The word intentional means done on purpose, or deliberate. Being intentional about keeping love alive in marriage doesn''t seem particularly romantic, and can sound artificial. But in truth, being intentional is important in ever area of life, and especially in marriage.
When you don''t feel like going to work, you do it anyway. When you don''t feel like working out, you (hopefully) do it anyway. When you don''t feel like apologizing to someone you have hurt, you (hopefully!) do it anyway. And, more often than not, doing what you had to do wasn''t that bad, and actually made you and everyone involved feel much better.
When two people get married, they are saying that they are committed to doing what is necessary at all times to fulfill the covenant they are making. Sometimes that is easy, sometimes it isn''t. But intentional love is always important.
As a wedding blogger, I am always looking for inspirational posts about weddings and marriage and all things love. I was browsing through the posts that had made it to my long list of open tabs that consistently slow my internet connection, and a particular one caught my attention.
With permission from the author, here is an excerpt from this blog, titled The Way to Keep a Marriage:
“Late one evening, my husband and I sat on our front porch, tiki torches lit, and light, sweet words on our tongues... Somehow, some way, a word wasn’t fitly spoken, a phrase stung, and the easy flow of conversation gave way to murky misunderstandings and frustrated feelings. Frowns creased, breath shortened, words were curt, and soon, silence hung heavy.
He reached for my hand.
“You know what I think we should do? I think we should spend the rest of the night saying why we love each other.”
I looked at him, waiting in self-centered silence for him to begin.
“I love you because you love to try new things. I love you because you’re beautiful...”
Convicted and humbled, I answered: “I love you because you’re trying. I love you because you make me laugh. I love you because you moved in with your mother-in-law. I love you because you’re honorable.”
“I love you because you’re a good Mama. I love you because you play with the dog even when she drives you batty. I love you because you love books.”
“I love you because you’ve never even considered that changing diapers and giving baths wasn’t ''your job’. I love you because there’s nothing that ever sways your dedication to those you love.”
“I love you…always.”
I looked over and smiled.
“Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious.”Ecclesiastes 10:12
Isn’t this the way to keep a marriage?
Intentional love, intentional grace, always.
I. Love. You. Always.”
Then again, maybe intentional is romantic! How do you keep your marriage strong? Be. Intentional.