Cherish Each Other

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church … However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:28-29, 33 

Years ago, the Saturday Evening Post published a humorous piece called “The Seven Ages of the Married Cold.” The article depicted how a husband reacted to his wife’s colds during their first seven years of marriage. It went something like this:

First year: “Sugar dumpling, I’m really worried about my baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle, and there’s no telling about these things with all this strep throat going around. I’m putting you in the hospital this afternoon for a general checkup and a good rest. I know the food’s lousy, but I’ll be bringing your meals in from Rossini’s. I’ve already got it all arranged with the floor superintendent.”

Second year: “Listen, darling, I don’t like the sound of that cough. I called Doc Miller and asked him to rush over here. Now you go to bed like a good girl, please?”

Third year: “Maybe you’d better lie down, honey; nothing like a little rest when you feel lousy. I’ll bring you something to eat. Have you got any canned soup?

Fourth year: “Now look, dear, be sensible. After you’ve fed the kids, washed the dishes, and finished the floor, you’d better lie down.”

Fifth year: “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”

Sixth year: “I wish you’d just gargle or something, instead of sitting around all evening barking like a seal!”

Seventh year: “For Pete’s sake, stop sneezing! Are you trying to give me pneumonia?”

If we aren’t careful, the tenderness husbands and wives show each other tends to disintegrate over time. God’s plan for marriage, however, is that we would continually cherish and nurture our spouses.

God has created human beings with three basic personality needs: a need for security, for self-worth, and for significance. Our need for security is met when we are loved unconditionally. Our need for self-worth is met when we are valued as a person. Our need for significance is met when we are contributing meaningfully in God’s world. When these needs are not met, we feel deficient and dissatisfied.

At the deepest level, these three needs can only be met by a growing and thriving relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the reasons that God established Christian marriage is to give us an intimate and permanent relationship with another person who can help meet those deep needs in our lives.

If you’re a husband, take a moment to check your heart and your actions to see whether you truly love your wife as your own body, nourishing and cherishing her.

If you’re a wife, check to see if you are valuing and respecting your husband.

As you serve one another and serve the Lord together, your marriage can make a positive contribution not only to each other’s lives and to your children, but also to God’s kingdom as a whole.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!