Today is my 16th anniversary of my marriage oath to my wife, Lovie. I have been thinking about what words that relate to marriage mean to me now, versus what they may have meant to me back in 1994.
In front of 400+ family members and friends, I vowed to Love, Cherish, and Treasure my wife. What those words meant back then and what they mean now are two different things. As a young man, Love, Cherish, and Treasure meant pretty much the same thing. Lots of kissing, hugging, chick flicks, and plenty of physical contact… After 16 years, I have come to understand these words are more than a young man’s fantasy come true. These words mean work.
Cherishing your wife is a mental thing. It means to treat with affection and tenderness. To keep fondly in mind. That grudge you have on your wife from the other day? It’s gotta go. You can’t be fond of someone to which you are holding a grudge!
When you treasure your wife, you are regarding her as precious. You value her highly among all your possessions… Yes, I said possessions. Have you forgotten the verse in the Bible stating “I am My Beloved’s and My Beloved is Mine.” (Song of Solomon 6:3)? Yes, you belong to her. She belongs to you. That’s the deal. You are not two people. You are one. So, did you promise to treasure your wife? How well are you doing? Is she the most valuable of all you have in life? If not, she should be. Your career would be a waste without her. Who you are is important, but realize that she is part of you as well, and if you don’t take care of her needs, you suffer as well.
Love. Love is NOT a feeling. Never has been. Pop culture may characterize the emotion you feel when loving someone as love, but it is not love. Love is the definition of putting the interests and welfare of your spouse before your own. Love is not selfish. Love is never blind. Love is done on purpose. You don’t fall into love. You choose to love. That your choice to love someone may be a surprise to you is not “falling in love”, rather, it is a culmination of choices that have brought you to the point of realizing you have the capacity to love that person. And that, my friend, is part of growing up.
But, but, but… what about the people who fell in love and then later, fell out of love?
I would answer that with this: What was felt was not love. Love requires commitment. You don’t fall out of commitment. You choose to reject or break your commitment.
So, with that being said… Guys… look at your self.
Are you really cherishing your wife? How have you treated her for the past year?
When you think of treasure, does your wife’s face fill your mind?
What have you done today to love your beloved? I say today, because love is something you do daily. Hourly. Every chance you get. This is the person you vowed -to God- on your honor, to be your one and only.
What is your word worth?
If this is hitting you hard, I can’t say I’m sorry. Friend, family member, stranger, whomever you are, I can honestly say I love you too much as a fellow brother to not write this. If you don’t like what you are feeling, make a change. Step up. YOU can do this!
Send me an email if you want some encouragement. I’m convinced that with God’s help you can be everything you vowed to be and more.
God bless you!