Afterwards the Lord asked Cain, “Where is Abel?” “How should I know?” he answered. “Am I supposed to look after my brother?” – Genesis 4:9
How hard is it in a relationship to play second fiddle to the person who you feel should be the second fiddle?
Relationships are rather fluid as opposed to hierarchical and it is our failure to see them in this light. As a result there are traits that show up and behaviours we exhibit that are not part of our normal being when there is a shift in perceived power.
Husbands and wives have different natures – some God framed to lead, others He fashioned into different vessels of precious gold or silver and others He gave gifts in the abilities to create and build. The idea is that He created them all and they are, technically, all brothers and sisters, with no one outranking the other, but gifted for the roles and purposes that suit that giftedness.
God created us not to be as individual persons to stand on our own and muddle through by ourselves. God created us to be people, to journey together, to support and cherish one another amidst the trials and joys of life. God created us with unique talents and abilities, for no one person can do everything, but together there is nothing that we can’t achieve.
Cherishing is a unique attitude that supersedes the day-to-day roles that each of us have for indeed it is an attitude of thankfulness that creates the ability to cherish. To cherish means that I want to look out for you and by the way, there is no one else in the world who will look out for you more than I will.
In my case, am I supposed to look after my wife?
As I nourish myself, meeting my material and spiritual needs, I am looking after my wife as well because she is part of me. I am to nourish her as I nourish myself.
The word cherish in Greek means, “to cuddle, or to warm, or to heat.’ My wife needs my love and needs me to meet her physical and spiritual needs. My wife has needs only that I can meet. She is a part of me.
Have you ever met a couple who have lost one of their partners through death? Have you sensed a deep love even though years may have passed by? That is a couple who learned how to cherish each other, that is the kind of love that cherishing creates.
In the Name of God, I, Erwin, take you, Ann-Marie, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.