The marriage vows include the phrase “to love, honor and cherish…” but what does cherish actually mean? Listen as Dr. Greg Smalley returns to unpack this oft-quoted but sometimes misunderstood word.

Webster’s dictionary defines cherish as “to hold dear; to keep or cultivate with care or affection; to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.” When your spouse steps on your toes, hurts your feelings, or neglects the marriage, it can be hard to focus on the good in your relationship. Greg offers a few thoughts to get us started.

“Cherishing simply means we are recognizing the value that’s there. Just because I don’t see it, it doesn’t mean my wife has lost her value. God calls [my wife] His glorious inheritance. This person who I live with, who I committed my life to is in fact, according to God, an extremely valuable person.”

Practical tips:

• Stay curious about your spouse

• Captivate your spouse

• Keep a running list of what you appreciate, admire, and respect about the person you’ve married – in Greg’s words, “Grab a sheet and a pen and really think about it.”

• Regularly thank God for your husband or wife

“In Proverbs 31:28-29 it says that her children rise up and call her blessed, and her husband praises her. This has to start with recognition. The God of this universe made your spouse in His image. I don’t care what’s happened; it doesn’t change how truly valuable they are; if you want to inject change in your marriage you can start by reacquainting yourself with your spouse. The idea of rediscovering each other – that’s value. Start today.”

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 5:29

Featured Songs: Love Take Me Over by Steven Curtis Chapman; Live to Praise You by Lincoln Brewster; Press On by Mandisa

Highlight : Cherishing a husband versus cherishing a wife

How to “cherish”