By Shawn Cook
When it comes to prosperity in our lives through aspects such as relationships, finances, careers, etc., we often choose to believe that things will work themselves out and hope for the best. Both personally and professionally, I’ve learned that hope alone is not a strategy, but that’s not to say hope isn’t important! Oftentimes, if we choose to invoke spirituality into the equation, we often think a miracle will, “poof,” appear out of thin air and fix our current situation! I’m here to tell you, most times, that’s simply not the case, and we must learn that not only hope, but faith with intent, truly yields the outcomes we desire.
Faith, more specifically intentional faith, is the primary option to be considered when working towards God’s plan in our lives so that the plan that follows can truly make sense.
This is especially the case in relationships, especially marriage. We often leave faith as the last stone unturned, if we get to it at all, when making crucial decisions that impact current situations that we as spouses encounter regarding the ultimate success of our marriages. Faith, more specifically intentional faith, is the primary option to be considered when working towards God’s plan in our lives so that the plan that follows can truly make sense. Many married couples might argue that their faith is strong individually but together, they’re still without. I believe this circumstance often rests in how faith is used in their marriage. Faith has to be identified, understood, and used properly to yield the miracles and fulfillment of God’s promises for your lives!
Here are 3 key ways to utilize faith in creating, building, and maintaining spiritually, healthy, and joyful marriages:
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faith as a strong belief or trust in someone, but my favorite text, the Bible, goes a bit further and defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (HEB 11:1). The second definition inspires the first and sets the tone for a level of expectancy, especially emotionally, which complements our wants and desires for meaningful outcomes in our lives, while the first definition leaves us a bit void and absent of direction in how to use and establish faith.
The Bible gives clear instruction to the origin and destination of our faith by explaining that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (HEB 12:2), and we are taught that whatever we ask for in His name (the desires of our hearts), we will receive (PSA 37:3; JHN 16:23-24; MAT 7:8 and many others). I don’t know about you, but in these times where guarantees can seem a bit scarce and uncertain, it’s refreshing to locate a source that specializes in fulfilling promises since the beginning of time, and from my own experiences, I’ve learned to consult this source first.
Use Faith Intently
Once faith is recognized and understood, its’ proper usage is paramount. The Bible explicitly states how faith should be used stating “that faith without works is dead” (JAM 2:20). Faith with intent or work is a proven method that we can rely on in our daily lives. “Intentional faith” firmly suggests that a plan led by God’s direction along with our willingness to follow and do yields fruit of more than favorable outcomes and proportions (JHN 10:10). Despite the adverse circumstances we will encounter, we can stand and not faint in the midst of a situation and know that prosperity will come and is guaranteed. Let’s make the choice of turning over the “cornerstone” first, instead of sifting through the entire rubble!
Take Faith to the Next Level
Once the cornerstone is plucked from the rubble and identified as the right key that unlocks a successful marriage, couples have to use faith intently by taking advantage of God’s promises, and I guarantee He won’t mind. As a matter of fact, He loves when you confess His power and leadership as the source and head of your lives, happiness, success, and ultimate joy, and He won’t forget it when it counts (MATT 10:32-33).
This allows husbands and wives to truly understand how to love each other unconditionally! This is the best of both worlds, as the attention shifts from self to others which is the heart of Jesus’ ministry, and as He commanded those who were his disciples back then and today, “…love one another” and in marriage, “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (JHN 13:34;MATT 19:6). Faith to the next level means to cleave to one another no matter the circumstance, and trust God to be a God of fulfillment and truth in all circumstances and allow Him to lead your marriage through the storms that will come but draw you closer together and to Him.
Cheers to the storms that will come and last only for a night followed by the overwhelming joy that shines in the morning!
BMWK, Do you and your spouse use your have intentional faith?
Shawn Cook Sr. is a 33 year old husband and father of two residing in Memphis, TN. Shawn Cook Sr. attended a local HBCU, LeMoyne Owen College, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Strayer University and is currently working to complete his Doctorate degree. He enjoys research and writing, films, exercise, reading, and spending time with his family. He currently serves as a Campus Director of Strayer University’s Shelby Campus in Memphis, TN. Most of all, Shawn enjoys being a Christian and celebrates his adoration, love, and appreciation of living a life filled with God’s purpose and direction. You can contact him on facebook.