This month’s couple devotional is focused on the joy of marriage and, in particular, the thriving marriage trait of cherishing your spouse.

Pray

Begin your devotional by praying that God would impact both you and your spouse with His truth.

Assess

Read the following thriving marriage statement out loud together:

Cherish:
Thriving couples treasure each other. Their relationship is characterized by honour, admiration and mutual respect. They enjoy warm thoughts and feelings for each other and delight in putting the other person first. They go out of their way to ensure their partner feels loved and cared for.

On a scale of 1-10, (1 = low, 10 = high) how are you doing in regards to sharing and working as a team?

As a couple, what could you do to increase effectiveness in this area of your marriage?

Read

Read the following Bible passages.

  • Proverbs 31:10
  • Colossians 3:19
  • Reflect

    What comes into your mind when you hear the word "cherish"? It means to treasure, to value, to deeply appreciate, to take pleasure in and to esteem. There is no shortage of love songs that use the word cherish. If you used traditional vows at your wedding, you likely promised "to love, honour and cherish" one another. That meant that you vowed to hold each other in the highest regard. This tender attitude is quite common as couples begin their romantic journey. But often, as time goes on, couples can lose this sense of treasuring one another.

    The practicalities of life can override some of these important feelings. Spouses may take each other for granted until one of them has to leave on a trip; when separated, those feelings of cherishing one another come rushing back.

    Although Scripture does not explicitly challenge couples to "cherish one another," clearly it is an implicit challenge. We see this theme in Ephesians 5, where husbands are challenged to love their wives as Christ has loved the church. Jesus cherished the church so much that He gave up His life for the church. Wives are instructed to respect their husbands; this too is an expression of cherishing. When a wife shows respect to her husband, she is holding him in high esteem.

    These themes are reiterated in Colossians 3:19 where husbands are instructed to love their wives and not to be harsh with them. The implication is that men are to treat their wives like a precious treasure. Proverbs 31:10 says that a wife of character is worth more than rubies. Wives can cherish their husbands by becoming women of godly character.

    Maybe you can relate to some of these scriptures. I’m sure each of you truly does cherish the other. But sometimes, because of familiarity, we forget to express to our spouse how special they are to us. Each of us receives and expresses love differently, which means we need to be students of our spouses and discern specific ways in which we can help our spouse feel cherished.

    I love to observe older couples who really cherish each other. She brags about him to anyone and everyone who will listen; he tenderly treats her like a queen. Thriving couples are like that. They enjoy warm thoughts and feelings for each other and delight in putting the other person first. They go out of their way to ensure their partner feels loved and cared for.

    Discuss

    1. Wives, think of ways in which your husband has been tender with you. Share those experiences with him and tell him what you really liked about those expressions of love.
    2. Husbands, think of ways in which your wife displays godly character traits. Express your appreciation for her character.

    Going Deeper

    1. Make a list of five things your spouse does or could do to make you feel cherished and highly valued.
    2. Find a recording of your favourite love song with the word "cherish" in it. Play it for your spouse and sing along. Even if you don’t have a good voice, chances are they will appreciate your sentiments.

    Pray

    Take a few moments to listen to God, express your concerns to Him and ask Him to help you reflect His relational ideas in your marriage.


    Reference to the individuals and organizations quoted does not constitute a blanket endorsement of either the individuals’ external work or their respective organizations.

    © 2013 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved.  

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