The heart is the most important spiritual part of your life. Solomon tells us this in Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." Our hearts are the center of our beings and serve as the core of the real you. Dallas Willard defines the heart as, "the executive center of a human life." The heart is our will, our emotions, and our thoughts.
Most men grow up giving little value to their hearts. We were taught not to express our emotions, but to be strong regardless of the situation. We were told to "suck it up" and "be a man." Ultimately, this produced men who are consumed with living out of their minds with a rational and logical approach to life. When we add to that our personal heart wounds, from those who have hurt us by what they said or did to us, it's easy to begin to distance ourselves from that pain and others. We become the typical distant, unemotional, and friendless man. Many times we may have "friends" but lack true depth in these friendships.
Getting your heart in the game is the key to every man being able to overcome the "all-alone wound." The "all-alone wound" is a reflection of a distant and closed heart. The heart is the place where we connect with others. We don't build relationships with our head, we build relationships with our hearts. We build businesses with our heads, but we build a legacy with our hearts.
The heart is where we are able to have authentic conversations about life. The heart is where we can be honest about our struggles and failures. The heart is where we can discuss our fears and dreams. The heart is where we find accountability. The heart has to be engaged to experience real connections. If my heart is not engaged, my relationships remain shallow and superficial.
The Bible celebrates the friendship of David and Jonathan as an amazing illustration of friendship between two men with open hearts. When men embrace their need for other godly men in their lives, they are both deeply enriched. There is no doubt we need friendships in our lives, yet quality friendships only happen as we connect at the heart level.
For most of my life I lived disconnected from my heart. As I have grown as a man, my greatest joy has been getting my heart in the game.
This article is an excerpt from 33 The Series Volume 2: A Man and His Story. View Session 1 of A Man and His Story.