Love, Honor and Cherish? Part 3
We are all familiar with these three words as they are a part of most wedding vows. But do most people really know what the words mean or do they ever experience the ultimate one...Cherish?
Each couple gets married with great expectations for their marriage. They vow "to love and cherish" #toloveandcherish when they marry. They tell each other that their marriage is going to be different. It's going to be special. But time passes and they lose their purpose, life gets busy, hardships come, and the marriage they have isn't the marriage they wanted. Many couples want to improve their marriage, but most don't know where to start so they do nothing. In Gary Thomas' new book Cherish, he focuses not just on loving your spouse #lovingyourspouse , but on cherishing your spouse...treasuring, honoring, holding dear with tenderness, protecting, nurturing, and wanting to showcase your spouse. Cherishing your spouse is taking your marriage to the next level. Thomas also goes on to say that "a cherishing attitude will enrich, deepen, and spiritually strengthen your marriage." Cherishing is better than infatuation. It's contempt and infatuation that steal joy from our marriages and keep us from being fulfilled from our spouses.
Cherish...the one word that changes everything for your marriage. Gary Thomas
So what does it mean to cherish your partner? When you cherish someone it means you want to protect them, honor them, treat them with tenderness, and nurture them. Cherishing your partner means you hold them dear. And when you do, you feel great pleasure. When you think about your wife, she is the only woman you see. Think about it, when you cherish something you go out of your way to show it off. Haven't you seen a newly engaged woman showing off her engagement ring to all her friends and family? Or when a man gets a new car, you see him washing, polishing and driving around the neighborhood? A man cherishes his wife in helping her "wow the crowd", feel celebrated and adored. A man should strive to help his wife do what she can't do on her own. By developing this new mindset of taking pleasure in your wife's pleasure, it will become a delight for the man.
Wives aren't the only ones that want to be cherished, husbands want to also be cherished. When wives cherish their spouses it motivates them to pursue their husbands thus increasing the thermostat of the relationship. It also helps you to dwell on his best qualities, giving him the benefit of the doubt, which in turn provides you with greater marital satisfaction.
Love and cherish complement each other. Without the solid rock foundation of love, cherishing won't last. It will be a sentimental idea that is lost in today's world. Without cherishing, love feels like duty more than a delight. You are the only person in the world that can make your spouse feel cherished in this way. The best news is that you can learn to cherish your spouse. There are things that you can practice that generate feelings of cherishing your spouse. Learning to cherish actually creates joy, fulfillment, happiness, and satisfaction. Cherishing is an attitude and an outlook. It can be developed since it's not just based on feelings. You can create a cherishing heart by committing to the promise to cherish, adopting a cherishing mindset and then putting into practice cherishing actions.
Learning to truly cherish each other turns marriage from an obligation into a delight. It lifts marriage above a commitment to a precious priority. Gary Thomas
The Right Mindset
The one thing that kills cherishing is when we compare our spouses to someone else. It's easy to have a tendency to compare our spouse's weaknesses with someone else's strengths. Adam and Eve had it easy. They were the only man and woman in garden. There was no one else to compare to. When we compare our spouse to someone else it devalues them.
The Right Actions
Let's look at actions that create a cherishing heart. Journaling has become a popular activity. Each morning choose to write something your spouse did the previous day for which you are thankful for or choose a certain quality you appreciate. By thanking and celebrating your spouse your attitude is shaped and you view your spouse differently.
The other action you can take is to make those daily hugs last a little longer. When you hug, neurologically your body releases oxytocin, a neuropeptide often called the "cuddle hormone"that causes feelings of closeness and bonding. Just think, by just hugging your spouse another 30 to 45 seconds, you make a difference in how much you cherish your spouse.
As stated earlier, whether its a new engagement ring or a new car, we want to show it off to our friends. Likewise, we should look for opportunities to showcase our spouse's best qualities, praising them publicly, and making sure they are noticed in a group.
The Benefits of Cherishing
The more you cherish your spouse, the more you experience positive emotions about them,
which just encourages you to cherish them more. Envision a ball rolling down a hill. Cherishing picks up it's own speed. Infatuation is like a ball rolling on a level service until it stops.
In closing, some people think that the best way to improve their marriage is to change their spouse. I recommend that instead of changing your spouse, change your attitude. Raise your personal bar. Don't just love your spouse. Learn how to cherish your spouse and you'll enjoy your marriage like never before (Thomas).