Nourish and Cherish

Ephesians 5:29. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church;”

It takes a lot of time and dedication to create a bonsai tree. It needs just the right light, just the right soil; it needs to be trimmed and clipped and shaped, and sometimes it takes years before a tree like this little beauty will blossom.

I spoke with a client last night whose husband is neglecting her. He socializes without her, never inviting her to go with him. He expects her to do all the housework, take care of seven dogs, a cat, and a horse. She pays the bills. He wants his last meal of the day to be at 4 p.m. but she doesn’t get home from work until 6. She’s supposed to figure it out. And yes, she works a fulltime job. While he is busy nourishing and cherishing himself, she is dying of neglect.

Nourish: to feed in order to promote growth and health. To provide an atmosphere that  builds her spiritually and every other way.

Cherish: To love, as a precious thing that can never be replaced. To dote upon. To care for even at the cost of sacrificing one’s own needs.

That’s how Christ loves the church.

That’s how a wise, godly husband loves his wife.

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6 thoughts on “Nourish and Cherish

  1. Sometimes I am astounded at words in the Bible such as this scripture you have quoted, for there are many people who hate themselves in our modern society and do not take good care of themselves or others. Makes me wonder how our culture really differs in thought and deed from so many years ago. We think we are more “evolved” now, but I wonder. Just as Jesus spoke of “who would hide his light under a basket,” again there are plenty of us that do these kinds of perverse things for various reasons from fear of others jealousy to just plain ignorance.

    1. Unless we are dealing with true pathology, real mental illness, I have found in my 15+ years of counseling that most people don’t really suffer from self-hatred as much as they do from a sense that others don’t value them as they should. Depression often stems from a sense of having been wronged, wrongfully treated, neglected, not valued. We turn inward, and then we fail to care for our physical needs as we should. But the truth is, most of us do what we need to do to care for our own bodies. It is the exception, not the rule, when a person deteriorates due to self-neglect. Is that more widespread now than in centuries past? I really don’t know. I do know that there have always been those who were designated as “the village idiot,” or who were consigned to attics or cellars and kept hidden from view; there were also horrendous “hospitals” for the supposedly insane. Evil has always been with us.

      1. I actually come from “disobedient” unbelieving parents that were truly evil acting. I do believe the only reason that I was the only one to escape substance abuse and managed to become a active member of my society is that I lived with a Christian Aunt until I was 5 and spent weekends with her until age 7 when she passed suddenly from a Cancer she did not know she had. I believe that being raised in the Word truly can make you an overcomer because you know the truth. My poor siblings acted pretty horrible most of their lives doing anything and everything they could to destroy themselves and others. I used to believe I was mixed up in the hospital most of my childhood. Through the years I have spoken and worked with most of them to understand why they think they way they do, even if some cannot seem to control their drinking or other issues. They know they are loved and I will do what I can for them. I am always careful around my family because I get the feeling from some that the kinder I am to them, the more they hate or resent me. There is a “meme” on Facebook I saw that said, “Never correct a fool or he will hate you; correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.” Sadly my parents had the problem of not listening to anyone or wanting their help and this is what stops people from getting where they need to be in life. My brothers are unbelievers as well even though they can see a believer’s life is very different.

      2. You certainly have a story to tell. I agree with you that the influence of your godly aunt probably saved you from going down the same path as your siblings. So sad.

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