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

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