Cherishing-A Warm Blanket in a Cold World

Many wedding vows include the phrase “to love and to cherish, till death do us part….” That word “cherish” is often passed right over…spoken, but not really heard. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, also tells husbands to “cherish” their wife (Ephesians 5:28-30, NASB). The word Paul uses for cherish literally means “to keep warm,” “to foster tender love and care.” This definition makes me think of a man who takes off his jacket on a chilly night and wraps it around his wife (the one he cherishes) to keep her warm and safe against the cold. The warmth of cherishing stands in stark contrast to the numbing cold of being unloved and uncherished. My daughter took these pictures of the ice sculptures and an ice city during a recent trip. Although these sculptures are beautiful and amazing, imagine living in a real “city of ice” and you have imagined living in a home where no one cherishes the other, a home without cherishing.
When we cherish our wife and family, we wrap a warm blanket of emotional support around them and offer protection from the coldness of the world. Even more, we keep the embers of love alive. Our cherishing actions kindle a warming fire of affection that draws the one we cherish toward us and away from the cold, hard world. We have a high regard for the person we cherish; and that high regard warms our desire to love and care for them. That desire to care for the one we cherish translates into a loving empathy that opens us up to their needs and ignites a compassion that compels us to relieve that need.
Cherishing turns the focus of our life toward the person we cherish and how we might connect with them. It exhibits an unconditional acceptance that calls forth and nurtures the best qualities of the one we cherish while accepting them just as they are. And, family intimacy grows as we cherish one another. Wives are drawn to the warmth of a husband who cherishes her. Children are drawn to the warmth of their parents when husband and wife have learned to cherish one another in their marriage. And friends are drawn to the warmth of the home in which family members cherish one another. I invite you to cherish your family this week. Throw another log on the fire of compassionate love, wrap a warm blanket of emotional security around you and your loved ones, and cuddle up to share a night of cherishing love.

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