Cherish a happy marriage via emotional nourishment
If cherishing is an attitude, nourishing is an action. It’s the behavior that flows from a willful decision to prioritize your marriage and regard your spouse as the most important person in your life. The relevant question here is, “If I really treasure you and value you as a person, what am I going to do about it? How can I not only play an active role in protecting and preserving the qualities I admire in you, but actually help stimulate their growth and development?”
A thriving marriage requires nourishment in maintaining love… / Pix: FamilyGoodThings.com
Nourishing, in other words, is the process of making your spouse feel loved and cherished. It’s about caring for him or her as a wise gardener cares for and tends a patch of vegetables or flowers—watering, weeding, and feeding as required. It’s based on a conscious resolution to identify your spouse’s strengths and find creative ways to stimulate them, draw them out, and enhance them. It means coming alongside your partner in moments of weakness, speaking uplifting words, and offering needed support. It’s a matter of encouraging one another daily, understanding that death and life are in the power of what you say, and remembering that a few simple words are all it takes to give your spouse the strength to go out and do what needs to be done.
In short, to nourish is to discover your mate’s “love language” and learn how to speak it. It’s to build him or her up in active, practical ways. The crucial thing to bear in mind is that none of this happens automatically. It involves an investment of time and energy. It’s a project that has to be undertaken intentionally. After all, there is no such thing as “cruise control” in marriage. Try This! Take notice of what your spouse is doing well, and intentionally tell them that they’re doing a good job, or that you appreciate it. Show your appreciation through kind words or rewards (foot rubs, small gifts, a kiss on the cheek). Soon you’ll find that your spouse will show you such strong love in return!
This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources at: www.family.org.my.