Today is the start of our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers. To understand what a Love Kindler is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation. Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers. BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers. When you make the decision to love, you choose to act in a way that is likely to kindle feelings of interest and passion; so you decide to act in a Love Kindling way.
Today, stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today, the first Love Kindler is: Emotional Commitment! This kindler involves meeting your spouse’s need to be:
- Loved–handled with their best interests in mind; with deep affection and loyalty.
- Valued–considered to be important and very precious.
- Respected–admired deeply as a result of their qualities.
- Trusted–having their reliability, truth, and ability believed.*
- Accepted–fully known and still viewed with approval and favor.
- Appreciated–their quality, significance, and regard are recognized.
- Treated with Affection–behaved toward with gentle feelings of fondness, care and devotion.
- Admired–regarded with respect and warm approval; looked at with pleasure.
- Understood–take the time to know them, accept them for who they are, and learn all about them!
At first glance this can seem like quite a daunting task, but let me simply this kindler for you. Remember when you first met your spouse? Maybe not right away, but gradually as time went by you began to think of them, and when you did…you smiled. Thoughts of them were positive. You LIKED them. You enjoyed their company and thought spending time focusing on them was valuable. You thought of them highly and appreciated the little things they did for you. You didn’t want them to change or be who they weren’t because you found them valuable and interesting. THAT is the “Emotional” part of Love Kindler #1 Emotional Commitment.
The “Commitment” part of Love Kindler #1 Emotional Commitment is that as married people we have made a promise to our spouse. We promised to love them through the ups and downs of whatever life threw at us, and we all know that life does throw us some curveballs! So when you are thinking to yourself: “I did not sign up for this! I did not marry a man (or a woman) who….” I say stop right there. Yes you did. You made a covenant before your families and God to love this person through ALL the circumstances of life…not just for “better, richer, and health”! You made a vow–which is a COMMITMENT– love and honor your spouse and forsake all others even through “better OR WORSE…richer OR POORER…SICKNESS and health.” So the “Commitment” part of Love Kindler #1 Emotional Commitment is to honor that promise. Learn about your spouse and what “loving” means to them. Treat them in a way that thinks of what THEY need…not what’s in it for you. And take the time to love, value, respect, trust*, accept, appreciate, admire, understand and treat them with affection!
Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts. This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers. During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair. We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!