Christian Broadcasting Network


David Darg


Keep Your Love On



Danny Silk

By: Suzanne O'Keeffe, 700 Club Interactive

Danny Silk's book, Keep Your Love On, focuses on creating lasting and meaningful relationships with others. He notes obtaining love in relationships is not "accidental" but "requires hard work". In order to build a healthy relationship, Danny outlines three themes that should be the foundations of love: connection, communication, and setting boundaries. He provides "simple and learnable" skills to help individuals develop the relational themes.

To start and build a connection with another individual, there needs to be power in the relationship. To have power, an individual's relationship needs to be based on "I choose you" not "You choose me". This is necessary in a relationship because powerful people make the choice to commit in a relationship. Furthermore, powerful individuals do not try to control others, but rather control themselves. Without power, individuals create an environment based on fear and anxiety. In a relationship, they produce the dynamic of either being the "victim" or being the "rescuer".

The next step to building connection in a relationship is by showing "love" to your partner. This isn't just about saying "I love you", but rather taking the time to see how someone feels love and applying it to them. There are five love languages or ways that individuals "send and receive the message of love". These include touch, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and words of affirmation. By taking the time to communicate someone's love language, you will be "pursuing" connection in the relationship.

However, one element that can hinder connection and love is fear. Every relationship has an element of fear because individuals can inflict physical or emotional pain. This can be a mother trying to discipline her child or a husband refusing to talk to his wife. The element of fear creates a dynamic of control and distance. Therefore, instead of just "reacting" to pain with fear and control, individuals need to make the choice to "respond" with love. To respond with love, individuals need to resound to only controlling ones' self, not others and making it a goal to "building and protecting" connection within a relationship.

In order to cultivate connection, individuals need to build a "healthy relationship". The foundations of a healthy relationship are unconditional love and acceptance. This foundation helps create the "seven pillars" or core values which also sustain a healthy relationship. These include love, honor, self control, responsibility, truth, faith, and vision. This in turn will produce an "an environment of shalom" or peace, hope, and joy.

The goal of communication in relationships is to build understanding with one another. It is also used to share needs and feelings that sustain a relationship. However, the ultimate problem in communication is when individuals fear the truth. This occurs when individuals do not acknowledge their feelings inside and communicate counteractive thoughts. Fear of the truth leads to powerless communication which includes passive communication, aggressive communication, and passive-aggressive communication. These forms of communication create "an endless sequence of misunderstandings and being misunderstood". A powerful communicator uses assertive communication which claims "you matter and so do I. My thoughts, feelings, and needs matter, and so do yours". The goals of assertive communication look for understanding, not agreement and want to hear about feelings and needs, not facts and clichés.

One element that can hinder assertive communication is trust. If in the past an individual has had trust broken because a need was not met when expressed, they are most likely to revert to powerless communication which creates misunderstandings. Additionally, our needs cannot be met how they were originally designed, through "relational exchange".

Since conflict is bound to occur in a relationship, healthy communication is needed to make the conflict grow a relationship, not destroy it. Healthy communication can also prevent conflict. It includes being clear with your feelings, not making judgment statements, listening, and knowing the goal of communication is to establish trust and intimacy though understanding. Conflict becomes ugly when individuals react out of pain or fear. Individuals need to resist the urge to react out of pain and instead steer the conversation to respectful conversation. The goal in respectful conversation is "to strengthen your relational connection by discovering what a person needs and how you can meet that need". This ultimately requires individuals to "choose" the servant role in the conversation by listening

Boundaries are necessary for relationships to grow and prosper. To start, one needs to monitor their levels of "intimacy, influence, and trust with people in your life". This determines how much you are going to offer in a relationship. Every individual should not be at the same level of intimacy. Some levels include your spouse, your children, your close friends, acquaintances, and people you do not know. It is your responsibility to make sure others do not overstep their intimacy boundaries and demand more of you than you can offer.

Without boundaries, individuals end up become powerless. Boundaries are in place to protect individuals from harm. When boundaries are not in place, it can lead to exploitation from others which results in bitterness. In order to communicate boundaries, individuals need the ability to say "no". Furthermore, there needs to be consistency with words and actions for the boundaries to be effective.

Silk concludes his book by asking individuals if they have truly loved. He goes on to note to "love on another" is the one commandment Christ required of us. However, love remains a choice, and we must choose to "keep our love on, no matter what"