Dr. David Whitaker | Proverbs 4:23

Everything you do in relationship flows from your heart. And no amount of love, commitment and romance that comes from your heart could compensate for the darkness that comes out, too. It’s in all of us, so how do we guard our heart from the temptation to lie, slander, gossip and hurt others?

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These questions are provided for your further study and application of this message. It is helpful to discuss your answers with others such as your Community Group, family, friends or an accountability partner.

  1. What is your take away from this message?
  2. We all bring emotional "baggage" into our romantic relationships. What are some reasons why romantic relationships reveal this baggage more than any other kind of relationship?
  3. Our "baggage" frequently results from family or romantic relationships. What are some specific experiences that have most contributed to your baggage?
  4. Read Proverbs 4:23. In this verse, Solomon, famous for his wisdom, says to guard your heart above all else. What would tend to be your "pushback" to Solomon's counsel? Why would Solomon place such a high value on guarding your heart? How does Jesus affirm this in Matthew 15:18-19?
  5. The condition of your heart will determine your ability to feel certain things. Why is this more important than your partner's behavior? How does the second half of Proverbs 4:23 support this assertion?
  6. Unspoken emotions have a great deal of power over us. Why does verbalizing a specific emotion take away that power?
  7. Often times, we feel defensive when our partners come to us and say, "When you do (blank), I feel (blank)." God gave us feelings - there are not bad feelings, and when we share feelings, we are providing an observation, not a criticism. From the message, what should be our response when someone provides this observation to their feelings? Why is this so difficult to do?
  8. Moving Forward: What's inside of you is coming out. and it's not coming out because of who you are with, but because it was in you to begin with. If you want to stay in love, you have to pay attention to what is in there, so that you can own it. You have to have a plan to guard your heart - a plan that begins with thinking about and identifying specific emotions and then communicating them. Will you commit to this plan?
  9. Write out a prayer in response to what the Lord has taught you through this study and what steps in response He might want you to take.

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