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Friday, July 20, 2012

Bonfires of Love

Have you ever known two people that fall madly in love with each other?

You know, where the world seems to stop for them because of their special someone? That’s all they think about, talk about, and dream about. You probably thought something like “they were made for each other.”

Then when they announced that they were engaged and going to be married you weren’t really surprised because they were so perfect for each other. They had a wonderful wedding and married life started off full of bliss and happiness. Maybe they had a kid or two.

Then, after a few years, you notice that they don’t seem head-over-heels for each other anymore. Their happiness seems to have withered, perhaps even evaporated completely. They were so in love and as far as you could tell they really didn’t have any big marital problems. What happened?

While I do not presume to understand all of the complexities of why marriages dissolve and all of the causes behind love that withers and sometimes dies may I suggest that one of the reasons is a lack of conscious effort. What I mean by this is that if we are not deliberate in keeping our love and marriage alive it can wither and, if neglected too long, even die.

Let’s use a quick analogy of a campfire. A raging campfire starts with a single spark (or a small match for most of us). But within minutes, and with a well prepared base, the flame can quickly spread and the fire can grow very large and burn bright and hot.

However, if more wood isn’t added to the fire the flame dies down and, after extended neglect, the embers are extinguished. The same thing can happen with the love we feel in our marriages.

If neglected the flame dies down slowly so that if we aren’t paying attention we might not even notice. We must exert conscious and concerted effort to ensure that the flame keeps burning. But that’s the topic for a future post.

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