Perhaps it was months or years before the wedding. That day when your eyes locked and the pursuit of her heart began. You can remember laying awake at night thinking about ways to impress her, ways to demonstrate your affection. Time and money were no issue. You were creative too. It worked! You popped the question and she said yes!
The day arrived when everyone gathered to witness the two of you exchange vows declaring life-long love and commitment. You took your place as part of the anchor of society—a married couple. The romantic conquest was complete. For some men, marriage is the ultimate goal and once that goal is met, their attention turns to other life conquests. Unfortunately, those rascals never learned that real success, the real conquest, is to win her heart over a lifetime.
Winning her heart over a lifetime means continuing to do many of the same things that won her heart in the first place. Yet, those things alone will not be enough over the long haul. Love is supposed to grow, develop, and deepen over a lifetime. In order for this to happen a man must learn to love his wife in ways that are meaningful to her, with her interests—not his—in mind, (Ephesians 5, Philippians 2).
A good place to start in the learning process is to decide to have an attitude of cherishing toward your wife. An attitude is a chosen mindset, an intentional way of thinking. An attitude is not reactionary to circumstances; it does not depend on outside influences. Cherish is defined as caring for something or someone deeply, treating with gentleness, tenderness and kindness, showing great love and affection. The following list of words and phrases from a thesaurus helps round out our understanding of cherish: adore, hold dear, love, dote on, be devoted to, revere, esteem, admire; think the world of, set great store by, hold in high esteem; care for, tend to, look after, protect, preserve, keep safe. Putting the concept of attitude together with cherish we understand that the marital attitude of cherishing is not about how you are treated, it is our decision how you will behave towards them.
Cherishing is about what you do for her not what she does for you. Cherishing is found in the little things. Cherishing is pursuing her, making her fall in love with you all over again—every day.
A cherishing husband considers his thoughts and actions to determine if they fit the mold by his wife’s definition. This is part of the learning process of a growing, developing, and deepening relationship. Men, we have to ask and not guess. Wives (in case a couple of you are reading this), remember we are not mind readers so help us out!
Cherishing may be a tall order but we are men; we are conquers—we can do this!
This post was first published in the Cedar Street Soundings.