Love with Intention: Clearing the Clutter

by Randy Carlson

by Dr. Randy Carlson


Clutter is the enemy of intention. Without a sense of order in your life, your marriage relationship will never reach its potential.


You probably remember the comedy shorts from the duo of Laurel and Hardy, which nearly always featured a classic line uttered by Hardy to his inept sidekick: “Another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!” Of course, Hardy typically had some part in creating the mess, but he was unwilling to acknowledge responsibility.


This is about finding solutions, not assigning blame. First, let’s look at how clutter can hinder your marriage:


  • Physical clutter engenders stress and leaves you feeling out of control. The time you spend looking for something because of disorganization is time lost forever to you and your spouse.
  • Mental clutter robs you of the ability to meditate on God’s Word and your relationships. The Psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God.” The Message Bible says it like this: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God.” (Psalm 46:10).
  • Emotional clutter imprisons you behind iron bars of uncontrolled anger, bitterness or hatred, leaving you incapable of true intimacy.


The good news about clutter is that it can be cleared. Here are some One Things you can do to clean up the mess:


  1. With your spouse, assign responsibility for housekeeping chores for each member of the family with a daily and weekly list. Discuss and think about how you each will feel with the freedom of an uncluttered home.
  2. Set aside specific time to be with God, and recognize that He probably will not reach out to you via Twitter. Banish all electronics and other distractions and ask God to help you “establish your thoughts.” (Proverbs 16:3)
  3. Identify one area of emotional clutter and seek out a trusted, Godly counselor who can help you overcome it.


God is not a God of disorder, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). With an intentional focus on cleaning up the “fine mess,” you will carve out new space to enrich and deepen your marriage.


Free eBook by Dr. Randy Carlson


Dr. Randy Carlson has developed a 38 page eBook titled “Really Live” that will equip and challenge you to live life with more purpose and more meaning today, and more hope and success tomorrow. To download this free eBook simply visit

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