Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV
Murphy is available from Lamancha Animal Rescue, Coatesville, PA
There are many dogs that are suitable to be a family guard dog as they have a natural instinct to protect their humans and their territory. Some of the well-known breeds are Dobermans, German Shepherds and Rottweilers. Most guard dogs are not trained to attack. They are trained to protect your family and your property. They are taught techniques that are non-confrontational. They stand guard and bark only at strangers and potential danger. A guard dog does not annoy or attack familiar people. These breeds tend to be loyal, strong, watchful and fearless.
The first lesson is basic obedience when preparing a dog to be a guardian. The dog will see you as the leader. Training starts at an early age before bad habits occur and become engrained. Positive reinforcement is used by praising and giving treats for desired behavior. The dog is taught property boundaries and that your property is their domain. Barking is encouraged only when danger is perceived and training must be consistent.
The word guard is defined as to watch over in order to protect or control. Synonyms are secure, shielded and manned. Just as guard dogs are protection for you and your home, we are instructed to guard our hearts. Everything we do comes from the heart so it is important to protect our hearts from sin and any unwanted visitors like envy, strife and anger.
We can be trained to watch over our hearts by basic obedience. Jesus said if you love me, you will obey me (John 14:15). Little by little, step by step, we obey his commandments. This training should start at an early age. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up a child in the way he should go. As we age, we will remember and understand God’s word hidden in our hearts and know the truth. The Holy Spirit provides us with positive reinforcement as we obey and draw near to God. The bible specifies boundaries of good and evil that we might be aware of enemies in our territory. We have the word of God as the sword of the Spirit to use in case of attack. Our training is consistent as we fellowship with other believers and draw near to God every day.
God establishes us as his property. I Corinthians 6:19-20 states, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Angels are ministering spirits sent from God to watch over you. Psalm 91:11 says, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Isaiah 54:17 tells us that no weapon formed against us will prosper. God is watching over us to keep us in all our ways.
Guarding your heart is to say yes to God and no to any strangers or potential threats to your safety as a Christian. Be like a guard dog and know the boundaries and protect yourself from all threats that you might stand strong for Jesus.