Above All Else Guard Your Heart

Above All Else Guard Your Heart

Recently on the Fearlessly Inspired podcast, I shared my husband and I work diligently to guard each other’s hearts.

You can find the podcast here: Episode 21 Inspiration for the Blended Family with Mandy Mae Johnson

I’ve received some questions about this statement and even more about the process of how it has and continues to help our marriage. 

First and foremost, my husband and I do not keep secrets from each other. We are not hiding anything from each other and no one is withholding any information. Trust me, I know everrryyyything.

As someone who has been through CR and the 12 step recovery program I have learned an incredible amount about my heart, my healing journey and even more about setting healthy boundaries.

As someone who has been previously married and divorced, I learned a lot the hard way. I especially learned what I DID NOT want to REPEAT in my next marriage. Through God’s word and community, I learned of God’s expectations for me as a daughter of a King and what He wants for me through my relationships. When I met my husband, together we were able to combine all of those aspects and dive deeper to discover God’s desire for marriage and expectations for spouses.

Are we perfect? No.

Do we get it right every time? Lord knows there has been lots of trial and error. 

Can we always be better? Absolutely. 

We are both sinners. 

Because we know this, we work hard to put God first and honor each other. 

As a blended family, our marriage faces different obstacles, discouragement, influencing factors and attacks that a typical marriage wouldn’t face.

Our first year of marriage when people usually fight about where to put the bread (pantry? Counter? Fridge?), we had CPS knocking on our door. Instead of saving for a honeymoon, we were (still are) paying an outrageous amount in court fees. As we were getting ready to welcome our new baby boy, someone wrote a blog about my family and sent it to my close friends/co workers. For some blended families, this is all way too familiar.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
How I break this down:

Above all else: Make this a priority, circle with a highlighter and this is super important.

Guard: Put a little moat around it and throw in some alligators. Kidding, kind of. For my heart, I like to think of it as having the Holy Spirit standing there approving entry. When someone or something comes knocking on my heart, what’s the password? Not scripture? It’s probably a characteristic flaw I need to work on or even worse— Satan and his dirty work. 

Heart.: Who I am. Who I am as a believer, wife, mom, friend, business owner and the list goes on. My values, experiences, any of my thoughts and definitely my feelings. ALL OF MY FEELINGS.

Everything: Everything I do starts with my heart. EVERYTHING I DO. From how I get up in the morning to how I tuck my kiddos into bed at night.

Now, I need to apply this to my role as a wife as well as a mom AND my blended family. Not only do I need to guard my heart, but also my husbands and children’s hearts as well to set us up for success. My husband does the same.


For now, I’ll address how my husband and I do this for our marriage and why it has been beneficial.

We set this expectation of guarding each other’s hearts early on in our dating relationship. I remember the biggest one was a conversation involving friendships with the opposite sex. When my husband’s son’s mom reached out to my ex husband (more details about this in the podcast), a completely different conversation about boundaries, expectations and guarding each other’s hearts was sparked.

Ever since we have been working hard to continue being a united front that is the best team for our family.

In a situation where we need to guard each other’s hearts,

We ask the following questions beforehand:

  • Do we need to talk about it immediately?

  • Do we just need to be given a heads up and a conversation happens later?

  • Has it already been addressed?

  • Has a previous decision been made?

  • Is the other heart set up for success?

  • Is there enough time to talk about it?

  • Should a conversation with an attorney happen first?

  • Do we have all of the details?

  • Will it cause someone (aka me) to hurt?

I will break down the example I gave during the podcast: 

My husband walked through the door after work while I was getting dinner on the table and homework wrapped up. He asked how my day was, hugged and kissed me and immediately said, “so she requested a psychological evaluation.”

I simply responded with, “You need to guard my heart better.” This quick response shared that one of the above questions should have been considered more. Now that I’m typing this, I could have been guarding my husband’s heart a little better as well. Maybe he did think through all of the questions but he needed a little reassurance from me. Either way, when the kids were tucked into bed he read over the court paperwork, we made a plan and prayed. 

After that my husband updated me as our plan fell into place and as he needed me as his wife.

Do I need to know how many attorneys he talked to? No. Do I need to know when we are meeting with them? Yes.

Do I need to know all of the details of the court paperwork? Not right now, it includes false allegations and hurtful accusations that are just going to make me frustrated and sad—- I need more time. 

Do I need to know how much this is going to cost? Yes and no. Immediate cost up front yes, if we need to budget and save— get all the details for a later conversation. 

Do I need to know what is filed, when and why? No!!!! Gosh no. Do you know how much paperwork gets filed in regards to my husband’s case? WAY TOO MUCH. I trust God and our plan so just let me know the end results please, I’m a big girl I can ask questions if I’m curious. Plus it’s all public record online. BUT IF the plan changes, reevaluate. 

Do I need to know every conversation that is had with an attorney? No.

Do I need to check in on my husband’s heart to make sure he feels secure and loved? YES. Sometimes I need to put my husband’s heart before mine to nurture him and love him. This is so very rare but he does it so often for me. 

ALL OF THIS eliminates the opportunity

for court crap to take over our life.
for worry of the unknown to work its way into my heart. 
for bitterness and resentment to grow.
so much stress and anxiety.

has set our marriage up for success to honor each other and God.
has set our family up for success to grow closer together and love each other better.

In order to make this work, you have to be willing to trust the process and give up control and lay it all at the foot of the cross.

Like I’ve said, we don’t always get it right. We are both sinners and we both make mistakes. But we give each other grace, are willing to be vulnerable and work hard to honor God and each other.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

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About Me

Hey Sister! I’m Mandy. I live by my faith, love my husband & kiddos, will do anything for tacos and believe community is life changing.

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