I have to be honest. My heart knows how to write this, but the doubts flood my mind.
How to be intentional in marriage when life is a mess?
AM I even intentional in my marriage? After 18 years of marriage, I feel like I don’t have anything to share. No wisdom to pass on.
But God says otherwise 😃
You see, as I prayed thru this topic, and looked back over the years, I realized two things.
#1 God has done some amazing work in my marriage.
#2 We have much farther to go.
We’ve been thru many messy seasons in life together. Some were times of annoyance like during constantly changing shift work or him working two jobs plus going to school full time.
Then add five kids. Plus four of the five were born in 4 1/2 years.
So, ahh yes, life was a beautiful mess.
We’ve also faced trying times of heart like when my Mom passed unexpectedly or when we lost other friends or loved ones. Times of physical and emotional pain.
Like many others, we have had our share of messes in this marriage and life.
So I look to the Lord and I ask Him, How are we still here? Still together? (and besides that, I wouldn’t trade him for the world!)
Here are 3 ways to be intentional in marriage when our lives are a mess!
First, always first –
Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17
So. Much. Prayer.
Not only praying for our needs or whatever my husband was facing at the time, but other prayer.
Or maybe a better thing to call it would be heart work.
Praying that God would work first in me and my heart.
Prayer for my husband’s relationship with the Lord, for his heart and for him as a man.
Praying that God would unite us when we didn’t agree instead of me nagging.
Prayer that God would give him a clear vision for our family and what He wants for us.
Make him a priority
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Not just in the obvious ways. Yes, I know he is your husband, but do you seek him out? Are you actively trying to find ways to encourage him? Do you pay attention to when he’s struggling and help build him up? What about his love language or just his preferences for things being done a certain way? How can you help him?
After observing those things, do you try to work them into your day or your week?
And here’s the kicker: Not because you have to, or because you are doing your wifely duty, but because (sometimes after much prayer:) you want to. You want to please your father in heaven and your husband – even when he doesn’t “deserve” it.
See, more heart work, tough right?
When life is crazy busy, or an emotional mess, it is really easy to become inward focused. I have often had to step back in order to be intentional in this. I’ve had to choose to humble myself and then step out to bless my husband!
Don’t settle – persevere
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Gal 6:9
Our walk with the Lord, marriage and parenting are all for the long haul. Run the race well, by His strength. God has made His strength available to us – tap into it! Just because life is a mess right now, please know your marriage doesn’t have to be. Don’t fall for the lie that your marriage is a product of your circumstances. We’ve been there. Choose to make things work. Take small intentional steps. Don’t be afraid to get creative.
One of our challenges is “date night”
Not living near any family for years and years and having 5 kids often would mean paying for a babysitter. That has really cut
down out us “going out” on dates. But we don’t just leave it there.
Instead, we are intentional about our nights together after the kids are in bed. We also set aside a bit of time before Dad goes to work during the day. No, this doesn’t work all of the time because, well, kids 😃 But more often than not, we have a set time to reconnect. Nothing glamorous, and seemingly small, but intentional. Because we know this is a season for us.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
Maybe for you, it’s bigger or smaller than that. And that’s ok, we’ve had times of both. God will meet you where you are at. Don’t compare your marriage to others, it will kill your joy. Let God do His individual work in YOUR marriage!
I want to challenge you to make a commitment to take a step. Big or small. And see what God can do! I have a feeling that looking back, HE may just amaze you!
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
Time to share your wisdom!! What do you do to be intentional in marriage when your life is a mess?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Latest posts by Lee Felix (see all)
- How to be Intentional in Marriage When Life is a Mess - May 15, 2017