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Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2021 5:00 am

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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December 13, 2021 5:00 am

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

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I cherish your mom is not that we made it to 36 years of marriage I want to be able to say when I die, he cherished her for 50 years or 60 years. Love is good long rain love and cherish is even better. Does that idea so good to you. Gary Thomas will explain how to take your marriage beyond the duty of love to the higher goal of actually cherishing your spouse. This is a best of 2021.

Addition of Focus on the Family with your host focus. President Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John.

This program was very popular when we heard it in Mesa were bringing it back for another lesson that you know whenever we have Gary Thomas on this broadcast. I always feel inspired to do better in my relationship with Jean and that's a great benefit of doing this job we did free marriage of a habit that's true today were going to share prerecorded message from Gary and it's a great overview of his book called cherish the one word that changes everything for your marriage and I'd encourage you to get a copy from us here Focus on the Family where the proceeds go right back into ministry and you can learn more about Gary Thomas and netbook cherish will have the link in the show notes and were going to start this message. After some opening remarks here and I was Gary Thomas speaking at an event sponsored by Focus on the Family.

Wayne Williams Chicago Cubs that was his dad's favorite team. It was his childhood and his father would listen the games they went throughout the car driving around town chasing visit games, watch them on television. If you know anything about major league baseball you know that for years been a Chicago Cubs fan was an exercise in frustration and futility been over 100 years. Is it been back to the World Series. But Wayne and his dad made a pledge as good fans do when when the cubbies made it back to the World Series they would listen to the games together. Wayne would've had it any other way. It was just a part of his childhood. He could wanting to experience the World Series without his dad. There so the cops finally made it back in 2016. It was a bittersweet moment for Wayne it was sweet to the cubbies are back in the big show.

It was better because this can be very difficult for Wayne to keep that pledge. He now lives in North Carolina that was located all the Wayne, Indiana, but Wayne grew up in the blink. If you make a promise you keep a promise.

We traveled all the way from North Carolina to Indiana and another thing that made it a little more difficult.

Is it Wayne's dad had actually passed away some years but Wayne felt like that pledge still matters. We traveled Indiana set up his camp. Share on his father's grave turn on his phone and Wayne and his father listen to the Cubs win the World Series together. Now I don't know if that story is you is much as it moves me with the thought that a guy would keep his promise that was just a sentimental promise for my childhood, my dad not even still, i.e. it doesn't better, but he would still fill in his word mattered moves me, and perhaps it moves me because God challenge me with the promise I made to completely renew my marriage.

I thought I'd already had a pretty good marriage, reminded me of the pledge I made to my wife over 36 years ago, pledge, probably most of you may if use traditional vows, and I promise to love and to cherish until death do us part. Last, ever thought of the word cherish and never never entered my mind again spoke a lot about love wrote books talking about love and marriage and why would speak on seminars and in the last session would be on love and I willingly got things doing a new movement where he wanted me to understand and what it means to cherish my wife learn to put it into practice. And as it works begin to share with others.

And as we did.

Even though I said my wife and I thought we already had a pretty good marriage doing that raising the bar from just love to love and cherish lifted us to an entirely new level of delight in our relationship love is still the foundation of marriage is sacrifice service hanging in their loyalty, commitment, every marriage needs that would cherish well so you can, from the bread the substance of the relationship cherish is the jam. It's what makes the bread delicious and here's what I wanted. I thought that maybe what God was up to that we don't justify marriages by they made it to 50 years or six years as Paul Harvey used to say some of them even 70 years, but they would be qualitative years not just measuring our marriages by their quantity, but as a Christian church and modeling to the world that we seek a particular quality and cherish could be that platform.

It could be that bar that we look that we evaluate ourselves as we see the raise our marriage for me. The big difference is that love focuses me on my obligation. I need to sacrifice. I need to serve. I need to be faithful cherish focuses me on the beauty, the accidents, the worth the wonder of my spouse as though she doesn't think I'm there just because I made a promise and I'm trying to hold to a stead. I'm learning to train my mind and my heart to see the wonder of who she is a wonder that maybe want to marry her in the very first place. I think the cherish is essential not just if you want to give your wife or your husband is desolate. Served one of the super marriage actually pursuing chairs is essential to not slip back into contempt. The reason is this. We don't live in a neutral world as fallen people in a fallen world we live in a world that assaults our affections for each other on a daily basis. We can have an All-Star weekend in life happens. Shortly after my wife and I became empty-nesters. We got to spend a weekend with my youngest daughter. She was back up in Phillies we traveled from Houston and we knew would be a fun weekend. Kelsey's our last porch is the classic extrovert.

Just a lot of fun to be around or we knew we have a lot of fun.

We also knew would be a meaningful relational time. Those of you are empty-nesters know that when the kids go away just love the thought of getting spend an entire weekend with them so so it was a great weekend.

It was firing on all cylinders met fun time. The relational time. The romantic time and I was just determines it is when those All-Star because I wanted to take that Philadelphia feeling and bring it back to Houston right just kinda keep that glow and the challenge was the very next morning we had the first flight out of Philly back to Houston as a concession for my wife. I had a full day of work ahead is not a problem for me to get up early. I sort of like him farm animal die.

I get up so early in first number is usually a four when I wake up my wife is definitely not a morning person so I've been up for a couple hours that already had my caffeine and Lisa was getting up and I wanted to make sure we made it to the plane on time because I believe in boundaries right.

I believe you leave enough time so that if every light is red and you get a flat tire and the plane leaves on time.

You're still there. You left boundaries. Unfortunately my wife doesn't believe in boundaries my wine pleasing divine intervention. As long as God knows she really intended to leave on time. She really tried hard to make every light green, you hold the plaintiff the day he knows are good tensions and I didn't want to pressure well I'm not clinically OCD.

I live in the neighborhood right next door to it.

I know they can be obnoxious and I didn't want to lose his Philadelphia feelings.

I was trying to be as gentle as a good one honey. You think we could leave pretty soon and she said taxis out front. While I'm at Shaw how she get up early in order that is fantastic so I just sent a chill down my phone and email for five minutes she sits up the suitcases. I suitcases to call the taxi said no you said the taxes are out front.

She was knowing I said call the front desk if there's a taxi out front of theirs not have a mortar between you and me.

I heard for syllables taxis out front.

I'm a morning person.

She's not Ida had caffeine she had filling in a court of law. I'm win-win. This marital discussion, but I didn't want to.

When I wanted to keep his Philadelphia feeling all the way to Houston and so we have a silly way of dealing with it actually did work we put our arguments in the third person so were walking toward the elevator and I go to my wife and you know what it's like in your marriage but in my marriage. One thing that makes it difficult, if my wife wakes up early and hasn't had her caffeine again for syllables to get an encyclopedia of information out of it that I want to please your budget hard for me to do that is is yeah that sounds like a be difficult for you is not nearly as difficult as what I have in my marriage I said really she hasn't. I have a husband who doesn't carefully but he thinks he does. As I give them very clear directions and he doesn't pick him up and then it's all my fault and I said yeah that sounds like it would be more difficult was because that's how the exercise always ends in this tipping off the start.

But here's the thing if I were to ask you what makes your marriage difficult.

Nobody in here adapts to give me 10 minutes.

I can think of something you know immediately. Because every marriage is difficult is when some of you are hope I will call on you and you can tell the entire room. What's difficult about being married to the person you're here with because it's all just reality of marriage and so cherishing help us push back against that difficulty and remember why we married our spouse. Why we celebrate our spouse in the first place. And is it possible to get there.

I truly believe it is because the perfect God who cherishes the in perfect is more than capable of inspiring us equipping us and empowering to cherish our imperfect spouse and how do we get there first thing we have to do is to remember our promise. I said I would cherish her am I doing what I already committed to do wives. He said he would cherish her husband are you doing that. Husbands, wives want more than simply hearing. I love you. They want to be chairs and wants on the songs for now you have: my heart my sister my brother you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes. They wanted no men and they still have that hold on is that there's something about seeing him in a crowd that just makes us short and where I was so convicted by the Lord as I realized if I don't learn to chairs my spouse and continue to practice cherishing my spouse she will never be a cherished wife. I'm the only one that can do that one thing that shocked me after I'd gone to this for a ways I was working in my office for couple hours.

I heard Lisa waking up and the best way to describe it is my heart left, I began to cherish Lisa because I believe God convicted me to do it. He said I made a promise I wanted to be obedient like all of God's commands last when we do on and I realize it makes sense when you learn to cherish your spouse. The fact that they're awake and you get to interact with them that makes you excited. Is your favorite person in the world is now awake. It wasn't like that.

The first 10 years of our marriage was like that. The first 20 years of our marriage know why your husbands want to hear to another to be suspicious of the word cherish when I would interview guys was writing the book is almost like draft turn in my man card if I say I want to be cherished. You know what they want. The concept pastor I know was traveling with seven men.

These were all leaders in his church.

Men that the whole church looked up to families of all church would look up to you wanted to figure out what was going on with these marriages.

He said guys how many of your wives love you all seven hands went up that he said this, how many of your wives like you all seven hands went down every man felt loved. Not one felt cherished their attitude was she's a good Christian woman shall be true to me. She's not believe me but it best on tolerated and what that does women it creates an entirely different dynamic in marriage. After cherish it just come out. I was speaking at this large church somehow does not very often I got is sick as I've ever been.

By God's grace, I rarely get sick which is good. We try to set your schedule, your advanced but I barely got to the event and then I was in a hotel room with Lisa that night and you know how when the fever breaks you start to shiver and your so cold and just kinda shivering there in bed and Lisa starts to pull me close and hunting want you getting it sick.

This is awful simple argument, cold ice and yeah she pulls me closer and says I gotta get you warm.

Sounds gross to the younger couples but wise, let me ask you a husband, let me ask you, what will the wife do for a man that truly cherishes her in a world where she's probably taken for granted by her kids judged by a lot of friends just ignored by so much of the world as she goes out of whatever, but when she comes on the minute she knows truly cherishes or what will she do for that man my friends whatever she has to do for his welfare and wise what you think a man will do for a wife that he knows truly cherishes them in a world a competitive world, where he often doesn't measure up where he might get fired. He might be losing his mojo as he gets older and his hair and all the other stuff that goes on and yet he comes home, and here's a woman that doesn't tolerate and she cherishes and what will he do for whatever he has to do for her welfare. So what are the one his stepsisters difficult dreaded challenge of a booking 20 minutes are encapsulated.

Here's one thing that is so crucial. It begins with the new mindset. Romans 12 to says this be transformed by the renewing of your mind. If I want to begin to cherish my spouse.

I have to find a mental image that makes me maintain that right approach of thinking about my spouse and I want to go back to the Garden of the think is so powerful from three slice of time. He was literally the only woman in the world. There was no one. Adam compared to a concert where her hair is thick, but she's not as athletic as outliners funny is that one and the same thing was true that Adam was literally the only man in the world he couldn't. They well yeah he's not very relationally involved. He's got a good sense of humor is not as athletic or's hard work that one Adam defined for Eve and Eve define for Adam.

What a man is an even more when a man or woman is supposed to be and if I wanted cherish my spouse I have to have this attitude where look at my wife as being the only woman in the world. Comparisons stops comparison is the opposite of cherishing comparison leads to contempt because what we do is we compare our spouses weaknesses to another spouses strengths and items as why do we do that it never held. I know you've done at the other negatively compared your spouse mentally for 10 or 15 minutes and then you ever end up saying I feel so happy right now.

I have so much more joy I feel so much more to know about me still do it. I love to read the Christian Classics and one of the writers had a beautiful image of how everything in creation is just an imperfect shadow because only God has everything in totality. Example using nature would be for example a blackbird beautiful voice. Not much to look at a peacock annoying voice, beautiful bird in the same way you look at trees and one tree will give you great fruit is good if you're hungry you don't build a house with a fruit tree you go to in the forest to get number as is everything in creation shows you there's just nothing that's complete. If we allow that to be true in marriage. We recognize we can only find God to be holy totally complete so we stopped comparing our spouse if we married a peacock. We are so in the peacock if we married a blackbird. We are thankful for blackbird. We make this commitment to contentment song song 69 guys, this is what every wife wants to experience my dove, my perfect one is the only one comparison is stopped by. Cherish you is to have this exclusive attitude is speaking at a sacred marriage conference one time that a big church and we are running late and he came into the Greenough mesenteric can open the church doors until you come out and do my check was got to do it okay so I'm rushing there, my wife sitting at the table. She couldn't be here tonight I'll get into that in just a moment this morning and it but if you'd matter. She just looks freakishly young one time she's in the book table and somebody said you must be so proud of your daddy said I have a hidden write these books right so it kind of sense.

What this woman says those middle-age loci went by lease.

I didn't have time to stop somewhere. So it's kind of pattern on the rear end and smile which is fine when do as she did is acknowledging her nasty look on her. She marches up to lease is not Gary Thomas Lisa stick yeah sure evening are you his wife and Lisa just like I was being insulted like I would act that way and she wouldn't normally respond this way, but asserted came out. No, he was with his wife last week and this weekend it's my turn on you can't say that there is not you in a million years is not known that read the page he did cleared up. By the way that is going around that it's his nose when his mom said you only look at your wife that way only treat your wife that what I want to have that same expectation for me mentally that my dove, my perfect one is the only one and learned even showcasing to myself so I could see your excellent. The challenge is an entity she's neurologically true neuroscientist. Talk about a state called tolerance.

If you don't seek to remember the blessings of your spouse which is why one year I created a journal and every day I wrote down something I was thankful for Lisa a character trait or something she had done and became this Christmas present that I gave to her at the end of the year because I know if we don't do that. What happens is something great just becomes the status quo. The normally stop cherishing your spouse and you start comparing your spouse. So when I gave her that journal. At first she was upset with me because she thought I was asking her fill something out you know that so not me and then she saw what it was and she started to tear up and my oldest daughter said she should add is that something using a Hallmark movie that nobody ever actually done. But here's the thing I want my kids to know I cherish your mom is not enough that we made it to 36 years of marriage I want to be able to say when I die, he cherished her for 50 years or 60 years. Love is good law is Ray but love and cherish is even better. While the powerful example of the principle of cherishing your spouse. This is been the best of 2021. Addition of Focus on the Family featuring Gary Thomas or John, as we said at the top of the program.

Gary always makes me want to do better as a husband and father, and he did it again today. You know over the years I've kept journals for each of my boys writing notes to them as I traveled around the world literally for Focus on the Family, but it never occurred to me to keep a journal for Jean writing down what I love about her even just for one year. Like Gary did for Lisa, his wife. What a gift that really is a great idea. Something I might try to do for Dean and in future. Definitely it's just one of the many great ideas found in Gary's book. It's called cherish the one word that changes everything for your marriage. Get a copy from us here at Focus on the Family for donation of any amount and the proceeds will go right back into our efforts to strengthen and save marriages around the world. Here's just one example of the impact were having on marriages every day. We heard from a listener named Amanda who said I've been listening to Focus on the Family since I was in high school. Knowing that I would need marriage and parenting advice for the future. Now I can say that focus has made a huge impact on our 30 year marriage and help us raise four children to adulthood.

I don't know why I've never donated now that I think about it. I was pretty selfish to benefit from the broadcast but never financially support your efforts to get them on the air. Please accept my donation and thank you for staying so biblical and relevant. Over the years is wonderful to hear in a long time listener like Amanda.

And it's great to think that even back in those high school years. She was learning through Focus on the Family kind of about the challenges ahead in getting the tools she would need to succeed. That's right. And you know the past year has been difficult for so many families and many marriages were struggling under the stresses caused by the pandemic, but our research shows that over the last 12 months we've helped over 100,000 couples across North America navigate and survive a major marital crisis and almost 600,000 couple say Focus on the Family help them build a stronger and more satisfying marriage. A lot of people don't know about the many resources that we offer to support your marriage.

In addition to the broadcast.

We have a free online marriage assessment were you and your spouse can take a short quiz and then see the strengths of your relationship and the areas that you could use a bit of work we have the Focus on the Family marriage podcast hosted by Greg and Aaron Smalley which provides marriage focused advice and encouragement from a variety of guests. We have a team of counselors here that are available to spend time with you on the phone if you have an issue in your marriage that you need to discuss. It's a free service that we provide and for marriages that need even more help. We have a four day intensive called hope restored were couples who are experiencing challenges can find healing with a success rate of over 80%.

When we survey those couples. Two years later.

All of these resources and so much more available. Thanks to our donors. We rely on you to help us in our marriage strengthening efforts, bringing hope to families each and every day. So if you've benefited from these broadcast like Amanda, please donate. You can reach us by calling 800 the letter a in the word family or follow the link in the episode notes to donate to the work of focus and request that book, cherish the one word the changes everything for your marriage and be sure to explore all of the marriage resources we have for you there at the website next time more from our top broadcasts of 20, 21 Deborah for later will explore the healing process and what it means to be healthy in every aspect of your life in this world we will go through hard things now and to be able to face those with confidence and acknowledge those hurts make space for them is one of the ways that we heal on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us for this Focus on the Family podcast.

Please take a moment and leave a rating in your podcast for sure about this episode with a friend. What you that helps others find us and furthers the ministry of John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we once again help you and your family thrive. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so done I had reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope.

So I called the hope restored team at Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They help me believe that my marriage could be saved.

I agreed to go but was skeptical that anything can help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental.

I felt my heart start to open up as we worked with the counselors. Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for you and hope

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