Love is a fire. Although, the difference between your house staying warm and the walls burning down is how your love burns in it.
Marriage can be a great fireplace, but too often around us we see the flames reeking so much havoc that what began as a house warming becomes a funeral pyre.
The fire growing too hot and uncontained is not the only danger, however.
If not tended well, the strong burn of love between two people can all too easily be doused.
Whether it’s life’s worries, broken trust, lack of effort, or slow and steady growing apart, we always have to be on guard against the things which seek to quench our love.
Rob Bell presents this idea in a very compelling way in the second video of his NOOMA series. He presents the idea of love as having three major components. The video is aptly named “Flame”.
It presents a picture of love that is actually the combination of 3 different types of love.
Rayah: A deep friendship. Soulmate. Darling. A companion.
We generally start knowing each other and dating with this type of love.
The flame of friendship usually comes first.
Ahava: A willful commitment.
This is the love that comes as soon as we know our spouse is the “one” for us.
Dod: Sexual love.
This is the love that produces itself through our physical intimacy.
Each one of these loves is totally different but each has a unique window into our relationship.
In fact, we need all three of these “flames” to be healthy, loving, and stable in our marriage.
Take for example the idea of an affair, it has a lot of sexual fire, but eventually burns out unfulfilled because it doesn’t have friendship and the underlying sacrificial commitment
Or think of the battle worn couple whose sensuality and camaraderie has burned out long ago. Two people who were once so passionate about each other are now little more than roommates.
These are two of the all too present examples of what can happen in a marriage where the flame of love is too often one dimensional.
The good news is that all three flames can stand the test of time!
Even you could be the little old couple who always holds hands, has been through so much together, and still has that twinkle in their eye.
So tend your friendship and express your love with the fuel of vulnerability.
Take off the masks and share with each other. Walk a mile in your spouse’s shoes. Remember what drew you two together in the first place.
Turn the bellows on your commitment!
Reread your vows. Remember when you stood at the altar, promising that the death would be the ONLY thing to quench the embers of your covenant.
Take the windblown candle of your sex life and turn it unapologetically into a bonfire once again.
Try the 7 Days of Sex Challenge for this.
Long live the Dod!
So, if you can recognize a diminished burning in any of these areas in your marriage, take action today.
Get with your spouse and rekindle and combine all the ways you can express your love.
It’s our hope that there’s not a fire department in the world that could put out the combined blaze of your deep friendship, lasting commitment and passionate desire for each other.