The Day the House Burned Down -- 5 Ways to Fireproof Your Marriage

I heard the sirens before I smelled the smoke.

But it wasn't long before two fire engines, a ladder truck, an ambulance, and a few other emergency service vehicles roared past my house. 

The students in my Literary Analysis class were distracted, and I was too. It was hard to lecture on Relativism and the Christian Worldview when something, somewhere, was going up in flames. We took a moment to pray for the emergency and finished our class.

Later, I followed the stream of water and fire hoses running down my street to a home two blocks away. Thankfully, no one had been injured, but the house was badly damaged. As is typical of house fires, this one was caused by an unattended pan on the stove. 

Grease had overheated and spattered on a nearby potholder, catching it on fire. The fire had quickly spread from the stove, to the cabinets above, to the ceiling, and then to the roof. Within minutes, the house had been destroyed. Although no lives were lost, the damage was extensive and would take months to repair.

As I surveyed the damage from the fire, I remembered an illustration Kimberley Poovey, of Daybreak's Project 180 Abstinence Program, likes to use.

"Fire in a fireplace warms us, heats our food, and provides light. Fire in the fireplace is a good thing. If, however," she continues, "we take the fire out of the fireplace and put it in the middle of the living room rug, it will destroy our home."

"Sex is the same way," she states. "If we keep it confined to marriage, it is a good and beautiful thing. If we take it out of marriage, either in premarital sex or extra-marital sex, it can destroy our lives."

Is your home fireproof? Is it protected against sparks that can leap into places they don't belong and start a fire that might destroy your marriage?

Five Ways to Fireproof Your Marriage
  1. Don't share personal feelings and concerns with opposite-sex coworkers and friends. Save these conversations for your spouse and same-sex friends.
  2.  Draw physical boundaries around yourself by restricting hugs and other displays of "friendly" affection to same-sex friends, your family, and the elderly.
  3.  Don't travel in a car alone with someone of the opposite sex. This can be inconvenient, but traveling together opens the door for more intimate conversation than if there were three or more riding together.
  4. Stay away from books, movies, and television shows that cause you to become discontent with your spouse. No real man can compete with Mr. Hollywood or Mr. Harlequin. Besides, they're not real men!
  5.  Schedule regular, fun date nights with your spouse. Dress up, wear perfume, and promise not to talk about business or the kids.
Keep your fire in your fireplace. There it will warm, comfort, and bring light to your marriage. Take it out, and it will destroy your home.

"Can a man scoop fire into his lap and his clothes not be burned?" Proverbs 6:27

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  1. Such tried and true advice! Luv your analogy!Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  2. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Fantastic tips!!! These are not only suggestions-- but in my opinion as a Christian woman, MUSTS in a marriage! Thanks for the reminder, Lori! Be blessed!

  3. Anonymous8:44 AM

    This is a great post! This is essential to a healthy marriage. Even the smallest things like riding in a car can cause the heart to compromise. Thanks for sharing truth with us.

  4. I had never thought about the fireplace analogy, but it makes so much sense.

  5. So true! Even the little things that we don't think of can cause problems.

  6. This is a powerful illustration of the devastation an affair can cause, Lori. And I love your tips. They are right on target. Thanks for sharing!

  7. These are all true! Thanks for sharing these... =)

  8. Thank you for this.

  9. It still is such basic, helpful information and doesn't hurt to say it again! Even we older ones might save ourselves embarrassment if we heed the reminders! Thanks so much! I love that you are sharing at Deep Roots!

  10. You know, Jaqueline, you'd think older marriages should be immune, but when I interviewed Dr. Gary Chapman, he said the group with the second highest divorce rate was couples who had been married 25+ years. Scarey!

  11. Kimberly Poovey1:03 PM

    Thanks for including me in your blog Lori! :)