Do You Look Like You Are Married?

Do You Act Like It?

Is That Good?





One day I was watching couples at the mall. There are all kinds of couples, did you know? Now we’re going to play a game. Tell me what you think.

Here’s a couple engrossed with each other, absent from their surroundings, laughing, teasing, smiling, and enjoying each other more than they enjoy the mall.

Now, watch closely. Couple number two heads our way … walking, shopping, slightly bored. Griping. Looking in windows. Frowning. Going into shops and browsing. Splitting up to meet back somewhere.

Which one of these couples is married?

Is this good? Why or why not? Is part of it normal? Is marriage the antidote for romance?

It’s not completely normal because if there’s not that romance part, one or the other will be tempted. But it goes beyond romance. One man says that being friends is a vital part of staying together. According to him:

“To be friends with your mate means:

     * You respect her.

* You treat her like your equal when your upbringing and your own selfish ways try to convince you otherwise.

* You talk about how you feel and think about the good and bad of your life together.

* You even risk conflict by being more honest than you are comfortable with because it builds intimacy into your marriage.

* You plan and dream together because life is too complicated to just wing it.

In other words, you treat your partner like your ‘best’ friend.”  John Marshall

You can flip it and say that it’s just as important for the wife to act like this towards her husband. You work at friendship.

In 1966, a group called The Association” sang a mushy song from a frustrated young man who was in love with someone who didn’t return his love: “Cherish.”

“You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could

Mold you into someone who could

Cherish me as much as I cherish you.

And I do, cherish you.”

If our frustrated lover had snared the girl, I suspect he might have learned from the wisdom of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, when someone stole his fiancé, “Spock: ‘Stonn, she is yours. After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.’”

What Does Cherish Mean?

Real cherishing goes way beyond how my lover (also known as my wife) makes me feel. It’s what I have in my heart for her that makes me want to protect her and choose for her good. It inspires me to cultivate her friendship. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “cherish,” like this,

“a : to hold dear : feel or show affection for. “Cherished her friends.”

b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection : “Nurture cherishes his marriage.”

2 : to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely, “still cherishes that memory.”

Is that how you treat your spouse? Do you “nurture” that relationship? Do you work at it? Could you fool someone in the mall into thinking you’re not married when you’re walking with your wife?

Here’s “Cherish” according to the apostle Paul and Eugene Peterson.

“The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands …

No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband. (5:23, 29-33, Message)

You can choose to do that, you know. Choose to become friends with your spouse.

So, next time you go to the mall, go into the shoe store with her, sir. No, sorry. I won’t ask you to torture yourself. But, pay attention to her. Smile at her. Tease her. Buy her an ice cream cone. Wipe that frown off your face when she buys that new dress. Pretend you like it.

Cherish her. Cherish him. You probably don’t know what an incredible gift you have.


Hmmm …

A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner. Tim Keller



Recommended for you

Five Hints For Those Who Want To Guarantee a Divorce
1–Don’t work on your relationship.
2. Quit when it gets tough.
3. Go into marriage with the idea that your partner is there to make you happy.
4. And if you’re really serious about a divorce, here’s a hint. Work constantly to change the person you’re married to.
5. Move away from your close relationship with God

To read the story:

Three More Ways To Shoot Your Marriage In the Foot 

1.    Use sex as a tool to manipulate your partner.
2.    Here’s another bullet for your foot-shooting pistol: Be surprised when your life is like a romantic comedy.
3.    One more, in case you’ve missed your number 12’s on the first two– never pray with your spouse.

To read the story:

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