Cherish: Building a Lifelong Love

I, ———-, take you, ——–, to be my wedded husband/wife. I will care for
you whether life is easy or hard, whether we are rich or poor. In sickness and
in health.
I will love you, honor you and Cherish you as long as we both shall live,
according to God’s holy ordinance, and to this end I now pledge to you my
As we repeated those vows on our wedding day, our love bucket was full and
overflowing. But our understanding of cherish was limited.
What do I mean by “cherish.” Isn’t it the same as love. Gary Thomas in his book,
Cherish: the One Word that Changes Everything for Your Marriage, describes it as
a combination of respect, adoration, gratitude, honor, of going out of your way to
notice, appreciate, and holding someone dear often in a visible way.
I always knew that my Dad loved my mother. But each spring when the wild
violets began to appear, he would slip out into the meadow to gather a mini
bouquet of the velvety blooms. Upon entering the house, he would sing, “You are
my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray. . .” and
my little-girl heart did a delighted dance because my Daddy cherished my
According to Gary Thomas, love and cherish do not compete; they complete. I
like to think of love as forming the foundation and walls and roof of a relationship.
Cherishing is all the beautiful, decorative furnishings of the “house’ we call
marriage. It’s what lends that certain sparkle to a couple.
Thomas declares the best gift of cherishing you can give your spouse is to tell
him/her with your words, actions and eyes, “You don’t have to be anyone other
than who you are. You are my Adam (or you are my Eve), the only man/woman in
the world to me!”
Idella Otto
Emory & Idella Otto
Clergy presenter couple for M&B ME

Showing Love With a Pretzel

As I sat with our carry-on bags in the big, busy Chicago Airport, my husband took a walk to stretch his legs. I had taken my walk a few minutes earlier. When he returned he was carrying a small white bag. He handed it to me with a smile and I discovered a hot Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel. I thanked him and he smiled again. Somehow in that busy place without even touching each other, we shared a very intimate moment, and I felt loved and cherished. He remembered how I love Auntie Anne’s pretzels and he thought of me. He had gotten nothing for himself, just something for me. How special! I often think of that moment and then ask, “How have I shown love to my spouse today?” This is a question we all need to ask daily. Happy loving!

Mary Boll

Looking for God Moments

Many of us approach life with a fantasy mind-set.  The preschooler anticipates entering the classroom, only to discover it is not all fun and games.  Teens can’t wait to receive their wheels and wings, only to find a key fob comes wrapped in responsibility.

The young adult who is convinced marriage means “living happily ever after” is in for a rude awakening when the budget’s elastic breaks or the health of one’s spouse bottoms out.  

It is in the hard times of marriage that we have the opportunity to look for the “God moments,” when He helps us bond in our struggle, creating a team of two.  That is precisely the moment when we can infuse the relationship with love, joy, respect and peace. Let your marriage become the marriage everyone wants!

Emory & Idella Otto

Mennonite/Brethren ME & EE