Fire Starters

I was a boy scout. I don’t think that the Marine rule applies here as in, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Marines never say, “I was a Marine.” They say, “I am a Marine”, and then they speak Latin, “Semper Fi’.” I was a boy scout as in, “Be prepared.” I quit paying my dues about 1986 or ’87. Since then I have also forgotten how to start a fire.

We have a wood burning fireplace in our home. The fireplace has served as a reminder that there is an art to starting a fire. When I was a boy scout I could start a fire with a plastic tent peg and a wet rubber band. Now I don’t think I could start a fire if I had gasoline and a blowtorch. My wife bought a box of 48 “fire starter” sticks. When she starts a fire she uses one stick. When I start a fire, I use a baker’s dozen. I want fire! I am given to believe that if there is enough explosive material, fire will generally follow. My wife strategically stacks wood. She is more interested in taking the time to create a combustible environment.

The key to starting a fire is creating a core of heat that gets hot quickly and has the potential to get even hotter. There must be something combustible to fuel the flame and in a sense, enough airflow, an updraft of oxygen, to fan the flame. If the environment is not conducive to fire, forget about it.

By the time many couples come to me for counsel; the fire is long gone. The number one complaint of men is that there is no more sex. Women complain about various things, lack of trust, communication, attention, etc. Men want fire. Women enjoy the experience of strategically stacking wood.

The Bible’s Song of Solomon is about strategically stacking wood, creating a core of heat, and fanning the flame. It is about a man who takes the time to pursue, admire, and compliment his lover. He builds an environment conducive to fire. In the end, there is flame. The Book of Proverbs is about men and women of character. In the end a man seeks a wise woman and together they enjoy financial security, marital fidelity, and mutual edification. He is complimentary. She does not nag. He devotes his love to one woman. She prepares her bed for him. He praises her. She has no problem giving her love to him. They have fire!

Is there fire in your marriage? Pop culture teaches that the longer you are married it is only natural that there will be less fire. The Bible teaches that the longer you are married, the bigger the fire. Good marriages stack wood in strategic places every day. They continue to add fuel to the fire and they fan it with edifying words. Proverbs 5 teaches that giving oneself to lust is enticing in the beginning, but ends in death. It is the death of marriage, reputation, and character. The alternative is for a man and woman to commit wholeheartedly to one another and their love grows to the point that they become “intoxicated” with one another. Passion in marriage, like fire when it has fuel, will grow and burn. Growing intimacy in marriage is natural. Despite what we have been led to believe by pop culture, it is unnatural to lose passion in marriage. If there is no fire in your marriage, something is dangerously wrong. It is important to pinpoint the things that are quenching your fire, rid your marriage of them, and begin restoring intimacy and passion in your relationship.


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