Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Cherish by Gary Thomas

Twenty-two years. Almost twenty-three. Three homes, nine children, one grandson later and we're still committed to each other. We've weathered career changes, parenting, illnesses, caregiving, and the death of parents. We are committed, but our marriage could certainly use refreshing. We're in the midst of potty training and homeschooling, while also planning graduations, driving lessons, college applications, bridal showers, and summer weddings. Life is perpetually busy and our marriage often ends up neglected.

I know we aren't alone in this struggle. Every couple faces the challenge of maintaining a strong and loving relationship despite busy schedules. The answer doesn't necessarily lie in weekly date nights or counseling sessions. It lies in learning to not only love your spouse, but cherish them. (Yes, it goes both directions.)

Gary Thomas helps couples understand how to truly cherish each other and live that out in his book, Cherish. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of cherishing our spouse, as well as giving real-world examples from couples he knows, including his own marriage. What does cherishing look like? Not comparing your spouse to others, listening with your eyes and ears, speaking gentle words of love and appreciation, supporting your spouse so they can shine.

Nothing that I read in Cherish was exactly new to me. I know this is how God desires that we treat our spouse, but it's so easy to forget, to become lazy or selfish, and to take our spouse for granted. I needed this reminder to love my husband with a Christ-like love and to help him feel cherished. I can love him, respect him and be thankful for him, but if I don't express that to him, he won't feel cherished.

Whether you've been married a few short months, or nearly twenty-three years, you can benefit from reading Cherish and applying it to your marriage. It's never too early or too late to begin to cherish your spouse.

April E.

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