I have been thinking about being intentional a lot lately in my daily life.

For example, I have been making a daily meal plan, purchasing groceries off of a list, and even looking for ways to cut back on my sugar consumption.

As I sat down and began analyzing my finances and health, I began thinking about how unintentional we can often be in our daily relationships, particularly our marriages.

I don’t think we strive to give our spouse our daily leftovers. However, I do believe many of us are moving from the time we wake up until we go to bed. We tend to take care of crisis situations and things or people that cannot take care of themselves.

Take a child, for instance. If you have a toddler at home, you have to cook, feed and bathe your child while making sure they don’t destroy the house or cause themselves harm.

By the very nature of having a toddler and spouse, the toddler gets much more hands on attention. Because of the constant daily movement, our day often leads us to exhaustion and we are just too tired by evening to be intentional.

The problem is, when we are not intentional with something, generally nothing will get done.

This is extremely dangerous in our marriages. Many extramarital affairs start because there is a lack of marriage intentionality on both spouses’ part. Likewise, many couples divorce due to a lack of intentional choices to put time and effort into the marriage and each other.

With the destructive nature of divorce and adultery, we are better off using preventive measures to safeguard our marriages.

As I reflected on my own marriage, I began to see areas where the armor of my marriage could be getting weak. Rather than lying in bed and browsing Facebook to unwind, I can make a cup of hot tea and we can communicate about our day.

Even if the conversation is as brief as, “What was the rose of your day? What was your thorn?”

If you are able, another way to be intentional is to eat dinner together at the table every night. This is becoming more and more rare, but it allows you to be intentional with your spouse considering their need for a good meal and emotional connection.

What do you say to your spouse? Are your words encouraging or do they have critical tones? Do you simply communicate reporter style, only giving your spouse the information they need to know for the following day?

Be intentional on complimenting your spouse. Make it a point to notice when he or she has done something good around the house or on the job.

If this is awkward for you, consider sending a text to remind your spouse your love for him or her. Furthermore, celebrate your spouse’s promotions and achievements. If there is a company picnic, barbecue, or dinner, make it a point to attend. This promotes unity.

It really is the simple things in life. We can’t always take a vacation to get time away with our spouse (although those are important!). We have to be intentional in our day to day living, putting our spouse first in our relationships. With practice, this will be second nature.

Until next time, be intentional in your marriage.

Kindra Warner is a marriage group facilitator at Grace Christian Center in Killeen and a Herald correspondent.

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