There’s a simple definition of cherishing that doesn’t fully encompass the word, but it’s an essential slice of it.
If you cherish someone, you seek to enhance their life.
If you cherish a diamond, you set it in gold and regularly shine it. If you cherish a car, it gets washes and waxes and you think about where to park it.
If you cherish a spouse, you think regularly about how you can enhance your spouse’s life.
It’s the little things. Lisa likes to read the local paper so I try to make sure she never has to go outside to retrieve it. She hates filling up the gas tank so I try to remember before trips to fill it up. She’s not a big fan of driving in general, so if there’s a shopping trip I can take her to on the weekend, I’ll do my best.
Lisa excels at this much more than I do. When I’m tired and my schedule is overwhelming me, Lisa’s service goes on overdrive. She won’t let me do anything. I off-handedly mention I should eat sometime soon and suddenly a meal is in front of me. I reach to pick up the plate afterwards and she’s already there, scooping it away. “I’ll let you get back to work,” she says.
As we’ve pursued a cherishing marriage, we both are more mindful of this. My wife takes a supplement right upon waking up so she needs a bottle of water nearby. She asked me to bring a bottle up the night before and I knew upon waking she can be a little groggy so I broke the seal, making the bottle easy to open. Later the next morning Lisa came up and hugged me and told me about waking up and finding the bottle already opened. “I live with a very nice man,” she said. It took me all of one and a half seconds but it meant so much to her.
It just becomes fun trying to do this, asking yourself in little ways, “How can I enhance my spouse’s life?” It sets you thinking about them instead of yourself, and it almost becomes a contest as you seek to “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).
This blog post is 99.9% about application, as the idea is so simple and needs little explanation: will you wake up in the morning and ask yourself, “How can I enhance my husband’s/wife’s life today?” If nothing comes to mind, ask your spouse for some ideas.
We’ve promised to cherish our spouse and this is one of the most practical ways to do it—regularly seeking to enhance their life.
This blog is not written for women in abusive marriages. The advice offered in these posts will challenge both husbands and wives, but the advice could be counter-productive if it is applied in an abusive relationship.