By cherishing your wife, desiring your wife and loving her character, you are esteeming the “trophy” God has placed in your life and on the way to building a marriage that will last a lifetime.
God’s Amazing Gift
Remember as a boy when your trophies decorated the room like deer heads in a hunting lodge? From soccer statues to swimming medals to Pinewood Derby ribbons, you made sure everyone could see your cherished trophies.
Where are they now? Up in the attic, behind the third rafter. Maybe in a well-traveled cardboard box somewhere in storage. Funny how time can tarnish those things we once held so dear.
In the same way, something happens to men after their wedding day. Emotionally, they can feel an itch. The wedding day can feel like conquering Mt. Everest. They’ve reached the summit! They’ve added a new trophy to the case.
But eventually men can start craving another adventure, the next pursuit. Your wife, once held in such high esteem can end up tarnished over time.
Scripture encourages the opposite. Husbands are called to cherish, desire and continually seek to love their wife’s character. The treasure so highly esteemed on the wedding day is to become more significant and valued as you journey through life together.
Cherishing Your Wife
The term “trophy” can seem like a negative, bringing to mind some business executive, celebrity or politician on his second, third or fourth wife, young and beautiful, a prize he acquired. That is not what we’re talking about here.
In the Bible, your wife is not something you acquire; she is a treasured gift given to you from your heavenly father who loves you more than anyone. In this sense you are as much of a trophy as your wife, as God brought you to her.
The word “cherish” means “hold dear, esteem, honor, value.” On our wedding day, God honored you with a crown jewel.
Author and speaker John Eldridge states, “Not every woman wants a battle to fight, but every woman wants to be fought for. Listen to the longing of a woman’s heart: She wants to be more than noticed—she wants to be wanted.”
Proverbs 31:10-11 says, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her.”
Jewels are meant to shine, to be honored, to be cherished. If you are a married man, then God has given you a gift perfectly suited for you. Your quest is to grow in your love for her. Cherishing your wife is not an option.
Someone has said that woman’s countenance is the window into her marriage. A woman who is being cherished will glow. It’s our role as husbands to keep the shine on her countenance.
Desiring Your Wife
The woman in the Song of Solomon sings, “I am my beloveds and his desireis for me” (7:10). Presumably this couple has been married a while and yet the husband is pictured desiring his wife.
This Hebrew word for desire is found in only two other places in Scripture: Genesis 3:16 and 4:7. In both instances, “desire” is used to connote a powerful, and ongoing, passion.
Solomon constantly desires, or cherishes, his wife, and she knows it. She feels like his prized trophy. As husbands, what should we constantlydesire about our wives? Her beauty for one thing.
If you have a daughter perhaps she’s modeled a new fluffy dress for mom and dad. She wants to be special, a princess with beauty above all others, the one desired by the prince.
It’s not unusual for a teenage girl to desire to be the only one at the party or the dance wearing her particular dress, standing apart from her peers.
The central focus of any wedding is never the groom, it’s the bride. In most respects, it is her special day.
Even when cultural norms relating to the role and agency of men and women are changing, one constant remains—most women want to be cherished for their beauty. The fashion industry is a testimony to this. It is driven to provide clothing that makes women feel special and beautiful.
Husband, it is a safe bet to assume your wife wants to feel beautiful, special, the one woman set apart above all others. Does she know you desire her as much as ever, especially as age and stress of life affects her body?
Loving Your Wife’s Character
You didn’t conquer Everest on your wedding day. You just made it to base camp. That was the easy part. Anyone can have a wedding, few can sustain a marriage.
The climb to the top is ahead. Building a marriage that lasts a lifetime is the real Everest.
Cherishing your wife includes loving her character.
In Proverbs 31:10-31, we see a woman of remarkable quality, beloved by her husband and respected for her gifts. Her contributions are valued by her husband, family and community.
The whole passage compliments her internal beauty—her character. As a fellow creature made in the image of the Creator, you are to seek out and encourage her as the person God made her to be.
You are called to understand how she thinks—what motivates and excites her, what concerns and discourages her.
Peter exhorts husbands, “you husbands should live with your wives in understanding. . . so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, italics added).
The word for “understanding” is “according to knowledge.” Men need to be students of their wives. The verse ends with a warning. If we neglect our wives, God may tarnish our prayers.
In your wife lies the most cherished gift any man could be blessed to have, to be valued above all other women and any other gifts.
Your challenge is to live up to the responsibilities that will continue to make your wife shine and stay in the forefront of your life, never to be tarnished or diminished.
Are you cherishing your wife in all aspects of who she is?
- Ask your wife, “Do you feel as cherished today as when we first started dating?”
- Ask your wife if there is anything you used to do before or early on the marriage that you have neglected.
- When was the last time you complimented your wife on her radiance and features without having ulterior motives?
- What are your wife’s passions, pursuits, pleasures? Do you know what frustrates her? Have you made her dreams your dreams? Are you cherishing your wife?