Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fan the Flames


I grew up in a house heated by fireplaces. Not for looks, it was our only heating source for years. I learned a lot about how to build a fire from watching my parents build and maintain the fire to keep us warm as kids. I think much of what I learned also applies to keeping the flames of love alive.

It all starts with a spark that hits something flammable. You start a fire with something easy to burn, like paper, cardboard and really dry wood often called kindling. The fire is fast, the flames are big and the heat is high, but it burns up fast. This is the infatuation part of falling in love. You look at each other and just glow. It’s big, it’s hot and it consumes you.

But the first flames won’t last without slow burn fuel. In a fire, you throw on hardwood that burns slowly. In a relationship you need responsibility, trust, respect and commitment. Those things need to be in place for when the fast and hot flames of infatuation die down. If those hardwoods are not there, the relationship ends. Many think that fast flame last forever, and when it doesn’t, they think love didn’t last.

Heating a house with a fireplace took intentional behavior from my parents. They had to get up from where they were and throw on a log. It wasn’t automatic like our thermostat. Love is not going to last without intentionally throwing on a log. It just won’t. You have to pay attention to the fire so you know it’s time to throw on some fuel.

And sometimes you add the fast burns too. The Bible is always talking about going back to your first love or the first part of your love. It’s good to remember when those flames burned fast and hot. Recreating those moments prevents the chill of boredom from setting in. Technically you can live on just the hardwood, but you could live on bland food with no spices too. But why would you want to? You enjoyed falling in love. Make sure you keep that flame going and keep your home cozy for years to come.