Cherish: protect and care for (someone) lovingly; hold (something) dear
Love: an intense feeling of deep affection; feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone). Google dictionary
I’ve been happily married for over 18 years to my best friend and we dated for two years prior to that. We started out as friends and I’ve mentioned more than once on my blog how the first summer we were together, I didn’t know who I was dating since three of us hung around together and just got to know each other and have fun. The three included my now husband, his best friend who had a hand in arranging the blind date where we met and myself.
My husband has a wonderful way of making me feel cherished every single day which is very different from love, according to the above definitions. It’s the little things like backing my car into the driveway instead of pulling in so I can get out easier in the morning, bringing home my favorite flavor of coffee even though I have more than enough other coffee in the house to last me for a few months, to showing our kids how much he loves me by putting my needs before theirs (when appropriate), having my back when I’ve had to discipline, and planning activities he knows refresh me like taking hikes, cuddling on the couch or watching movies he probably wouldn’t sit through if he didn’t have me in his life.
It’s also the big things, such as scouring the internet to find the best and most healthy alternatives for our family because he cares what we put into our bodies, planning fun family getaways down to the last detail so we will all enjoy ourselves, helping me set up, execute and tear down garage sales without any complaint, and setting examples for our kids by doing the dirty work in the house instead of pawning it off on them in the name of “teaching responsibility”.
However, it’s not just in his actions that show me I’m cherished. It’s also in his words. He shows me unconditional love. Even when I’m exasperating and unrealistic and illogical at times (and trust me, I can be all of the above and then some), he shows patience and kindness and love with what he says and how he says it. We share inside jokes, family jokes, private jokes, and “just between us” jokes.
I’ve shared in the past how God has had me on a journey to learn how much He cherishes me and I believe one of the (many) blessings that has come out of my marriage is God uses my husband to show me in tangible ways a glimpse of how my Father loves me. While my husband can’t love me perfectly (and I can’t love him perfectly), he loves unconditionally very well. And it’s only taken me 18 years to fully accept and embrace that love because it’s taken me 40+ years to learn to fully embrace and accept God’s love. I always knew God loved me, but to feel cherished by God brings a whole new element to our relationship.
If you think we’ve never had disagreements or issues, come back tomorrow and I will show you how it’s still possible to be cherished in the midst of imperfection.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017