“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it…” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
This passage compares marital love to a fire that cannot be quenched—it has a “most vehement flame” and not even floods can drown it.
Building this kind of love is the dream of every young couple and the call of every committed couple—and the effort is well worth it! But to build this kind of marriage, you’re going to have to resist some lies—to get rid of some faulty and cynical thinking. You’re going to have to swim upstream and insist on not accepting anything less than a fiery, highly flammable marriage.
In short, here are some lies that will most certainly try to douse your flames…
Lie #1—Marital love must dwindle with the passing of years. While that may be true of many marriages, it is not God’s original intent or design. And it doesn’t have to be true in your marriage! Your marital relationship should grow, like a fire that is constantly being fueled… 10 and 20 years from now it should be deeper, stronger, more passionate, and more intense for each other. Marriages are like fires—they dwindle because someone let them dwindle. Or they burn brighter because someone kept putting fuel on the fire.
Lie #2—You can have an unquenchable strength and passion in marriage without Jesus Christ being central in your relationship. The key to the strengthening and maturing of your love is founding your whole life and family upon Christ. Can you get by in life by relegating Him to some lesser role? For a while. But why settle for a C-minus marriage or a D-minus marriage when you can have an A-plus marriage! Why make Jesus less than preeminent only to eventually find yourself desperately crying out to Him, wishing you handn’t.
Church attendance, prayer, walking with Christ, and living by His principles are not mere surface habits of religious people. These things are the foundation of having God’s amazing, supernatural blessing upon your home! He said, “Them that honor me will I honor!” (1 Samuel 2:30) If you want the best marriage you can have, keep Christ first and foremost in your relationship.
Lie #3—Submission in marriage means losing something. Paul said in Ephesians five that husbands are to love their wives and wives are to submit to and reverence their husbands. The only way to have a long burning, growing, fiery love (unquenchable love) is to have constant spirit of service and submission. As the husband submits to Christ, he will serve and love his wife. As the wife submits to her husband, she will honor and reverence Him as the Lord desires. In this, both people will be abundantly, mutually fulfilled and satisfied in a loving and giving relationship. This kind of selfless, giving service is also referenced in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5.
Lie #4—Marital love maintains itself. Many couples find the fires of love dwindling to mere embers or faint puffs of smoke within a few years of marriage. Somewhere along the way they stopped feeding the flame. I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s true. Any fire grows smaller if it’s not fueled—and marital love is no different. There is no secret recipe to finding a mystical “self-maintaining love.” The flames of love are easily kindled and can easily burn brighter. Here’s the formula. Ask your spouse, “What fuel lights your fire of love for me or causes it to burn brighter? What can I do for you to cause you to continually fall in love with me over and over and over?” Then just keep feeding the flames. Guard the flame, fuel it constantly, and you’ll be amazed at how it will grow! True love does not maintain itself.
Lie #5—A dying flame means love is gone. Sometimes a rainstorm will come into life and cause your once brilliant flame to grow dim. Your relationship will weather storms and enter seasons when you wonder what God is doing and you wonder where the closeness and fire went. These seasons don’t mean that love is gone. These seasons don’t give you permission build a fire with someone else. It’s during these times that your commitment holds you together and you prayerfully grow and work through the trial until you can reignite the flames. These seasons will strengthen you if you allow them to. The fire you rebuild and rekindle will be stronger and brighter than before. The love you express in a trial is tough love. It says, “I still love you even when I don’t feel like it.” God instructs us in 1 Cor. 7:5 that we should travel through these seasons with consent, prayer, and fasting—and then come together again to rekindle the fires.
When the rains come, cling to each other, pray through them, and then get some fresh fuel and stir those flames once again!
If you will fully commit to Christ and to each other, if you will fully engage in fueling the fires of romance and love in your relationship, and if you will persist through seasons of storms—you will defy the odds.
Your marriage was designed by God to remain ablaze for the rest of your life. These lies threaten to douse the flame. But the truth will keep it burning brightly.
Refuse the lies, and keep fueling the flame—so long as you both shall live!