Intentionality in your marriage is important. Yes, even if it’s “that time of the month”. If you don’t think your “unintentional”actions and words are impacting your marriage, I’m here to tell you, you they are.
Our “unintentional intentions” often come out when you are stressed or aren’t feeling 100%.
My body definitely wasn’t feeling 100%
As I write this I am on day 3 of a yeast infection that I took antibiotics for two days ago. The doctor said it could take up to 72 hours to clear up. Oy, let’s be real, I was really hoping for more like, less than one. I’m just now starting to feel some relief and to add insult to injury I started my period yesterday with all the accompanying symptoms.
We are about to leave for quick work trip for hubby which allows for some fun time for us too. I was so bummed. nobody wants to get on a plane and go somewhere fun when you aren’t feeling your best and it’s “that time of the month”.
What are unintentional intentions?
If you aren’t practicing intentionality in your marriage, your “unintentional intentions” can take the drivers seat.
It’s easy to say certain reactions are unintentional. Yet if we have premeditated the acting hurtful or being inappropriate (in certain circumstances) is acceptable, then we are essentially calling our intentional actions, unintentional. Here is what the Bible says.
The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
I felt sorry for myself
To be honest I had been feeling pretty sorry for myself having to deal with all this. I’m generally a very happy person, but knew full well some “unintentional intentions” might rear their ugly heads. Sure enough I gave in and over reacted to something my hubby said.
Whether it’s “that time of the month”, you have a yeast/bladder infection, or are plain stressed out and tired. These things can bring out the worst and most vulnerable parts of us.
Society tells us we are permitted to act badly when we are experiencing these things. Worse, we and society expect our spouses to deal with it, to duck and take cover until the smoke clears.
I haven’t read anywhere in the Bible where it says it’s ok to be a jerk just because you aren’t feeling your best.
Hormones, stress and other things women deal with on a regular basis are real, we can’t control them or how they make us feel. We also can’t justify our bad behavior because of them.
Intentionality in your marriage shines through in how we handle when these elements get the better of us. We have to be quick to take ownership of our not so God honoring responses, and pray. We don’t want to give the enemy a foothold to use our weakness to drive a wedge between us and our spouse.
I wanted justification for my reactions
Right in the middle of my tantrum, I wanted to put a movie on and veg out because “I deserve it”. I realized I was thinking of doing this to “cope” with my current woes; rather than bring them to God. What my heart needed was His presence.
I turned to God
I spent some time praying and in the Word. God soothed my soul and gently pointed out my misstep. My physical symptoms didn’t go away though I felt better. Finally my head and heart were in a better place too. I realized what my hubby said was no big deal.
Choosing to turn to God when we are going through all types of emotions and circumstances is always something we need to remind ourselves to do;
There is nothing wrong with sitting down to rest and watch a movie. Yet if you turn to it instead of or before God to soothe your mood, you are intentionally lacking intentionality in your marriage.
When I become self focused and justify my bad reactions, it only makes me feel worse.
We are the thermostat in our homes
My complaining and general displeasure for my current state was affecting our home. God so sweetly reminded me today; as women we are the thermostats of our homes.
Have you heard the saying “when momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? We set the tone in our homes, If for whatever reason we aren’t happy, our husbands will be hard pressed to find joy themselves. Seeking Intentionality in your marriage is a choice of pursuing joy for you and those who live in your home.
The Bible says
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop [on the flat roof, exposed to the weather] Than in a house shared with a quarrelsome (contentious) woman.
You might say this is a lot of pressure, and the apostle Paul who through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote a good portion of the New Testament said in
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will no to do, I agree with the law that is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, waring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man am I! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to understand our weakness and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.
The good news
This grace frees us to be who God created us to be. At the same time as daughters walking with our King, it does challenge us to be aware of, and responsible for our actions and reactions.
I encourage you sweet sisters, even when you are feeling miserable, frustrated or just in a funk, no matter the reason, you can express yourself without making your hubby miserable too.
Pursue intentionality in your marriage. Be mindful of your words and heart attitude, and don’t try to do it in your own strength. Turn to God and scripture when you need respite, and trust His provision.
Communicate with your hubby when it’s your time of the month, dealing with a physical ailment or other social stress. Don’t speak in a way that gives you a free pass to be contentious, but so he can come alongside and fill your gaps and support you.
Don’t be complacent, nothing we do is completely unintentional. Make sure your actions and words line up with how you want your marriage to be.
The wise woman builds her house [on a foundation of godly precepts, and her household thrives], but the foolish one [who lacks spiritual insight] tears it down with her own hands [by ignoring godly principles].
Note: this piece was written in the fall of 2019
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