Share This Episode
Focus on the Family Jim Daly Logo

Cherish Your Spouse, Change Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
March 28, 2023 6:00 am

Cherish Your Spouse, Change Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 838 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 28, 2023 6:00 am

Author Gary Thomas describes what it means to truly cherish your spouse, offering practical advice to help you build a more satisfying and fulfilling marriage. (Part 2 of 2)

Receive Gary Thomas' book "Cherish" for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive: .

Get more episode resources:

If you've listened to any of our podcasts, please give us your feedback:


Marriage podcasts usually go one of two ways.

Relatable, but not helpful. Or helpful, but totally unrelatable to your marriage. The Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage Podcast has all the, whoa, that's me, marriage stories.

And wow, I never knew that. Clinical wisdom to help your marriage thrive. Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage will be your favorite listen of your week. An amazing marriage is possible. It begins with you.

Listen on your favorite podcast app. When you get married, your first call, your first look has to be toward your spouse. And I would say that particularly to younger couples. That's what has to change in marriage. When you get good news or bad news, if your first call is to your parents, if your first call is to your best friend, you're not fully married yet. That first call, that first look has to be toward your spouse if they're going to feel cherished. That's Gary Thomas talking about an important word that can transform your marriage. Cherish. Gary was with us last time and we're looking forward to hearing more from him today on Focus on the Family.

Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. A common problem for married couples is falling into a routine or a rut with one another. It's not like you stop loving your spouse but maybe you've grown apart or don't have that emotional connection you once did. And this may be a common occurrence but that doesn't mean it's a good thing or a healthy thing for your marriage. Last time Gary was challenging us to think differently about our spouse and raise the bar on that relationship. He shared some good examples and some bad examples of how couples have cherished one another and today we're going to dig into more practical ways you can put the word cherish into action in your marriage.

Gary Thomas has written a terrific book on this topic. It's called Cherish, the one word that changes everything for your marriage. Learn about the resource and our guest.

We've got details in the show notes. And now here's part two of our conversation with Gary Thomas on Focus on the Family. One of the major things you address is how well we respond when our spouse is talking to us and I imagine this is a common problem in marriage. Husbands and wives they get busy or they get distracted. Maybe we're staring at our cell phones or television or whatever it is right in front of us and we're not paying attention to each other the way we should be. We're not trying to be rude I'm sure but maybe the point of the conversation doesn't seem that significant to us. Husbands or probably guilty of that but you say our response becomes critical over time. Why is that? Yeah the analogy I like to use for guys is that marriage is like baseball you're the batter at the plate and your wife is throwing pitches every day and once a pitcher throws the ball the pitch counts right you can let it go by and maybe it's a called strike maybe it's a ball you can foul it off you can hit it but it's going to go in the record something happened and every time our wife says something to us it's like she's throwing a pitch and our batting average is going to be affected and the best marriages and this is what's so hard for husbands right because if you hit 350 in the major leagues you're pretty good if you hit 350 in marriage it leads to disastrous consequences. What do you got where does your batting average have to be? Well the best marriages they call marriage masters is about 90 percent and that means nine out of ten times and it's very practical and it's helped me you know just being a guy that well okay here's how I can kind of keep count but it's basically if your wife says honey there's this article that I just read and so often something that interests her might not interest me but here's what another husband said that helps me so much he realized he was working on a two hundred thousand dollar bid that was due the next day he's self-employed and this is a big thing and his wife had a little downtime she works beside him she was on Facebook and found something that seemed so fascinating about some semi-distant friend that frankly he couldn't care anything about not the moment but here's what I love his approach here's why his wife feels cherished he goes I realize that when Jaclyn is talking to me it's not what she's talking about it's who's talking and if I want to cherish Jaclyn I have to notice and he was taught when he was young you notice somebody by looking at him that's how they know you're listening to them and so he forces himself to look at Jaclyn when he's talking because I might not care what she's saying but I care about her I care more about that two hundred thousand dollar bid than this semi-friend from Facebook but you know what I care more about my wife than that two hundred thousand dollar contract and so I need to catch this bid when you talk about that idea of bid what do you mean by it as a couple bidding for each other's attention or what do you mean by bid if you see something in the newspaper and point it out or the husband says honey look at that bird it's incredible even if she's not into birds or if the husband is just into something and shares something that matters to him that's a bid yeah you're throwing it out what whenever a spouse is saying something here's what they're really asking do you still cherish me are you still interested in me that's what made dating so intoxicated because somebody was curious and they asked us for more cherishing is about maintaining that curiosity and asking for more now some are going to come back and say how can I be curious about something I've been married to for 30 years and this is the thing you're not married to the same person I've been married to my wife for 31 years now but here's the thing having children changes a woman becoming an empty nester changes a woman a woman losing one or both parents changes a woman a woman who succeeds in her occupation or fails in her occupation a woman who goes through cancer we change all the time because life changes us and if we lose that curiosity our spouse gradually becomes a stranger so to cherish them I have to maintain that curiosity and say tell me more what are you going through what how is that affecting you because it matters to her it should matter to me now how do you I'm just thinking of Jean and I when we've had not knowing the approach but doing it by default we'll have these exchanges sometimes on my end sometimes on her end but you know I'll have that moment where I'm kind of chatty but she's trying to get things done and so she'll give me the I love you but now is not a great time to talk and and we'll reverse that I'll be busy sometimes and she'll be in the chatty mood how do you politely redirect that energy because actually right now I have to concentrate on this other thing even though I love you and I cherish you but I practically have to get this done in the next two minutes well I think the way you said it is actually pretty good remember we're supposed to catch nine out of ten bids I don't think anybody gets ten so I'm talking about the one I guess you have that foundation where the bids are usually caught and your spouse says this sounds fascinating I can't wait to hear about it let me get this done and then we'll hear it okay but see I've seen the damage when people don't take bids seriously and amazed me when they didn't even realize it I was behind a young couple at church there were three people husband and wife and then he had one of his buddies there and the pastor was very engaging he told funny stories and but good truth and it's the kind of sermon where you just lot to respond to and so every time the pastor would say something that's funny everybody would laugh and I'd watch because the wife would look at her husband to share that laugh but he always looked left toward his buddy and then the pastor would say something was really moving and so she'd look toward her husband did you get that and he's looking toward his buddy and I saw her face begin to fall and I saw her become blank in blank in her expression and by the fifth or sixth time she stopped looking she's just staring ahead with this frozen look because he kept sharing it with his friend and I look I've worked with enough of these young couples I knew what was going to happen on their way home she's going to be a little bit cold and frustrated and he's going to say what's wrong and she's going to be upset that he doesn't know what's wrong right and so he's thinking oh she's impossible see how am I supposed to be married to a woman that is just so frustrated when I didn't do anything wrong and here's the thing I just say the young husband she wanted to share the sermon with you and you chose to share it with your buddy she wanted to have you catch those bids she's looking your way and I'm sure it was unintentional but by always going to your buddy instead of her she felt like she was frozen out and that's what makes her feel frozen because when you get married your first call your first look has to be toward your spouse and I would say that particularly to younger couples that's what has to change in marriage when you get good news or bad news if your first call is to your parents if your first call is to your best friend you're not fully married yet that first call that first look has to be toward your spouse if they're going to feel cherished those are good words Gary and so important for younger couples and Jean and I made lots of mistakes in that area when we were first married I mean we just yeah we were that what you referred to last time where you like the cherish factor better than being a newlywed and infatuated newlyweds because you'll go through the pain of learning the importance of cherishing after you've had I guess a few falls on your face when it comes to infatuation you know you did touch on that but we didn't really describe infatuation a lot of marriage specialists talk about that they even contract that infatuation stage lasting about two years when you first get married and then it falls into different patterns and different ruts at that point the newness of the relationship is worn off that's what you're talking about what comes after that infatuation of the newlywed phase right absolutely the problem with infatuation is what neurologists those that study the brain call idealization you're giving the person strengths they don't really have you're missing the weakness that everybody else sees but you don't you've you fall in love with this person who actually doesn't exist it has to die because intimacy is being fully known and fully accepted and you can't accept somebody that you don't really know you're accepting a mirage you can't maintain an infatuation infatuation happens whether you want it to or not you can control it you cannot act on it you cannot obsess over it but it comes and goes cherishing can be built with a new mindset with a new heart set by doing actions that move us to cherish our spouse we become more cherishing and like i said before cherishing is better than infatuation it's more important than infatuation and that's the whole point behind cherish as a new model for marriage that we have higher expectations for marriage because in every other arena of social society and intellectual thought we grow so why don't we try to take our marriages to the next level so it's not just about staying in there it's about a wife who really feels cherished a husband who really feels cherished so that young people can see infatuation is wonderful but there's something even better on the other side if we stay with this we work through it we can get something that pays off even more well and the reality is when we can demonstrate that to the world it's watching yeah that will lift christ up people will be intrigued by that why do you have that kind of marriage i want that kind of marriage what's the secret to your marriage and you can turn and say it's our commitment to christ and that is awesome that moment um before we move away from that idea of the you know getting and being engaged with your spouse more regularly on a 900 batting average basis you know nine times out of ten you're going to make time to hear your spouse express their thought to you talk about the i think it was Gottman research where the other end of that continuum where you're batting maybe two three hundred usually lays the groundwork for divorce yeah they call them the disasters that basically they almost never survive and it's we talk about rose-colored glasses and i think you could talk about contempt colored glasses i've seen this with a couple where their mind has become so filled with contempt and disgust they're blinded to the one or two good things that their spouse does is in fact she was asking him to share what he thought and he patiently and calmly did that and then she screamed at him see you won't even say that you won't even answer after he just answered the question he had just listened to her and it was shocking to me as an objective third party that she couldn't see what he had just done because she was just so eager to pounce and that's why those are miserable marriages contempt hasn't helped a single marriage in the history of the human race you know gary i'm thinking of it in this context and correct me if you disagree with me but i'm thinking of how the lord dealt with people on this earth and it puts a different um really a different color to the time the lord encountered the adulterous woman um it's not contempt he's speaking truth but he almost tries to raise her game by saying go and send no more he does it not through contempt not through shame but through acknowledging that she's forgiven right and now i want you to go and send no more um it's a beautiful way to describe that again in romans 2 4 where it's god's kindness that leads one to repentance there's a connection there isn't there there is and there was one time in my life where i was convicted believe it or not by a cross dresser a man had asked to get together with me sharing his story issues in his marriage and finally came out that he had a long-standing issue with pornography that was really making it difficult for him to relate to his wife so he finally was going to a recovery group where they were sharing and he experienced a certain level of victory and it was impacting his marriage and he's so filled with hope and he was so grateful to god that this thing that had plagued him for so long he'd had victory but then his wife was out of town and he just collapsed and fell and he had had his chips you know i don't know how long it had been it'd been a number of months where he'd had his chips of of success and abstinence and so he went into the group and he had to share his failure and and he was so overwhelmed because he thought man i thought i dealt with this i finally had hope i knew the things to do and he just shared the shame will i ever be free of this will i have to deal with this for the rest of my life and he just broke down weeping in front of the group and and he couldn't handle it and and he finally looked up and there was a man who was there because he he dealt with with cross-dressing and his name was leon which my friend reminded me is noel spelled backwards and leon was weeping with him he just cried with him as he cried because he knew what it felt like to have shame to have regret to say how could i be back here again i thought i'd done this i thought i'd done all the things that you're supposed to do to be free and here i'm back and he said i can't tell you how god ministered to me just seeing leon's tears i aspire to that attitude that when my spouse is struggling the first thing i'm doing is crying over their hurt because i think that's what jesus does he he cries with us he hurts with us now he does say go and sin no more and that group would say to my friend go and sin no more but before they got there they cried with him and i think that's what i at least aspire to in marriage can i be that way can i have that soft heart in touch with my own sin in touch with my own need of grace so that my first response is to share tears instead of share judgment that is well said and i just love that attitude that comes through in scripture so clearly how much the lord loves us even though we are frail and we fail him that's the wonder of his sacrifice for us and uh gary let me zero in on a couple of feelings that i have on behalf of the listeners i i'm sure there are people who are saying um you know i shouldn't have to change for my spouse to cherish me i'm pretty good guy uh they have that kind of attitude or i'm a pretty good wife i do things that are the right things to do they kind of they just need to accept me as i am um what's your response you probably have had that in counseling where come on gary i'm a good person my wife or my husband they just need to accept who i am yeah the reality is that i think all of us want to be cherished when guys understand what it means even guys want to be cherished and if that's a goal i think if you live in the real world it's easy to say how do i make myself a little easier to cherish it's not that my spouse doesn't have an obligation to try to accept me but why wouldn't i make it a little easier for them here's an example i know i've said before i'm not clinically ocd but i live in the neighborhood right next door to it i've had my routines and early on my marriage because i didn't understand this about me if lisa just upset my routines i would just be all flustered and and whatnot and my son and his new wife had just moved into an apartment in seattle and they happened to move into apartment that was like a quarter of a mile from green lake it's this very nice trail around a lake in seattle that i used to go out of my way to run there when i was going to the airport because i lived about 70 miles north of that but the airport was a little bit below it and so i would set up my day coming back so i could have this nice run around green lake and i always hated it because then i had to sit in sweaty clothes all the way as i drove back up to bellingham washington that was the price i paid to run in green lake now i have a son with an apartment and a shower a quarter mile from green like i'm thinking i'm going to get to run around green lake and take a shower and go home and fresh clothes this is just obsessive stuff right so i was thinking that day we're we're having a evening i'm just thinking how am i going to get a run in we'd already gone to church we had the afternoon i'm thinking well i had to do 10 miles which is ridiculous i didn't have to do 10 miles i'm not on a program i don't have a coach but this was just in my mind i'm supposed to i kept saying whoa but then when i'm going to do my run and my wife very lovingly and gently the model example just said gary i know you need to get a run in but maybe that's not the most important thing right now maybe you can run a little shorter today and then you can do it tomorrow and we'll have this or that and she just said it in a way where i realized i was obsessing and i don't want to be that way i want to be like jesus who came not to be served but to serve i don't want the whole family to feel like they have to get around on that and so i was thankful for that because i don't want her to just let me go into the worst parts of my personality now people will ask i did get the 10 mile run in a glorious part of it next to my son which made it even better he had to go much slower for me but he was gracious and did that but i recognize that there are things that must be very irritating about me my friend linda dilla wrote a book i love the title what's it like to be married to me and i think that's a healthy question sometimes just to ask what is like what it must be most difficult about being married to me and if i want my spouse to cherish me and saying you know what how do i address that how do i make it a little bit easier because yeah in the idealistic view of things she should cherish me regardless in the real world i can make it easier or more difficult and if i want to be cherished i can find out what those things are that make it more difficult to cherish me and at least try to address them gary i really can't relate with wanting to run 10 miles how about you john not at the pretty no it might be my garage that seems to me that's my ocd place to be fair it's a little easier in seattle which is like a 10 feet above sea level than where you live which is yes that's the reason that's the reason right there uh gary we have had a couple of great days with you talking about this concept of cherishing your spouse um you encourage married couples to do that and i love it should the wife who's hearing this or maybe the husband who's hearing this today when they get together tonight after work and after the dishes are done and they sit down for a moment should they ask each other what can i do to cherish you or will that be too much of a leap how do they get going no i think for a lot of marriages that would be great advice tell me when you felt most cherished by me i would think some people won't even know how to answer it yeah they might not um some you know one real challenge is that a lot of people go into marriage and they don't feel charitable they've been beaten up they've been abused and it's hard for them to receive it i've worked with some couples on a second marriage where the wife was abused cheated on just the nightmare stories that you get counseling calls all the time about this where it's just not even a question the other spouse has destroyed the marriage and how hard i've seen one husband in particular i can think of had to work to make her feel valued and honored and and cherishable and one night it just finally clicked and it was so healing it was just such an incredible story where you began to see her come back to life that she had something worth saying that he was interested in her and he said to her i don't care what other women want i don't care what other women think i only care what you want i only care what you think and and when she'd been married to a husband that dismissed or ridiculed her every time it just said it so you have to realize is your spouse in a place where they can be cherished now others and this is the thing about cherishing that has to be very particular i talked to a wife whose husband was rather famous he had been drafted in the first round of a draft he had been a quarterback when he was in high school he played the glamour positions he was shortstop he was point guard he was even lead singer in a rock band so he had a successful high school career pastor then he becomes a minister he's a pastor of like a 10 or 15 000 member i mean he succeeded everywhere he goes and she realized that she had set the bar so high this is how husbands are they provide they're full of energy they're faithful to the lord and she realized most husbands weren't like that and she was speaking to a group of women one time and she asked her husband just to share what it was like and he gave a word image that just shocked her he says you know the tough thing for me is that i feel like i've been cheered my whole life by the cheerleaders his mom was such that you know he was the apple of her eye he said coaches i had all these people cheering for me he goes and then i would come home and it was like i heard my wife and he cupped his hands over his boo boo boo and i don't get how come i'm pleasing all these other people and i can't at home she was appalled she was she had no idea that's how he was feeling and so they had a a moment when they got home and she just said i'm so sorry i just realized i've just taken you for granted because you haven't been beat up your whole life you have been celebrated your whole life and so i've become the detractor by comparison so that marriage is a very different challenge and somebody that marries somebody who feels like they're not worth anything so you've got to figure out they're in danger absolutely and that's why the whole chapter is the uniqueness that cherish is based on your particular spouse you have to understand spectacularly good advice for some couples might be spectacularly bad advice for other couples if my spouse is going to feel cherished it goes back to the garden of eden that we talked about before she's eve she's the only woman in the world song and song six nine my dove my perfect one is the only one i if you've dated a lot before if you've been married before you throw all of that out what does it mean to cherish this particular person if you don't treat them as a particular person they'll never feel cherished yeah gary this has been so good hey john i just so appreciate it you've given all of us a lot to think about and we've touched on this a couple of times but folks we need our marriages to be strong because they are a witness to the world they're a witness to our children so often it breaks my heart where i speak to 20-somethings and they'll say to me these are christian young people they'll say i'm afraid of marriage because my parents didn't do it so well christian folks and we need to change that we need to own that responsibility of doing marriage so well that the lord is blessed by how we treat each other and that's how we concluded our two-part conversation with gary thomas as he shared about his book cherish the one word that changes everything for your marriage we'd love to send a copy of that book to you when you make a monthly pledge of any amount to focus on the family we need more monthly sustainers those who are willing to contribute all year long to help strengthen and support marriages today and this is your invitation to join our monthly sustainer team and of course if a monthly pledge is more than you can afford right now or commit to a one-time gift will be beneficial to us and deeply appreciated our number is 800 the letter a and the word family 800-232-6459 or stop by the episode notes for the link now maybe this conversation today has been a little hard for you to listen to because your marriage relationship isn't something that you or your spouse cherish very much in fact you're not even sure you love each other anymore we get that if that's your situation i want to urge you to contact focus on the family right away we want to help rescue your relationship and with god's help your marriage can be transformed we have our team of caring christian counselors and we can tell you more about our hope restored program where we offer intensive counseling over several days many couples who have gone through hope restored were ready to quit but god performed a miracle in their hearts and now years later four out of five of those couples are still together and thriving god wants to see the same thing happen in your marriage contact focus today about getting your relationship back on track and thriving again call us right away our number is 800-232-6459 800 the letter a in the word family where you can find details about hope restored and our counseling team we've got the details in the program notes and coming up tomorrow you'll hear one woman's powerful story about learning to trust the lord with the brokenness in her life and my mom couldn't get herself up because my mom struggled with alcohol and it was my job to wake my mom up and i felt like my family fell and broke and i wondered what i had done wrong or what i could do to fix it on behalf of on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team thanks for joining us today for focus on the family i'm john fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in christ want to grow your marriage then make sure to check out these two great resources from focus on the family learn how to appreciate the unique characteristics of your spouse with our free cherish your spouse video series by gary thomas you'll find it at focus on the family dot com cherish your spouse or get away from the stress of daily life and make your marriage feel new again at a focus on the family weekend getaway this retreat will help you slow your pace and reconnect with one another learn more at focus on the family dot com weekend getaway
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-03 00:41:32 / 2023-04-03 00:52:58 / 11

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime