took her job of keeping her heart very seriously. Her account is found in I Samuel 25 – “she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance…” I honestly cannot imagine being married to a fool, and yet maybe some of you reading this blog can relate to Abigail. I pray you have godly friends and a pastor who can help you, but I also hope you can learn to rely on the Lord to keep and to fix your heart.

Now please bring your mind back to Abigail. After Nabal’s death, she becomes David’s wife (insert romantic music playing softly in the background…then SCREEEEECH!). Oh my! Abigail now finds herself in an ever-growing harem since was not David’s only wife! I understand I’m thinking with a 21st Century female brain, but, come on, there must have been flare ups of jealousy, insecurity, bitterness, confusion, and the list goes on. I haven’t personally met a woman yet who would willingly share her husband! Talk about a hard task of keeping your heart healthy! This was Abigail’s task, and yet I choose to believe that she did just that – maintained a healthy heart. Who knows if Abigail wasn’t some of the reference points we find outlined in Proverbs 31?

Michal, on the other hand, was a Biblical example that makes me sad. At the end of that very same chapter (I Samuel 25) where we are first introduced to Abigail, we read in verse 44, “But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti…” (Saul was definitely in need of a heart checkup! How a father can use his own daughter as he would a pawn in a chess game is beyond me.) The Bible tells us that Michal loved David. Scriptures don’t tell us if her love was reciprocated, but we do know in II Samuel 3 that David sends messengers to Ish-bosheth demanding they return his wife. (Sounds like an American soap opera!)

I often wonder: Did Michal learn to love Phalti? Did she actually have a good life with him? Was she happy to be back with David? We can only speculate; however, by II Samuel 6, we find an embittered woman. Twenty years, more or less, had passed from the time these 2 women were presented to us.

I assume one had learned to keep her own heart, and the other had entrusted that responsibility to those around her.

Wives, when you relinquish the guardianship of your heart to your husband, you are in reality surrendering your ability to control your own spirit. Think of husband/wife scenarios: Was your husband late again today? Did he bring someone to the house without letting you know beforehand? Did he forget to take out the trash? Did he put a ministry event before your child’s piano recital? Did he forget your birthday? Anniversary? Was he intentionally hurtful in something he said in pride or anger? From the time of his arrival at your parents’ house, was he chomping at the bit to leave, but you’re expected to happily spend hours at his family’s place? Does he generously spend money on himself, but you get Gestapo interrogation when you spent $20 more than you were supposed to? Is he out with the guys…again?!

I’m sure you all could think of a few more situations that have tried your hearts in a very personal way. Cheer up, faithful Keepers at Home, it’s possible to maintain joy and peace as you rear your children and love your husbands by keeping your heart with all diligence. Remember Abigail; remember Michal. The latter was probably a miserable Keeper at Home since she wasn’t a Keeper of Heart. While Abigail was probably a pleasant Keeper at Home since she was a diligent Keeper of Heart.

The highly favoured life is up to you! Your heart – your job!


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