“There can be no solid work inside or outside marriage without worship. There will be no long-term cherishing of our spouses until we are first cherished by God.”
Since becoming engaged, I’ve delved more into marriage books in hopes of:
1) encountering helpful truths about being wed and
2) retaining all the gems of advice given by Christians until and beyond the day I become a wife.
It’s been a scholarly, intriguing literary journey. I’m grateful for the richness of wisdom and artistry we have in the Church.
A few months back, I read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. I just finished another book of his, Cherish, which is a complement to Sacred Marriage. Each book focuses on a key element of marital life. Sacred Marriage discusses God’s intention for marriage to make us holy above making us happy—how we love our spouses in a reflection of Christ and the church. Cherish completes the oft-recited duo of “to love and to cherish” by focusing on treasuring our spouses to reap the abundant riches of marriage—again a reflection of the abundant life found in Christ.
If Sacred Marriage is similar to a fine steak—a study of foundational love that holds marriage together—Cherish is the rich, red wine that wonderfully complements it. Marriages can survive without cherishing, but they can’t thrive.
Thomas’s exhortation to Christian married couples to cherish their spouses is rooted in the Biblical principle of Christ-like service. In submitting to, considering, being grateful for, and honoring one’s spouse, a man or woman will find heightened blessing and delight in that spouse. To cherish, we must be plugged into Jesus, who cherished us before we were at all lovable. Teaching from this foundation, Gary Thomas pens a relational, humorous, and spiritually deep message that includes bottom-line beliefs and daily strategies that aid our journeys toward cherishing.
I listened to the audiobook, which is about 5 hours. The author narrates this recording, and he’s emotive and enjoyable throughout. Overall, I’d give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Cherish is full of spiritual insights and digs to the heart of the reasons married couples don’t cherish one another. It also includes practical advice to integrate Scriptural statutes into one’s everyday life. I’d recommend it to people preparing to get married or who are already married.
What’s the most helpful book on relationships or marriage you’ve ever read? Leave it in the comments below!