We each make decisions every day of our lives. As changes or new opportunities present themselves to us, we make decisions whether or not to accept them. In regard to relationships, we often times make decisions on who our friends are based on who is around us. But when it comes to developing a deeper, more in-depth friendship with someone, we become more intentional about who that may be. Even farther, many become even more intentional about who it is they decide to pursue for marriage.
I’m so blessed to have a dear husband who was very intentional about pursuing me. He showed up to my birthday soccer game to see if maybe I would be someone he wanted to pursue. He asked to borrow a book I had (which many of his guy friends actually had as well I might note) just to talk to me. He walked up after a soccer match just to talk to me, not even sure how he would start the conversation. After we began dating, he was very intentional about spending time with me, giving me little encouraging notes, being interested in my brothers and being observant to notice when I needed help with things. My wonderful husband was quite intentional about asking my father for permission, his proposal and growing in our relationship as we were engaged. In certain little things, I too did my best to be intentional in our relationship.
But since we were married, each one of us has had to make what seems like more of an effort to be intentional toward one another. Some things just become habit and I don’t really think much about them. Other things I drop the ball on and don’t even make an effort to do, or as much of an effort as I should. It could be because we already have one another. It is easy to put in the hard work to develop a close relationship that I see as valuable. It is much harder to maintain that relationship after the bond has been formed. It seems as if becomes a more of a challenge to be intentional once I already have that bond.
My point is simple. We are very intentional people when we want something. My husband wanted to pursue me, then he wanted to get married to me. The best way to do that was to win my heart and my family’s blessing by being intentional. After we were married, you could say his goal was complete and now we’ll be married forever. But life is not that simple. We as people are always changing, our relationships always growing if we are willing to put the work into them. In a sense, one could argue that being intentional is much more important after a bond is formed than intentionality to get to that bond because once the doors are open, we are more vulnerable and open with one another.
Our relationship with the Lord is very similar. He is always intentional about His place in our lives, how He speaks to us and when changes take place in our lives. But, I have to ask myself, am I as intentional in my time spent with Him? The honest answer: No, I really am not. So it is up to be to maintain my side of my relationship with Christ Jesus. I need to be spending more time in His Word, praying with a purpose and a the heart of Jesus and more lovingly deliberate in my actions toward people in my life. This may sound simple, but when life hits, it become more challenging each and every day.
So, I challenge you to spend more time with the Lord and learn to be more intentional in your relationship with the Lord and your earthly relationships.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” -John 15:4-5
And what’s more, a close, trusting and faithful relationship with the Lord gives you the joyful heart to serve others and be intentional. Speaking from experience, it is even more of a challenge to be intentional on my own.
But when I am serving the Lord with a joyful heart, intentionality becomes something I enjoy putting the effort into for those around me! It may seem like hard work at times, but the rewards are greater and when you are struggling or just want to share your joy, those relationships will be invaluable.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” -Romans 12:10-13
*** Photos credit to the talented Mindy Saboe. Click here to check out some of her photography!***