I saw it again on line this past week. I was perusing the social network, Facebook, and here again was another young man expediting a plan to express his devoted love for his girlfriend and ask for her hand in marriage. It was not a casual or spur of the moment happening. No, it was an intentional orchestration of intricate details all designed to express his love and ask of her to join him in the commitment to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife. Oh, and all caught on video of course. She responded to his love and expressed her own love with purpose and meaning. It was beautiful and just made me smile.
I remember when my kids all got engaged. Kristi and I had the joy and honor of playing a small part in their engagements. It was fun helping and hearing the hearts of these young men being so deliberate, so calculated, so purposeful. The details had to be just right, the timing just perfect. All working together to express love intentionally. What a great picture of love, for love should be intentional.
Now sure, love is and should be spontaneous and unplanned and unpredictable at times, but we can’t forget to make the choices to love intentionally; to purpose to give fun and meaning gifts, to look that friend or spouse or family member in the eye and with thoughtful words say how much you care and adore and love them, to take some time and write out a heart-felt note or card that affirms another. Love is not just a feeling to be experienced, love is an action to be expressed…intentionally!
The Lord has constantly been loving us intentionally!
Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
That words ‘steadfast love’ is the Hebrew word HESED, which is an intentional, committed love regardless of the action of the one being loved. See, The Lord has chosen to love us even if we don’t love Him back. First Corinthians 13:4-8 describes The Lord’s intentional love, giving us an example of what intentional love looks like:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.
Jesus had a lot to say about the intentionality of love.
Luke 6:32-36 32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Love goes beyond. Love is active irrespective of the circumstance. Love does not just respond or only wait for another to initiate. Too often we are waiting for someone to initiate love towards us. We sit in hope that we will have that wonderful moment of someone gushing over us with purpose and planning. Certainly, The Lord has already done that for each of us, just look up Jeremiah 31:3, 1 John 4:10, Romans 5:8, John 3:16-17. So maybe now it’s time for you to be a bit more intentional with love for others.
Instead of waiting for someone to treat you special, why not step out with some initiative and love on another. Pick a co-worker and buy them a fun snack. Choose a neighbor and bake them some cookies. Randomly select a family member and send them a card and include a gift card. Do something creative for your spouse that takes planning and forethought (I have seen a lot of ads for designing personal M&M’s…that could be fun. Though, I have always though M&M’s were personal to me to because those are my initials). Whatever you do, you will be surprised at how it blesses others and how amazing you will feel. It is a blast to love intentionally! You could make someone’s day and put that spring back in your step. Let’s love intentionally.
Church is a great place to learn about Jesus’ intentional love towards us and be inspired to love intentionally. If you are not connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net . We would love for you to join us.
Seeking to love intentionally alongside you,