All wives want to be cherished by their husbands.
If only he showed his love….if only I saw the little proofs, if only he did those little niceties…if only he took time to discover what I like….if only he KNEW ME. If only he LOVED ME.
If only he CHERISHED ME.
When he took his vows, he resolved to cherish you. He stood before God and witnesses. He had good intentions.
To recap, in Part 1, we met three women who were not cherished by their husbands. One was betrayed, another belittled and the last was begrudged.
What exactly does it mean to be cherished? Here is the dictionary meaning of cherish, according to Merriam Webster:
1 a :to hold dear :feel or show affection for
- cherished her friends
b :to keep or cultivate with care and affection :nurture
- cherishes his marriage
2 :to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely
- still cherishes that memory
Highlighted in red are the words that screamed yes! to me. As wives, we want our husbands to hold us dear [in their hearts]. An interesting word is used in b: cultivate, followed by with care. I can’t help but think of a gardener tending his garden. The ground must be cultivated properly to yield beautiful flowers. Care goes into that garden. The flowers need the warmth of the sun. They are nurtured by the sun and the gardener’s tender care. How wonderful that Merriam-Webster uses as the example cherishes his marriage. How many husbands actually nourish and cultivate their marriage? How many cherish their marriage?
On to number 2. How many wives are deeply harbored in their husband’s minds? Resolutely? That would mean he’d be determined to have you in his uttermost thoughts perpetually. Oh my, how wonderful that would be. So he would never forget your anniversary. He would offer to pick up some groceries on his way home. He would not forget what you said to him this morning.
Hang on ladies, this is only the beginning.
Let’s pause for some music:
What a beautiful song about a man who realizes he has not cherished his woman. You see, this post is not meant to bash husbands who fall short of cherishing their wives. Please wives, don’t beat up your husband because he has a hard time showing affection or some other faults. This series on cherishing (and the general theme of this blog) is all about enhancing marriage according to God’s word. There will never be perfection or perfect love between two sinners. But Jesus loves us perfectly. Keep that in mind and don’t despair! Thought I needed to say that before we continue.
Now let’s look at cherish according to the Bible.
I was surprised to find that the Bible mentions cherish/cherished only three times. The first scenario is a bit odd, but it does shed light on the true meaning of cherish. Here it is in 1 Kings:
1 Kings 1:2 | View whole chapter | See verse in context Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
In explanation of verse 2, my Reformation Heritage Bible says:
let her cherish him. The Hebrew indicates that she will be a nurse for him (v.4)
David was ill and he was cold. The young woman provided him warmth. There was physical contact, but it was not sexual. She simply acted as his caring nurse.
The next time cherish appears is in that great marriage chapter, Ephesians 5:
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
The last place cherish appears is in Thessalonians:
It’s pretty clear that cherish is synonymous with:
nourish, cultivate, feed, nurse, provide for, care for, attend, treasure, care about deeply, adore, shelter, value….
Are you feeling un-cherished?
Do you wonder why God commands husbands to cherish their wives but wives are to respect their husbands?
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. — Ephesians 5:33
This is such a pivotal verse. I believe that even Reformed Christian churches have begun to lose the concept of male headship in the home. God’s word commands husbands to love their wives. The cherishing role is more the man’s because he cultivates his wife. As the spiritual leader of the household, the Christian husband helps his wife grow, flourish and brings out the best in her. He provides everything she needs, both spiritually and physically.
Go ahead, feminists and so-called Christian egalitarians, hit me with a pie right in the face.
While the woman is the nurturer of children, of hearth and home, her husband must nurture her. Healthy, loving marriages are a result of honoring God’s created order in the roles of men and women.
If both husband and wife heed God’s word, he will cherish and she will feel cherished.
More on that later, so stay tuned for Part 3.
And if you’re planning on hurling a pie at me, make it decadent chocolate.