Jennifer and I just celebrated the 9th-year anniversary of our marriage. Our tradition is pretty simple: eating steak at KEG (we are both meat lovers!) and go out for a walk with coffee (must item for Jen!) or watch a movie together. As we were spending the night together, we were both grateful about how our relationships grew over the years but were also surprised how fast time went by in our marriage. As we were talking, we both felt there were certain things we regret not doing. Not exploring downtown as much when we used to live in the heart of downtown during our early years of marriage was one. Another was not traveling enough during our early years of marriage (when we were without kids).
I was reminded how many of us forget about this one important principle: Without intentionality, things drift. So does our relationships. It is easy for us to lose intentionality for the relationships we are part of every day and every week, that includes family and church family. Because we are “thrown” into these relationships and our calendar dictates what happens in those relationships, it is so easy to be carried away by the mundane tasks and responsibilities, only to realize there weren’t many memories left. Since we see each other every day or every week, we feel that we know each other so we don’t talk as much. I believe this is the reason why we should take advantage of yearly special days (like valentines day, anniversary, birthdays, mother’s day and etc) to become a little bit more intentional about relationships we are part of. Just like our career or projects requires clear vision, we need to have a clear destination where we want our relationships to be in the future.
So I’ve decided to be more intentional with our marriage this year by asking these two questions. (I got these two questions from Pastor Craig Groeschel’s podcast) We will probably continue to answer these questions every year. They are:
- What are three things I do that bless you?
- What are three things I could do that would be a greater blessing to you?
I was surprised how simple questions like these bring out much more appreciation for each other and also constructive adjustments we both need to make to love each other better. Questions are a great tool to intentionally lead the conversation to more fruitful discussion and dialogue.
Time wasted and time well spent has only one difference: “Intentionality”.
You probably felt you wasted your time when you did not “intend” to do those activities. On the other hand, you felt you spent your time well simply because you “intended” to do those activities. This is how much difference “intentionality” makes in our lives.
Leading our life and relationships with Intentionality simply involves recognizing what is really important and pressing on to move everything in that direction. Speed is not too important as long we are intentional about where we are going. We can regret about wasting our years or we can build on year after year with intentionality. I hope we choose the latter.