Many years ago, a fallen husband sat in my office and defended his failure. He told me that he had developed feelings for someone else and that while he still loved his wife, he also loved this other woman. "I can't control my feelings" he said, "I must be true to my heart." Neither of these statements are Biblical. In fact, they are Satanic. The Bible teaches us that we have direct control over our emotional feelings and that our hearts must be guarded, regularly cleansed, and rarely trusted.
Jeremiah 17:9 ¶ The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick; who can understand it?
King David who had often left his heart unguarded pleaded with the Lord-
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
What Solomon should have known, and what the ignorant husband that day in my office didn't know, was that feelings follow actions and actions follow decisions and decisions follow thoughts. To dwell on something too long is a choice. This choice leads to a decision. This decision produces an action. This action produces a feeling. Another way of saying guard your heart is:
Of course understanding how our emotions work can help us to understand how we can better love someone, forgive someone, and achieve Christ-likeness. It starts with our thinking. Consider Philippians 4:8-9. It starts with our minds and what we choose to put into them. May God help us to reject wrong thoughts and replace them with good thoughts. May God help us to make right choices based on good thoughts. May God help us to guard our hearts! May God help us to guard our hearts and build stronger, more godly lives and families. As a result, may God help us to build the kind of church where we have our hearts in His Presence, His Word and His House.