Yesterday we talked about clinging to what is good. This morning through a series of readings in my devotional time and a text from my oldest daughter to watch a video on Millenials, I’m bursting to share. I’ve been married for almost 28 years come this February 4. When we said our vows in our 20s, I really don’t think we had a clue how words like to cherish, to honor, in good times and bad, sickness and in health, and for better or for worse would play out in our years to come. We were in love, and “love is all you need”, according to The Beatles.
I was reminded of how habits form when my husband and I tackled taking down the Christmas tree and decorations for the season. After almost 27 years, you would think we would be more considerate. It’s not a knock-down drag out fight, but we have our ways– a comment here, a jab there, selective hearing, and eye rolling commences. It’s so ridiculous, and we end up laughing at each other and promise that in the years to come we will be different.
Our brains are wired for habit forming. Most habits are good. If you desire to become an accomplished pianist, the daily habit of practicing creates an expert. A growth mindset has become the new area of focus in education and psychology. We have put into words what we know through experience–old habits die hard, and new habits take concentrated practice. Patience.
Most of us want what Gary Thomas calls a “watch marriage”. I want to put you on my arm as needed, and when I look at you on my wrist, I want you to fulfill the purpose or role. If you don’t, I’m frustrated or angry. I can quickly put you on the nightstand and walk away. Too harsh? Maybe. There is some validity to the metaphor. Love is great, but do we truly cherish our spouse?
Husbands and wives often treat each other according to whatever roles they expect from each other. “Just do what you’re supposed to do and try to look reasonably attractive while you’re doing it, and everything will be fine.” Gary Thomas
Cherish means to hold something dear and to delight in them. We can love out of obligation and duty, but do you cherish each other? If you are single, think of these words. Our culture supports the practice of going to school, finding a career, dating, getting married, having children, and buying the house. You can be so tied up in the practice you are blindsided by the commitment you are truly making to the person standing next to you speaking vows. To cherish someone and to build a meaningful marriage takes time, sacrifice, and something deeper than the giddy feeling when you hold hands.
My oldest daughter sent me this video talk on Millenials. I believe it’s spot on, but even at 50 something, because I use technology at a high level, I’m guilty. You must watch this–
God knew we would be a people of instant gratification. Jesus told us that if you want growth or fruit you must
hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. — Luke 8:15 NRSV
There is that word again with another word added to it…..
Maybe it would help if you understood that God delights in you–He cherishes you. We all know God has to love us even when we mess up, but have you ever pictured God cherishing you? He has your picture on his refrigerator and calls you up just to say, “Hey– I miss you. Let’s do lunch.” He wants to spend time with you no matter how good you’ve played out your role that day. He adores you.
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
Talk about patient endurance. Thank you, Jesus.
Here is a love dare for you.
- Examine your responses and actions to your spouse and ask if you cherish them. If you are single, ask the same question about those who are closest to you in your life right now. How do you express this commitment to cherish?
- What is one action you can take to change an old habit? Your brain can change, but it takes patient endurance.
- Spend time with the One who perfectly cherishes you.
- Take a hiatus from technology, and dare yourself to delete some social apps.
For the creative spirit:
- Download the app Flipagram. Create a video with pictures of you, your spouse, and some of the blessings from your marriage. Choose a song that represents your love for the background music. You will have to download the song to your music library and select the song once you are done with uploading pictures. If you do this, CONSIDER SHARING WITH ME! I’D LOVE TO CELEBRATE YOUR LOVE WITH YOU!
Here is my Flipagram of Parish and me–ENJOY! Each picture has a special memory that we cherish…..
- Write a poem, letter, or create a picture collage.
- Understand Growth Mindset by reading this fabulous article that also gives you a fun challenge. (click on the words “this fabulous article”)
- Read this post together and talk it out.
- Buy Gary Thomas’ book and be committed to doing the Bible study together as a couple:
The Art of Cherishing Your Spouse (GREAT video in this article about the book Cherish, by Gary Thomas)