I’ll never forget those eyes, dancing above the rim of her glass the moment I walked into the room, the first dance of many . . . wild and wonderful.
Four days later (An eternity, she said!) we kissed and purposed to spend our lives as one.
As I lay across the bed from my beautiful, lovely Bride during our Hawaiian honeymoon (a typically generous gift from my brother and sister-in-law) those dancing eyes held my gaze, their radiance intensifying a vague sense of loss.
Time. Suddenly all those years without her seemed lost.
Drinking in the moment’s wonder, my fingers fell lightly, high upon her cheek, tracing to her lips the soft outline of her face.
“Why didn’t I meet you ten years ago? Where were you? Look how much time we’ve missed being together.”
But life is like that, isn’t it? One day we wake up in an oasis wondering why we wandered around in the desert for so long.
I purposed right then and there, 21 years ago, laying on the bed in our room on the 5th floor of the Lahaina Shores Hotel, I would cherish this woman, my bride, this breath-taking gift from God, every day of my life.
How great it would be to report that I have loved Lisa perfectly. I cannot (here’s proof!). I’ve caused her tears, been unloving, insensitive, and downright sinful at times. But, I can report to you that Lisa has been and is a cherished woman. I’ll be transparent . . . she makes it easy for me.
I reach out from the inside to let her know how much she matters to me. She knows this – that it’s serious business with me. Lisa is my priority because Jesus Christ made her my priority – and He expects to be obeyed. He wants me to love her as He loves His Bride.
Jesus is the example for every Christian man to know how to truly cherish his wife.
Wait a minute, Jesus isn’t married!
But He is (or soon will be). His Bride is the Church. And Christian men are instructed to love their wife as Jesus loves His – Ephesians 5:25
If you are a cherished woman, it’s likely no one would ask you. The lightness of your step and the radiance of your countenance are a dead give-away.
For those who are not, it’s especially tough. Not only is the wrongdoing against you ever present, when you’re in the valley of neglect it’s difficult to believe that God has just as much to do in you as in your spouse.
An 80 yr. old friend once told me, God has far more to do in you than through you. How true this is for every husband and wife. We forget that the refining work of our Lord doesn’t happen in the full light of the sun on breezy days but in the hot crucible of the Refiner’s Furnace – in the dark valleys of our journey. But, the intended refining only happens where the metal will yield to the severe, purifying heat. And, that’s tough for any wife who isn’t cherished.
I have a question for the husbands: Is your wife a cherished woman? If you don’t know, find a quiet moment to ask her, “Do you feel cherished by me?” and “How can I cherish you in a way that you truly feel it?”
You see, being the husband of a cherished woman just isn’t optional for a Christian man. This is the call of God on your life – to preach the Gospel with the power of your love for your wife – an expression to the world of how Jesus Christ loves His Bride, the Church. If Lisa isn’t cherished, I’m walking in sin and I must change. The same is true of every married Christian man.
The Scriptures say, when you love your wife you are actually loving yourself . . . because according to God, the two of you are one single entity. And a truly cherished wife takes great pleasure in returning that love with interest.
When a wife is cherished by her husband God smiles His approval, she reflects back her joy, and both spouses receive the benefits – the favor of God and the pleasure of a highly fulfilling marriage.
You might also enjoy 102 Words of Affirmation Every Wife Wants to Hear and 103 Words of Affirmation Every Husband Wants to Hear.
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