Wives, Are You Cherished? Part 2

DSC05558All 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.

1 Kings 1:4 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

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.

Ephesians 5:29 | View whole chapter | See verse in context For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

The last place cherish appears is in Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 2:7 | View whole chapter | See verse in context But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

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?

SIGH.

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.

source: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Cherish/

 

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Identity Crisis! Part 3: Complementarianism – Was Jerry Maguire right when he said, “You complete me”?

You know the scene. Tom Cruise nervously stammers at an emotional Renee Zellweger.

You complete me. Several years back, every romantic idealist was touched by these words, followed by the equally endearing, Shut up, you had me at hello. I recall fiercely disagreeing with that statement but totally loving that scene at the same time. After all, no one is missing parts. No one is half a person. But wait a minute. I’m beginning to think this was a very good statement indeed. I am a complementarian. It would have been better if Jerry told Dorothy, “You complement me”.

What is complementarianism?

According to CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), an organization formed to address the widespread unbiblical teaching concerning male and female identity and God’s created order, complementarianism is:

“…the biblically derived view that men and women are complementary, possessing equal dignity and worth as the image of God, and called to different roles that each glorify him.”

 Here are the first five concerns they listed as reason to come together and articulate The Danvers Statement:

  • The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity;
  • the tragic effects of this confusion in unraveling the fabric of marriage woven by God out of the beautiful and diverse strands of manhood and womanhood;
  • the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives;
  • the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women;
  • the growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse, and the increase in pornographic portrayal of human sexuality;

This discussion took place in 1987. Fast forward to today. We have the Supreme Court deciding whether same sex marriage will be legally recognized in America. We have Bruce Jenner morphing into a woman. We have five year old girls with parental approval to be boys instead. We have women on the front lines fighting wars and women leaving babies in state-run daycare centers. We already discussed the pornographic portrayal of human sexuality and the proud display of nakedness in our last post. I think we need to reopen the conversation regarding the very biblical, very true complementarian roles of male and female designed by God.

Back to the start…

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. -Gen 1:27

If God did not create gender distinctions and roles, then why didn’t he just make one sex? Why couldn’t man’s mate and helper have been, simply, another man? Even among Christians, we argue whether men and women actually have these different gender attributes and roles. (We’ll discuss egalitarianism in a later post.) The confusion over sexual differences and gender blurring has had and continues to have devastating consequences. In What’s The Difference, John Piper writes:

“The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony among gender-free persons relating on the basis of abstract competencies. The consequence rather is more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.

The term complementarian has been warped and misconstrued greatly and I hope this post will clear up all misunderstanding. In order to define it, we must define the different strengths of each sex. Again, Piper says it well here in his descriptions of mature masculinity and mature femininity. His words were carefully chosen and he chose well:

At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.

Notice he says mature masculinity. I remember the 60s/70s term male chauvinist pig. That creature would represent immature masculinity and most likely unregenerate or at best, unrepentant man. Complementarians do not condone beastly oppressive rule of man over woman. It is a benevolent responsibility (meaning of benevolent: characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings). It is a benevolent providing and a benevolent protection, all done out of the love of his heart. This sounds wonderful to me. I want that leadership, provision and protection from my husband. I depend on it. Yes, I am dependent and I love it. I love that I can trust my husband for sound spiritual leadership. This is the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands mentioned in the Danvers Statement. This is a blessing!

At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.

Notice it’s a freeing disposition. There is no bondage here. She affirms and receives and even nurtures her husband’s masculine gifts of headship. She yields to a worthy man, a follower of Jesus Christ, so ultimately, she is obedient to Christ. She is not called to cower to immature masculine aggression or share in a man’s sinful behaviors. Believing husbands and wives are to guard and nurture one another’s souls. (Remember and refer back to our Dead Men Know Best series where William Gouge told us about this mutual soul-care.) Continue reading