If reports about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to be believed, a relationship that began with adultery ended with adultery, proving one timeless truth:
It doesn’t matter how beautiful, rich, or famous the couple is.
A wife still wants to be cherished by her husband.
There is something innate within us that makes us long to be like Adam to our wives—the only man in the world—or like Eve to our husbands—the only woman in the world. When a woman walks into the room where her husband is, she wants to appear in living color, while everyone else fades to black-and-white.
He has everything, it would seem, to make him a satisfying husband except for the fact that if a man doesn’t know how to cherish one woman, maintain his affection for one woman, and keep his focus on one woman, nothing else matters.
Cherishing is a choice even more than it’s an affection, but once unleashed, it becomes a perpetual emotion machine, generating the feelings and creating an inexplicable bond.
I put it this way: the more I cherish my spouse, the more I cherish my spouse. When I act in a cherishing way, it fosters affection. That affection inspires more action, which cultivates yet more affection, and on it goes.
And I’m speaking as a man who has been married to one woman for over thirty years.
When you read that ancient, erotic love story, “The Song of Songs,” you peruse the words of a man overwhelmed with his passion and desire for his wife. She is, to him, the only woman in the world, without compare.
Yet this same woman mentions how she is not classically beautiful, begging her friends not to look down on her because she falls outside the stereotypical “norm” for ancient glamor. Which proves that cherishing is in the eye of the beholder. The woman may not appear so marvelous to other men, but the way she makes her husband feel is real and she is, at that moment, to him, the only woman in the world.
In one sense, Brad Pitt has more going for him than just about any man alive.
He has been immortalized in songs and popular culture as almost a cliché: “Well, I may not look like Brad Pitt, but…” His income is decidedly in the top one percent. He has a glamorous lifestyle and even interesting hobbies like architecture. And the parties he gets invited to? Red carpet city. He has everything, it would seem, to make him a satisfying husband except for the fact that if a man doesn’t know how to cherish one woman, maintain his affection for one woman, and keep his focus on one woman, nothing else matters.
A woman wants to be cherished.
We men can’t always make our hair grow like Brad’s. Most of us will never make it onto the silver screen, be invited onto a red carpet, drive around in a black limousine, or fill a white tuxedo quite the way Brad does.
But we can choose to cherish our wives. We can learn to hold them not only as special, but as unique, the sole object of our romantic affections. For many women, that’s enough. And for many women, if that is lacking, nothing else will make up for it.
It all comes back to cherish.
Gary Thomas is Writer in Residence (and serves on the teaching team) at Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas and author of 18 books that have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into a dozen languages. His newest book Cherish releases on Jan. 10, 2017.