A few weeks before my wedding, I sat down with pen and paper, and a list of scripture. I had decided I was going to write my own vows. I knew I wanted more than the traditional words. I wanted to vow the Words that God commanded in scripture. But, I started with the traditional vows (which we would also say):
I, Mandy, take you Scott, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
Wedding Vows. Beautifully penned prose used to make a life long covenant with another person. However, how many people actually think about the words they are promising?
On August 4, 2012, I made a lifelong commitment. For me, it was more then to my husband, but to the three children I would gain. With two “I Do’s” and one big kiss, I promised to be a godly wife and mother. Before God and witnesses, I said I would love, honor and cherish my husband. I promised I would be a mother who taught her children to love, honor and cherish God. Those were big commitments.
Okay, honesty time. Anyone who knows me knows I am wordier then “I Do” – although those words were barely audible through the emotions I felt. Yet, that day, I made a huge promise- to love, honor, and cherish Scott.
When we make these promises to our husbands- we are ultimately making them to God. The way we fight to protect our marriage shows how much we love, honor and cherish not just your spouse- but God and our children too.
The word cherish, as defined by Websters, means:
a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for <cherished her friends>b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection : nurture<cherishes his marriage>
We see the word cherish used several times in the Bible, where we should ultimately learn definition of words – and see how God chooses to use them in his Word:
1. To treat with tenderness and affection; to give warmth, ease or comfort to. Example: We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. 1 Thess. 2.
2. “to warm,” “to make warm,” “to foster. Example: Ephesians 5:29 (ESV) For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
Based on these definitions, I think we can learn several things about cherishing those in our lives – in this order –
1. God- Do you show tenderness and affection toward the Lord? Do you hold Him dear? We need to be sure that the first person we cherish is the Lord. When we are showing tenderness and affection to the Lord, we are putting ourselves in the right place to love and cherish others.
2. Our Husbands – God has specifically called husbands in the Word to cherish their wives. However, I do feel like this is a trait that we can show them as well. We need to treat him with tenderness and affection. Is that how he would say we treat him? Or, are we quick to treat him with harsh tones, and rushed actions? How much time are we spending cherishing our husbands? They need this kind of treatment! It makes my husband thrive- and thus, our marriage!
3. Our Children- It seems easy to cherish our kids. They are only small once, and the moments that we have them are limited. As mamas, we are quick to act in tenderness, warmth and affection toward them. They tend to show how much they need it. Yet, there are times, when, if we are being real and authentic, we don’t feel like showing them that warmth that they need. We need to remember that this as we are loving and teaching our little ones.
Think of the things you cherish – how can we truly cherish God, our spouses and our kids? By keeping priority in the home:
1. We need to put God first. God needs to take the center focus of our lives- not our husband, and not even our kids. Make that time to be close and intimate with the Lord in His Word every day. Cherishing that time will come as you spend it with him.
2. Put your husband as second- Yes, above your kids. I find that when I place the value on my husband and our marriage where it needs to be – right under my relationship with the Lord – our whole home runs smoother. I make time to show my husband how much I love and respect him. We make time for one another- and by doing so, we have a stronger marriage for it.
3. My kids- Don’t view it as last place, or a low place. It is a teachable moment for them. When we place them under God, and under our husbands -they see how much we love God. They will want to love God too. You can then include them in on some of your Bible Study time and individual worship. This will help them want to spend MORE time with God. When they see you loving, respecting, making time for, and cherishing Daddy, they will feel the same way. The boys will look for a lady (one day!) who will cherish him the way he saw YOU do it. Your girls will know how to treat THEIR husbands. Your kids will feel secure in the home and family structure God has placed them in.
This may seem hard – and it is. Anything we do that requires us to walk in faith and in the Spirit, denying what would come natural to us, is hard. It comes natural to throw that order into a mismatched order. However, when we do this, we allow God to reign in our homes, and we provide the love, honor and cherishing He longs for our homes.
Worshiping With My Life,