Kindling. Small bits of wood or twigs used to start a fire.
I must confess, I love fire. Anything from a contained fire in the fireplace, to a campfire, or a huge, soaring bonfire, all put a smile on my face. (Fortunately, Robert is a bit more conservative and watches carefully to be sure safety comes first.)
As a small child I watched my Dad build campfires – I learned from him to begin with a bit of crumpled paper, then thin, dry bits of wood or twigs placed carefully around the paper standing in a triangular shape. From that base, we added thinner chopped wood, and gradually built the triangular shape outward with larger logs.
However, the most important part was the crumpled paper and the dry bits of wood and twigs. When it came time to light the campfire, what ignited first and created the intense heat (from the inside out) to burn the heavy logs, was an effective base of kindling.
Intense heat builds from the inside – out.
How can you light a fire in your marriage?
Pay attention to your kindling! What are you using to kindle your marriage fire?
Just like building a campfire, what is at the base makes a difference. Soggy paper and damp wood just can’t ignite.
So it is in a marriage. Negativity, lack of focus & passivity won’t light up your relationship.
Use Optimism as kindling.
What message are you sharing with your spouse? Analyse your conversations to see if the majority of words spoken are focused on the negative or the positive sides of your life together.
It’s also the small things – like the articles you ‘forward’ via email etc. to your spouse – that contain clues. Are they positive focused, or doom-and-gloom-the-world-is-ending-and-there’s-nothing-we-can-do-about-it… type of communications?
And if you’re thinking that all you are doing is being realistic – well – I propose a pessimist by any other name is still a pessimist. (Yes, I’m a little emphatic on the topic of realism!)
May I remind you:
… What is impossible with man is possible with God.
~ Luke 18:27
To kindle your optimism:
- search for optimistic Bible verses and quotes to share with your spouse
- share positive stories and experiences
- pray for an optimistic outlook – ask God to direct your eyes to the good He is doing in your lives
- be thankful – optimism grows from gratitude
Check out this post about Keeping Optimism Alive in your Marriage for more ideas.
Use Focus as kindling.
What you focus on has an impact on the direction your life takes.
Focus on reading the Bible, and you’ll grow deep into the Word of God. Focus on eating food good for your body and you’ll become healthy. Focus on moving more and you’ll increase your stamina.
What are you focusing on in your marriage? Are you focused on your marriage – at all?
Giving your leftover time to your spouse isn’t going to kindle a fire in your marriage. Focus on spending quality time together. Plan it. Put it on your calendar. Be proactive in showing your spouse how brightly you want your marriage to burn.
To get your creative ideas flowing, check out the date night ideas at The Romantic Vineyard.
Take Action to kindle a fire.
Doing nothing gets you nothing. 0 + 0 = 0
I’ve been spending time with a lady who is preparing to launch a program called *Marriage Dance. It incorporates learning ballroom dance with Biblical truths about marriage.
Her material drew my attention to how a husband & wife relationship mirrors a dance – the husband leads and invites his wife to follow. She doesn’t lean, but rather holds her own weight as she follows his lead. Both leading & following are actions. No dancing happens if neither party leads or follows.
Husbands: How is your leading? Are you leading your family in the way God has designed? Have you invited your wife to follow?
Wives: How are you following? Have you accepted your husband’s invitation? Really? How do you show your willingness to follow? Do you hold your own weight in the marriage?
What action have you neglected lately? Maybe you’re too busy elsewhere and need to dial back some activities to give your marriage priority. On what do you spend focused time – together? Maybe you need to pray for a new activity to lead a life with purpose and meaning – together… Do you have a plan for your life so you leave something greater than just the two of you?
Pay attention to your kindling!
If you want your marriage relationship to blaze brightly, start with great kindling.
Build a HUGE bonfire of a marriage. And don’t be concerned – if you’re following God’s will for your meaning filled life, HE will supply the fuel to keep your marriage burning!
*If you’re interested in reading more about Marriage Dance, check out the blog and stay tuned as she adds new posts. (And in the near future a way to participate in a Marriage Dance workshop!)
As a side note – here’s what “kindle” means – use your imagination to adapt these meanings to your marriage!
Kindle ~ to set alight or start to burn ~ to arouse or become aroused ~ to make or become bright ~ to excite, stir or animate…
and here’s an obscure definition I didn’t know ~ To give birth. (as in kittens or rabbits)