#6 Tip for a Thriving Marriage - Cherish

Common wisdom says that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” whereas “familiarity breeds contempt.”  The implication is that the longer two people stay together, the easier they will find it to become bored with one another and take one another for granted.  Couples who want to maintain a vibrant marriage need to take steps to counteract this tendency in human nature.  You can fight back by learning to cherish your mate.

The English word cherish is derived from the Latin carus and the French cher, both of which mean something like “precious.”  To cherish is to “hold dear.”  It is to regard someone or something as a treasure.  This comes naturally to those who are caught up in the first flush of youthful romantic love.  But feelings can fade over time, and when that happens, cherishing can only survive and thrive if it graduates to a higher level.  It needs to be lifted out of the realm of mere emotion and transformed into a steady, consistent attitude.  In other words, it has to become an intentional act of the will.

Exactly how is this accomplished?  The answer is simple:  by remembering.  When life becomes comfortable, familiar, and routine, most of us get complacent.  We forget the blessings we’ve received.  We lose the ability to appreciate and cherish the benefits that have brought us to our present position.

The same principle holds true in marriage.  Thriving couples intentionally treasure and honor one another, and they do it by keeping a conscious account of the things they value about their relationship.  This is most effectively achieved by preserving precious memories and embodying reminders of ongoing blessings in a tangible, physical way—for example, by keeping a journal or writing down a list of the qualities you love and admire most in your spouse (and sharing it with him or her as opportunities arise).  It’s also important to take time out to celebrate anniversaries and other significant marital milestones.  These occasions can be enhanced by the giving of special gifts—for example, a ring or a pendant—intended to commemorate special events in a couple’s life.

Try This! Get a note book and write down all the things that you love and appreciate about your spouse throughout the year. Make it a point for BOTH of you to do it. On your wedding anniversary, take out this list and share it with one another. Watch sparks fly and love float!

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