Monday Morsel ~ Intentional Relationships
just a little something
to begin your week.
There is one word that makes me think of my alma mater every time I hear it: INTENTIONAL. It was one of the buzz words floating around our campus. We were constantly encouraged to cultivate intentional relationships, spend intentional time together, be intentional with our schedules—you get the picture. And I have to admit, almost ten years after graduating (yikes!), I still remember these admonitions and have tried to live them out intentionally.
So it was to my delight, while sitting in traffic the other day, that I listened to author Kerry Shook describe the concept of intentionality in his new book, Love at Last Sight:30 Days to grow and deepen your closest relationships . I connected with his message so much that I wanted to share it as my Monday Morsel because I believe that living a healthy life encompasses the synchronizing of our physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual lives.
The author writes there are “four forgotten but powerful relational arts for changing, improving, and repairing the relationships you care about most.”
- The Art of Being All There
[When I was listening to him explain this section on the radio, the author said, "You can't multi-task relationships. This caused me to reflect on how I may multi-task instead of being fully present in my relationships.]
- The Art of Acting Intentionally
- The Art of Risking Awkwardness
[I liked when the author said, "Risking awkwardness is not always natural, but supernatural as you trust God to help you.”]
- The Art of Letting Go
I have only just begun reading the book but it has stirred up a few questions in my mind. I encourage you to reflect on the following as well:
- What relationships in my life need strengthened?
- What is mine to own in those relationships in which there is a disconnect and what specifically can I do to encourage these people?
- In what ways am I not being intentional enough in my closest relationships?
I will end this post with how the book begins (excerpt taken from Love at Last Sight’s website):
“Right now, there are three relationships in your life that trouble you…Whoever it is, he or she is someone who matters to you—or else the relationship wouldn’t trouble you, gnaw at you on the inside, make you question and grumble, or even bring you to tears.
I suggest you have at least three such relationships in your life right now that feel messy or troubling and make your heart ache a little. The number three isn’t magic, of course. It could be just one or two, although it’s likely to be more, not less. We all have relationships that aren’t what we long for them to be…The relationships we want to help you with in this book probably include your husband or wife, possibly a boyfriend or girlfriend. Your mother or father could be on this list, or maybe a son or daughter. And there could be a friend, someone close to you with whom you’ve shared deep things.
It’s these meaningful, essential people in your life—the key relationships you have right now—that we want to focus on. So take a moment and think, who are these three key people in your life? Which meaningful relationships are troubling you? Relationships you wish were closer. Relationships you’d like to be deeper and richer. Relationships that trouble you, bother you, even make you a little crazy right now.
Our goal is to help you get beyond the First Glance stage, which is by definition a shallow relationship, to move through the Second Look stage and not get stuck there, and to enter the Last Sight stage, where the real work and reward of relationships occur.
The Last Sight stage is the point at which you know each other’s faults, fears, and true feelings, but your love is secure as you work to grow closer every day. Last sight relationships are what this book is all about, and they always involve two people being honest, vulnerable, and feeling safe with each other. The reason you chose those unique three key relationships is precisely because you long for them to be last sight relationships…”
Questions to ponder:
- Which meaningful relationships are troubling you?
- What can you do to intentionally encourage these special people this week?