Do you feel like you married the wrong person? I encourage you to take an honest look inside yourself if that’s the way you feel today. You may never voice it. You may just hold it inside and wonder about it. I’m not asking the question, did you marry the wrong person. I am not advocating divorce. The truth—if we are transparent today—is that this thinking is a reality thousands of Christians struggle with each day.
That’s why the intentional living message is so desperately needed to speak to the Christian mind and heart today. Intentional love says, “I’m going to be patient, long suffering, and practice all of the fruit of the spirit. I’m going to do the things that the scripture teaches us to do.”
It’s about what you think, how you feel, and what you do in terms of your marriage. I have shared three phases to a successful marriage below in hopes of helping you be more intentional about your relationship with your spouse. If you’re not married but thinking of getting involved in a new relationship, this information can help you as you make decisions toward a successful marriage.
1. You have to care for yourself.
Healthy people tend to marry other healthy people. The healthier you are—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally—the better choices and decisions you can make for your life. Don’t go to step two until you are 100% healthy in every area of your life. Don’t assume you can move forward and then come back to step one to get healthy later. It’s very difficult to go back.
2. You have to care for your decision.
That means be very careful before you say, “I’m going to marry this person.” Assuming you’re a healthy person, make sure your decision is based on:
- knowing them
- knowing their heart
- really having a shared vision
- spending time praying together
- being in agreement on spiritual things, sexual things, finances, parenting and children and careers.
Don’t marry a person if there are serious unresolved issues. Never assume that person is going to change. Don’t think that things are going to be better tomorrow, because truthfully that is not very likely.
So you’ve got to care for yourself, and then you’ve got to care for your decision. By the time you get to phase three—after you’ve said, “I do”—then it’s time to care for your marriage.
3. You have to care for your marriage.
It’s time to care for the person that you married and care for yourself within that marriage. I think there are two biblically based things that we need to do. First, we need to practice what I call intentional love. 1st Corinthians 13 speaks of that. Then we need to practice active respect.
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.