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Intentional Marriage -- 50 Ways

"Intentional" is a popular buzzword these days.  We are intentional in the workplace, in the way we handle our finances, our fitness routine, and the way we raise and discipline our children.  The list goes on and on and for good reason.  Intentional means to do something deliberately, consciously or with purpose.  It means it didn't happen on a whim; someone planned for it to happen and persisted until it happened.
  
TOM:  Being intentional in the way we live our marriage is saying "I do" everyday.  It is being pro-active and involved in our marriage; making it our number one priority.  I once heard a pro-basketball player say, "If you are going to take a shot, plan to hit it."  If we want our marriage to be a success we need to make it happen.  We cannot take it for granted.  If we are not intentional, we drift and when MF and I drift, we drift apart.  Being intentional in our marriage is getting to know our spouse well enough that our actions tell them they are loved.  When we are not intentional we can begin to feel out of sorts, judge ourselves as taken for granted and develop attitudes of indifference toward each other and our marriage.

MF:  To be more intentional in our marriage, I need to focus on the everyday acts of kindness, and affirmation that speak Tom's love language. I get busy in the summer with a large garden and I can become focused and overwhelmed with the work to be done.  My tone of voice can be off-putting, even demanding and focused on 'my' agenda and not us.  I expect Tom to know what I need and I don't ask for help, or if I do, my tone is certainly not polite.  Being intentional is asking forgiveness and making adjustments that get us back on track.  Being kind, asking for and appreciating Tom's help is being intentional in our marriage.  It makes the garden so much more fun for both of us!

TOM: Typically when I'm on task and focused on a project I can be oblivious to MF and the beauty in our relationship.  I can be more intentional by pausing my task and sending a smile or a wink that tells her I notice and appreciate her.  MF's love language is Acts of Service, like getting things done so life runs smoothly and we have time for each other.  Knowing this, I try to finish my office charts, get billing in on time, and help in the garden.  When our kids were still at home, we prioritized having dinner together.  Afterwards MF and I would do the dishes.  This was intentional time to focus on each other and set the tone for the rest of the evening.  We strive to develop habits that enable intentionality whether it is praying for each other, being open to our lovemaking or prioritizing fun and creating memories together.

MF:  We have created a list of 50 Ways to 'Love' Your Lover.  We hope you will check it out and comment on ways you as an individual or as a couple have found helpful in living an intentional marriage.  We will add them to the list and all who read it will thank you!

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