Monday, May 30, 2016

T.R.E.A.S.U.R.E. In Marriage: Guest Post by Warren Baldwin


Warren and his wife Cheryl live in West Kansas. They have a grown son and daughter and another daughter still at home. Warren and Cheryl have ministered with churches in Florida, Wyoming and Kansas. They have been married for 27 years. Warren's book, "Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and Other Gems from Proverbs"   is an inspirational journey from Proverbs and is on Amazon


Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Luke 12:34). Jesus applies this principle of treasure to spiritual things: if our
hearts are devoted to God and Christ, we can give up our earthly possessions for the good of others and the glory of the kingdom. In giving our hearts to heaven we place our treasure there: our time, energy and money. Everything we are and everything we have is devoted to the pursuit of heaven.

Dr. Debbie Cherry, a marriage counselor, applies this principle of "treasuring" very creatively to marriage. An experience common to all married couples is the waning of the warm glow of the wedding, honey moon, and first months in the new relationship. Anticipation, excitement and ecstasy give way to schedules, work and stress.

Quickly on the heals of stress come irritants to the relationship: irritability and criticism. Before we couldn't see any faults in our beloved; that may be all we see now. The treasure of marriage is diminishing and we become leery of investing more emotional energy into a relationship that is causing pain. Irritants may soon become major emotional injuries
that drive people to a divorce or a marriage counselor.

Dr. Cherry says that many couples find marital therapy a very negative experience. In fact, therapy can make troubled marriages worse. Why? It too often focuses on problems, hurts and other negatives. In her book, Discovering the Treasure of Marriage Dr. Cherry writes, "Unless I first help them (the troubled husband and wife) learn how to like each other again, they will not feel connected enough to each other and the marriage to work
on the negative aspects" If a couple can find what they cherished in their partner and genuinely like each other again, then they can reconnect and "being to look at, resolve, and forgive past hurts"(p.16).

Dr. Cherry teaches spouses to like each other again by teaching them to treasure their husband or wife. Each letter in the word T-R-E-A-S-U-R-E stands for positive thought or action we can take toward our spouse to give them our heart and value them in our own.

T = Think Positively about your husband or wife. Intentionally overlook irritating behaviors in him or her and focus attention on what is good.

R = Respect your spouse. To respect means to hold in high regard and treat with consideration and care.

E = Enjoy the company of your partner. "Rejoice in the wife (or husband) of your youth" (Prov. 5:18). Remember when pleasure and laughter was natural to the relationship? It can be again.

A = Attend to the needs of your spouse, serving them and offering genuine praise.

S = Shield your husband or wife from hurtful words and behaviors (maybe even from you). "Love always protects" (1 Cor. 13:7).

U = Understand your spouse's needs. Give the attention it takes to learn what those needs are. The golden rule for marriage is: "Do unto others as
they need you to do."

R = Romance your mate. Think about your spouse when you are apart and show love when you are together. When is the last date you had together?

E = Edify your partner. "Encourage one another and build each other up ..." (1 Thess. 5:11) ought to apply as much to marriage as any other
relationship! One way to edify is to show appreciation. (Pp.66-76)

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" means we have
control over where we place our affection. We have the power to decide to
give our husband or wife our positive energy. We can treasure them and our
hearts will follow. The joy and pleasure that characterized the early days
of our marriage can thrive today when we honor our spouse as treasure from
Heaven.


In what ways do you treasure your marriage?


This post first appeared in my former blog, The Writer Today.