There’s Still Fire in Furnace!

This week, I had the joy of speaking with a man who has been married for over 60 years, and he said, “There’s still fire in the furnace!” My sweetheart and I will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in June, and we’re still stoking the fire, too!

How do you keep “the fire in the furnace” so your marriage does not grow cold and lifeless? Well, here’s a few tips that I hope will help. I’m sure I have shared some of these in previous posts, but we need to be reminded again and again to keep putting another log on the fire!

  1. Work at your marriage every day.

Don’t let a day go by without kissing each other (ban the peck!), holding each other, complimenting each other, eating a meal together, sharing your heart with each other, and don’t let someone or something come between you; especially your children!

  1. Do the little things.
  • Leave little love notes around the house or in the car or in his suitcase if he travels.
  • Bring home a candy bar for him or a dozen roses for her.
  • Hold hands.
  • Send a text message telling each other how much you love each other.
  • Husbands, seat your wife at the table and open the car door for her.
  • Speak well of each other in front of the children.
  • Pray together.
  • Read the Word together.
  • Flirt with your spouse, and only your spouse!!!
  1. Date once-a-week. 
  • Starbucks and play a game.
  • Pizza on china plates after the kids go to bed.
  • A drive through the country with the windows down, a picnic basket, blanket, and your favorite romantic music as you head to that secluded spot along the creek, in the mountains, or just down the road.
  • Movie and popcorn.
  • A stroll around the neighborhood, hand-in-hand, talking about why you love each other.
  • Share a sundae at Sonic and smooch like you did when you were dating!  (And we know you did.)
  1. Have fun!  
  • Don’t be a fuddy dud, a kill-joy!
  • Laugh at yourself!
  • Walk in the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control)
  • Enjoy each other; enjoy being with each other; your spouse should be your first choice always as your dearest companion.
  • Stop at Chickfila, get an ice cream cone and sit outside under the umbrella tables. Enjoy sharing just the one cone!
  1. Wherever you go, make it an event.
  • Make even walking through the grocery store or the mall with your spouse a fun time!
  • When you leave the house, tell each other how good they look!
  • Serve one another.
  • Make meal time, especially supper, a well-thought out time even with the children.  Be intentional.
  • Pay attention to each other.
  • Serve together at church; put your whole heart into worship; wear it out!!
Love is...Color Monday 2 December 2019 | Artful Asprey Cartoons

May I encourage you to take inventory of your marriage? Be humble.  Be honest.  What needs to change?  God didn’t create marriage for man and woman to be miserable.  As I heard years ago, “Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.”  You will have hard times in marriage, but choose joy.  Put these five things to practice by God’s grace and enjoy the grace gift of marriage for a long time to come!!

Go ahead; add another log on the fire right now! Keep the furnace hot!

Marriage Matters: Building or Maintaining


Since my son-in-law was with me in Nashville Monday and Tuesday, our daughter decided to “camp-out” with her mother.  For entertainment, they took a video tour of the past thirty years of life in the Cunningham family.  I received a picture text of me when I was in my 30’s from my wife, and they were making fun of it!!!  Have mercy!  I understand. Oh, the changes that come with age.  Suffice it to say, when it comes to the covering on my head, it’s “hair today and gone tomorrow” for sure!

Denise and I have been married for 33 ½ years.  Much has changed for both of us through those years.  Bless her heart, she really didn’t know what she was getting into when she said, “Yes,” and “I do.”  Change is inevitable. Life happens.  So, how do you keep your marriage fresh through all the changes?  How can you still love to be with each other even after all the children are gone?  How can you laugh with and at each other in a good natured way?  The answer is, build your marriage every day and don’t live in a maintenance mode.  In other words, what have you added to your marriage to keep it fresh, new, rewarding and adventurous rather than just existing like you were living in the same old house with the same old carpet and the same old curtains with the same old moth balls?

  1. Pray together often and keep short accounts of sin!
  2. Kiss and hold hands every day!
  3. Live today as if it were your last day together here on earth!
  4. Do something fun together; get out of that rut! Act like you are dating again . . . because you are!
  5. Eat your supper together by putting a small table in front of the fireplace and be romantic!
  6. Read good books about marriage, such as Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich
  7. Learn to laugh again, at yourself!!!
  8. Go to bed at the same time (unless your work schedule interferes)!

These are just some simple thoughts, but as you age, there’s enough “going south” in our bodies to create issues.  At least stay away from your marriage falling into the boring maintenance mode.  Continue, by the grace of God, to build, create, develop a marriage that will last beyond the receding hairline!!

(The pic on the left is from my senior year in high school and the one on the right is something we have done for years and continue to do for a good laugh in the car!)