Tender hearts, large hearts, and wise hearts are all biblical descriptions of feminine strengths. But on the flip side, we can also develop hard hearts. To keep our hearts soft and open to the Lord, we need to be aware of some of the things that can harden our hearts. Here are just three.
1. Women stumble when they trust their own hearts.Proverbs 28:26 says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” Our hearts are instructing us all the time. What is your heart telling you? Is it wisdom or foolish talk? Beware what you are listening to. For just one example, women can fall into self-condemnation while listening to their own hearts. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, yes. But He does not condemn and accuse. That is what the devil does. Learn to tell the difference so you can ignore doubts and accusations. Our hearts are not always the best judges of such things. Don’t listen to foolish talk. Speak wisdom to your own heart instead.
2. Women should be good learners (1 Tim. 2:11), but they should beware deception. Eve was learning from the serpent all right, but she was learning lies. She put her trust in a lie rather than in the living God. If we believe a lie, our hearts are hardened, and we become deceitful ourselves. Look what happened to Eve. Though Wisdom is a woman in Proverbs, Folly is a woman also. When a woman is foolish, she is an easy target for deception. A woman can be led by her own foolish heart to do unwise things.
3. Women can stumble when they think more about their outward appearance than their inward appearance (their hearts). “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). Would we rather be known for our outward appearance or for our inward qualities? Women are tempted to put all their eggs in one basket. Beauty begins on the inside and works its way out, not the other way around.
Of course there are many other ways our hearts can harden. Psalm 95:8 says very simply, “Do not harden your heart.” Rather, we are to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Prov. 3:5-6). That is the best heart-tenderizer.