Act Before You Feel

Posted: November 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

I was recently asked what do I do to keep my relationship with my wife fresh? A list of things immediately came to mind- take her out of town, by her some new clothes, flowers, date her. But as I thought about all of these things I realized that the foundation is simply cherishing my wife.

The dictionary defines cherish as “to regard or treat as dear; to care for tenderly; to nurture”. In other words, the idea of cherish is to treat as precious and special. It’s counter intuitive, but I’ve found in my experience that when the feelings have run out, if I want them to return I can’t wait for them to come back, I must act first and then I feel. If I want that fire that burned in my soul the first day I saw Korie to return, I have to treat her as precious and valuable now.

One of the main curses of Adam and Eve’s sin is that things naturally spiral downward. Gardens will inevitably grow weeds. Our bodies require more and more attention as the years go by if we’re going to stay in some semblance of shape. And in our relationships what started out as a nauseating kind of love is bound to slowly deflate. But God offered Adam and Eve a remedy. He tells them that even though sin has caused all of creation to spiral downward, that if they wanted to see some sort of beauty and order they could, but it would only come by the sweat of their brow. They would have to learn how to cultivate, and work hard.

Relationships require constant work. Of course they do, they’re a proposition between two very flawed people. Feelings ebb and flow. The flame of romance flickers. Other people may catch your eye, however momentary it may be. Our relationships are a garden that starts out immaculate, but if not tended to properly can become over run by weeds. Yet here’s the problem, many people are just not willing to put in the work; they want to feel before they act. Speaking in sociological terms you and I both know that people who wait to feel before they actually do something are emotional teenagers at best. I guess that’s why marriage is for grown folks. I tell my three boys all the time that manhood is doing what you ought to do even when you don’t feel like doing it. I ought to cherish my wife and treat her as the jewel she is. It’s when I do this that the flower of love and romance blooms in my life.

When a person is sitting by the fireplace and they notice that the fire is about to go out, they don’t sit around hoping that the logs will suddenly ignite. Instead they get up and tend to those logs, exerting effort as they poke and prod, cultivating a fire. So it is with marriage. If you feel as if the fire is about to go out, don’t sit there hoping and waiting. Do something. Act.

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