The world is in a race to the bottom. Living a Christian life is not easy. Those who are in the church, “Christian couples,” statistically are not all that much different than those outside the church when it comes to divorce and unfaithfulness. That’s a real indictment. We wonder why we are impotent in our church, in our faith and in our communities. But the truth is that many are just not living it. That’s why this intentional living message is so desperately needed in the Christian mind and heart today.
1 Corinthians 13 is often referred to as The Love Chapter, and it gives us a glimpse of what intentional love is from God’s perspective. Verse 2 and 3 says, And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
When you discover that negative feelings toward your spouse are building up… When you become disappointed with your spouse and their behavior… that’s the time to focus on intentional love. Intentional love figures out what will please Christ in each situation and then does that very thing.
Intentional Love says:
- I’m not only going to think of my own interests but the interest of the other person.
- I will be patient.
- I choose to be kind and long-suffering.
- I will practice all of the fruit of the spirit.
- I’m determined to do the things that the scripture teaches me to do.
- I will change my head, my heart and my hands.
Again, I said the Christian life isn’t easy. And choosing to respond with intentional love is difficult. Does that mean your spouse is going to change? Does it mean your marriage will be great and you’re never going to experience divorce? Not necessarily. Intentional love is not about trying to change your spouse. Your decision should be because that’s what the Bible teaches you to do, and it pleases Christ.
Wherever you are in your desire for a successful marriage, I pray you will practice intentional love.
Intentional ONE THING Challenge
If you could do ONE THING and know that it would make a significant, lasting, possibly life-changing difference in your life, would you do it? Dr. Carlson shares the power of ONE THING and why you should get started doing your ONE THING today.
How do you practice intentional love in your marriage? We’d love to hear your stories. Post your comments below.