“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:29)
Husbands, allow me to speak freely to you about one of the most wonderful responsibilities that God has given to us – that of wife cherishing. Contained in our Scripture text is what I believe to be one of the most powerful of all the Pauline verses dealing with marriage.
Paul gives husbands the highest example for marriage – that of Christ cherishing His church. To be cherished is one of the greatest needs that a woman has! It is to be the very object of husbands to learn how to divinely cherish their wives. Learning this privilege will take a lifetime of endeavor and passion. Indeed, this is the godly pursuit that will enable husbands to live in, and enjoy close marital bliss with their wives.
Noah Webster defines our English word “cherish” as:
“To treat with tenderness and affection; to give warmth, ease or comfort to. To hold as dear; to embrace with affection; to foster, and encourage.”
C. Baxter Kruger defines cherish:
“[To make one] the object of pure delight – the apple of someone’s eye. … To be prized, treasured.”1
When speaking of cherishing we do not mean the mere peaceful coexistence. Having a peaceful marriage, with rarely a clash does not necessarily mean that husbands arecherishing their wives. Cherishing is moving up to a far higher plane.
Neither is cherishing a mere feeling. It is important to realize that we can’t always follow our emotions, as they are not consistently reliable. It is a very normal thing for there to be highs and lows in husbands’ feelings toward their wives. During periods of lower emotional feelings for our spouses we need to focus our attention consciously on our wives and take positive, strong initiative that will adequately express our undying devotion and love toward them. Our feelings will catch up and follow our lead.
What Wives Need
Now, what our wives need is tremendous love and reassurance from us – of who they are to us, and what they mean to us. We should pursue our wives – touch them, hold them, kiss them, talk to them! We need to communicate with them, thinking of anything and everything that we can honestly say to them. They need to hear from us. We need to think of hundreds of different ways that we can verbalize our need of them. Think of hundreds of ways that we can clearly demonstrate to them this need as well. They desire to know us, and we need to know them. We need to open up and tell them things that are deep within our own hearts. Encourage them to reveal their hidden selves to us. We should be as tender and gentle with them as we possibly can be. It is this cherishing of our wives that can lead to a richer and more meaningful bond.
We need to talk with them about their wants, and likes, and needs. We need to make them the joy, pleasure, passion and goal of our lives. Live for them! Cherish them!
If we accomplish nothing else in our lives – let it be loving and cherishing our wives! Let that be the passionate beat of our hearts, and whatever else has to fall by the wayside to reach this godly goal will not be too high a price to pay. Our wives are worth it! Nothing is more important than they are!
Our Greatest Accomplishment
Day by day we are getting older. Time is slipping through our hands, like a fist full of sand. We are running out of minutes. Let us wrap up our wives in those minutes – make it our steadfast determination to do so! We need to reach out to them. Keep reaching and keep trying. Never be satisfied with the level of our bond. Keep going deeper!
We Are the Key
Our wives should feel special. They should feel that there is no one or anything that is more important to us than they are. They desperately need our reassurance and the tender expressions of our love to them, and of their place in our lives – over and over, and over again, and then some more! We have the power! We are the men! We can make them blossom! Or, we can make them dry up! In other words, we love and cherish our wives, partly because we have decided and determined to do so!
Take His Lead
Sometimes our marriage may be difficult for us, and it seems easy to withdraw, and we allow our relationship with our wives to deteriorate and become cold. We may feel and think more than once, “I am tired, I think I will just give up!” Yet the Lord would never say that to us. It is He Who is our Life and Pattern, so let’s take His lead. After all, He loves and cherishes us, and we love and cherish our wives! So if we have hurt and pain, choose to switch them for love and tenderness. Let’s remember why we married our wives in the first place – it is not time to stop cherishing them just because our emotions and feelings are confused and standing in our way.
We demonstrate that we cherish our wives, by giving to them our time. We need to spend all the time that we can with them, making them – as best we can – the very object of our days. We can demonstrate our cherishing of them by trying to tell them as often and in as many ways as we can how special they are, what we like about them, how much they mean to us, etc. We need to tell them often that we love them. They need to hear it many times a day; and it all pays off, for the more we do and say, the more we will want to do and say, and then the feelings will follow course.
Now, the reason that I write these words is that I might remind us that our bonds with our wives are not just based upon “natural” causes. Let’s be motivated by our desire to have our marriages be all the bliss that God intended, and to cherish our wives with everything that we have. Let’s make our days their days; make our evenings their evenings; make our nights their nights; make them the center of our attention – focus on them!
Let’s not forget to follow His lead: give up our lives for them.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it”(Ephesians 5:25).
In every area of our lives let’s make it about their joy, their happiness, their contentment, their pleasure.
“He who is married cares for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife” (I Corinthians 7:33).
Our wives are the most valuable, precious and important things in our lives! Let us be sure they know it, every day.
Cherish is the word I use to describe
All the feeling that I have hiding here for you inside
You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I had told you
You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could hold you
You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could mold you into someone who could
Cherish me as much as I cherish you, and I do, cherish you.