Updated: Nov 18, 2022
A Guest Post by Emmanuella Afolabi Lorlornyo
Relationships cover most parts of our lives and the most important thing is being intentional about them. Even with life, we have to be intentional about our dealings before we can achieve results. When it comes to people, an intentional relationship means defining a purpose for that relationship and being focused on accomplishing the set goals with the person. Being intentional in your relationships means that you have identified the value of the other person and are interested in the unique needs of the relationships.
Before anyone can have an intentional relationship with another person, the individual must first of be intentional with him or herself. That is being concerned about our worries, values, self-worth and integrity, that is what actually makes us feel good about ourselves and also our importance as individuals. I always say that you cannot pour out love or anything to others when you feel empty so it is important to first be intentional with yourself. Some things that should be of concern are what motivates us, things that makes us happy, loved, appreciated and so on. We ought to analyze our strengths and weaknesses, what gives our life meaning and how we react to stress and challenges. Better knowledge on these things will help you feel good about yourself first and after, extend it to others.
In intentional relationships with others, we should be interested in finding out the other person’s likes, dislikes, favorites, goals, how they want to be treated and how they receive love. I personally believe that it is important to treat people how we expect them to treat us but also it is equally important to know how they want to be treated. You can not pour sour drink into a bottle and expect it to be sweet when it is time to enjoy it. A relationship is expected to last long when it is based on trust, honesty and vulnerability. One should be vulnerable to the other, that way you can see through each other and express your emotions and feelings. This understanding does not come on a silver platter. This is where the word “intentional” comes again, to be conscious of what you want in that relationship. Intentional can also mean make values of the relationship a priority, to make things happen just as they should. Different relationships come with different approaches to it therefore one has to be dynamic. Each one also has specific needs. A quality relationship prioritizes responding to one another’s specific or individual needs.
As Christians, our walk with God is a very intentional one. Every day is an opportunity to be intentional about knowing Him, studying His word and doing what He says. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t automatic or it just doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistency and diligence. For instance, I want to have a personal relationship with God and to hear Him speak to me; that becomes an “agreement” between me and God. I have to take steps daily to achieve this goal. So, I think of what I can do to achieve this, I start to think of getting a diary, a pen and a Bible. Then I begin to pray, study the Bible and write down things the Holy Spirit lays on my heart. Now that is intentionally making an effort to have a personal relationship with God. The same principle applies to friends or colleagues at work or even relatives.
If the concept of intentional relationships is understood, a lot of marriages, friendships and even mother, father, sibling relationships will be saved. Let us endeavor to become intentional about relationships around us and this will go a long way in healing a lot of wounds people have in their hearts. Don’t forget, be good to yourself and you will be good to others. Be intentional in improving yourself and you will have fruitful relationships with others. We all have to be a channel of hope and happiness to someone. You can do this! Let’s get intentional!