Over the years I’ve given my heart to boys, then snatched it back when I realised I didn’t like them, leaving them bewildered and confused. I’ve held out my heart to a crowded room, offering it to anyone who would take it ‘Please, someone? Does no-one want my heart?’. I’ve thrust my heart into unworthy hands who played with it, dropped it, and smashed it on the floor. Then I’ve picked up the pieces and offered them to Jesus: ‘Will you accept my broken heart?’ And oh so lovingly, Jesus said yes.
“Jesus did not just do a patch-up job on my heart - He made it new again. It wasn’t quick but it was complete... He restored it completely. There’s not even a scar.” (p.62-63, Looking for Love)
But what next? Is God a hired hand, taking care of my heart until a husband comes along? Is there someone more trustworthy than God? What man could possibly be worth taking my heart out of God’s hands? Does that mean I must always remain single? Does it mean I should never trust anyone with my heart again? Or does God return my heart to me every time I meet someone new, who may or may not be forever? Does it mean I can never truly give my heart to any man, not even my husband? Or has this metaphor got me so tangled up I don’t know what to think anymore?!
Let me share a story:
“About two weeks before my wedding day, I woke from a bad dream. I was about to leave my family who had been there since forever and join myself with a relative stranger. I was about to commit the rest of my life – be it one year or eighty-nine years – to someone I had only known for 18 months. Suddenly, it seemed absurd. So I prayed. And God flooded my heart with peace and reminded me that He had chosen Johnny for me and that He had chosen me for Johnny. My faith was not in Johnny – it was in my Father, my husband maker, the Lord of my life and my love life.” (p.103, Looking for Love)
I have been married now for over 13 years and Jesus is still the keeper of my heart. The lessons I learned as a single woman, the ones I write about in Looking for Love, are the same lessons I needed to help my marriage be a happy one.
I love my husband with all my heart, I have kept my vow to love him, honour him with my body, share all that I have with him and give all of myself to him, within the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Vows spoken at a traditional wedding ceremony in the UK)
And the only reason I can do that is because I trust Jesus with my heart, first and forever.
I trusted Father God and He gave me the gift of a husband.
I can trust my husband because I trust he is God’s gift to me.
I trust that marriage is God’s idea, God’s design and God’s gift for better and for worse.
I trust Jesus to be my Saviour, my dream-maker, the one who meets my deepest needs.
And I allow my husband to be the best he can be, even when he fails or doesn’t meet my expectations, or is selfish, or had a bad day, or forgets to put me first, or is ill, or is ill for a long time, or has to be away for a while, or is stressed, or is pulled in 100 directions and can’t be everything for everyone all the time. I allow him to be human and I trust God to take care of me.
This is not a free pass or an excuse for abusive or adulterous behaviour – certainly not! It’s not ok for him to be a bad husband. But it is ok for him not to be a perfect one. Because my happiness doesn’t depend on him being perfect. And thank God, my husband feels the same towards me!
God holds our hearts. God is our Saviour and dream-maker – the only perfect man who ever walked the earth. That means my heart and my husband’s heart are both entwined within the Father’s love. We share the same space in the trustworthy hands of the Father. And when things don’t meet my expectations in my marriage, I know my heart is held in my Father’s embrace and no matter what, God will never let me down.
Get Real with God
Who holds your heart right now?
Do you trust God to hold you heart?
Do you need God to mend your broken heart?
Do you need God to show you how to love another again?
Let’s pray: Father God, I give you my heart today and forever. Hold it close, keep it safe, help me to trust you more each day. Amen.