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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bonfires of Love, Part Two



(Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Keeping the fire raging. That was another name I considered for these posts. I think it’s clever.

Continuing the fire analogy to keep a fire going strong there are two things that need to happen: you need to stoke the fire and add more fuel. In other words we can categorize what we do to keep our marriages strong and healthy into two categories. We’ll address the first, stoking the fire, in this post and then the second in the last post in the “series.”

How do we “stoke the fire” of our love? This is also referred to as “shaking things up” or “spicing up the relationship.” When you stoke a fire you poke it and prod it and mix it up a little bit to expose parts of the wood to the flame and heat that weren’t previously exposed. Doing this also gives the fire better access to oxygen which also causes it to burn bigger, brighter, and hotter. The big question again, how do we “stoke the fire” of our love?

Here are two tested and proven suggestions.

First, do something you normally do differently. For example, my wife and I go on a walk together in the evenings several times a week. Every few days we change the route that we take. We don’t plan it out just while we’re walking we’ll take a left instead of a right. This causes our conversations to change. We talk about the houses and yards that we pass, memories that are evoked by the images we take in, and what we like and don’t like and what we want to incorporate into our dream home someday. I learn something new about my wife’s childhood almost every time we change our route or I gain some new insight into how she thinks or what she likes and dislikes, sometimes both. Doing something differently together shakes things up and allows you the opportunity to learn more about the person you love most. The more you know your spouse the greater joy is possible in marriage.

Second, discuss with your spouse something that makes one or both of you uncomfortable but that you have to do anyway. Maybe it’s making phone calls or going to the dentist. Then do it together. You are exposing part of the “logs” (your marriage) that were not previously exposed to the “flames” (your love for each other). This allows the flame to grow brighter, stronger, and hotter. And, by doing it together you strengthen trust in each other and your joy increases.

Don’t just take my word for it. Try it.

In our next and last post in the “Bonfire of Love” series we’ll tackle “adding more fuel to the fire.” 

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