by Erin Bird

I hope this week’s email finds you doing well. This week, as we continue our How to Love series, I want to talk about loving intentionally.

What I mean by “intentional” is loving others with a purpose and a plan. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for “accidental” acts of kindness that display the love of God to someone, like the spur-of-the-moment decision to let someone go in front of you at the checkout line. But I truly believe those spontaneous acts of love will be far more natural and far more regular if you engage in “intentional” love.

When we see Jesus in Mark 5 “accidentally” heal the woman who had been suffering from internal bleeding for twelve years, He was intentionally on his way to heal the synagogue leader’s daughter. When Jesus “spontaneously” decided to minister to the crowd of 5,000+ people in Mark 6, He intentionally displayed love to the throng of people by feeding them.

And even when it seemed a surprise to the disciples for Jesus to be arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and sentenced to death, He intentionally loved humanity to the full by willingly going to that cross. For the cross was not an accident or a spontaneous moment He stumbled into; it was part of God’s plan since the sin of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. We see the mystery of that plan slowly revealed throughout the Old Testament and fully revealed through the events of Holy Week.

Since Jesus intentionally displayed His lavish love for you, He now calls for you to love others in a similar manner: to put together a plan to intentionally show others you love them because God loves them.

So why not this week:

  • buy someone a thoughtful gift?
  • send someone a text with how much you appreciate about them?
  • arrange to take a meal to someone who might be going through a difficult time?
  • set-up a time to take someone out for lunch?
  • call your friend group to throw a surprise party for one of your friends?
  • send a handwritten note (or even a full letter!) to someone?

The point is to not just wait for the spontaneous moments in which you can show God’s love to someone, but to also plan ahead to intentionally let someone know just how much they mean to God and you.

So happy planning! I’d love to hear what you end up doing!