• Darrell & Robin MacLearn

Do You Remember Your Wedding Vow to Cherish Your Spouse?

Exercise Overview

Each day send 3 cherish sprints to your spouse and once per week make a public cherish proclamation. We explain cherish and this exercise in more depth in the deeper dive section below. However, cherish sprints are quick words of adoration, admiration, and affirmation. They are statements that say, “I value you” & “I affirm you.” They lift up and proclaim the treasure you have found in your spouse.

Cardio Love and Respect are the Cardio aspects of marriage. They are the heart and lungs of the marriage granting and sustaining life. A strong heart and lungs carry the blood and breath that nourish all parts of the body. 

You want to give life to your marriage. This exercise fills the lungs and gets the blood flowing. It will do more in a few minutes each day for your marriage than hours at the gym for your body. This is one of those exercises where you can watch the trans-formation take place in your marriage and watch your spouse come alive. Keep in mind that not all change is immediate especially if it is a new practice for you and your partner. Of the 3-5 reps per day try and mix it up: 

  • Send an affirming text

  • Give a short cherishing phone call

  • Look him/her in the eyes and say it

  • Make it public (weekly)

Love and CHERISH! Commitments we all made and most of us have never thought about. For many, our vows are like most documents we “read” and sign. Robin and I are buying a house right now and have just gone through the piles of papers to sign and for the most part, we glance at, trust our realtor, pray, and sign. That is how most couples approach their wedding vows. We hear the words, and they have become so familiar that they are quotable but we don’t stop to really think about and understand what we are saying and signing our life, “till death do us part,” away.

In other blogs, we will be breaking down the traditional wedding vows but here we want to focus on the phrase, “Love and Cherish” and hang out for a minute on cherishing.

What does it mean that we will cherish? And from a guy's perspective, we don’t dwell on that word much as it has a more feminine ring to it. And yet it is what I committed to and signed my name to. I promised to cherish Robin until I take my last breath.

Cherish is defined as follows:

  • To protect and care for (someone) lovingly.

  • To hold something dear.

The synonyms are as follows:

  • adore, hold dear, love, care very much for, feel great affection for, dote on, be devoted to, revere, esteem, admire, appreciate, 

  • treasure, prize, value highly.

Think about these synonyms and your spouse and your greatest possessions.

  • Do you treasure your spouse like you do your hot rod?

  • Do you talk about your spouse to your friends like you do your latest gadget?

  • Do you adore him?

  • Do you dote on her?

  • Do you admire him?

  • Do you treat him/her like a highly valued prize?

That is what it means to cherish.

Think about that hot rod you restored. Even when it wasn’t all that, you saw something great and invested time and energy into fixing it up because you saw value in it even when it wasn’t there. You treasured it. And when it was all fixed up you protected it with your life. You wiped it down with a diaper, parked it in a safe place, and were even willing to go out of your way and walk a bit because you loved it so much. You wouldn’t dare let anyone else mistreat it. Are you getting the picture? Not hard to cherish in the early days of our marriage but then she gets a scratch, and there is a little wear and tear and pretty soon the shine has worn off and we stop cherishing. In fact, in many marriages, we do the opposite of cherishing and actually scratch and dent him. Our cutting words, belittling statements, critical comments, and contemptuous attacks all damage our treasure we promised to cherish. Some repairs may need to be made. Cherishing words can begin to restore the damage. What does cherishing your spouse look like practically speaking?  Do we treasure her…

...Like we treasure “her?”

Feeling cherished may look a little different for each person and you may need to ask. That’s ok, ASK!  We did and here is our list of what feeling cherished looks like for each of us.


  • To not be made to feel stupid. It is little comments that make me feel stupid. “Asked and answered,” (I hear STUPID). You may be right but I certainly don’t feel cherished in those moments.

  • Words of affirmation that make me feel like what I do matters. The thank you’s for working so hard when you know that it is a daily chore to get up and go.

  • When I come home and you’re glad I’m there and not because you need me to do something but because you want to be with me. The immediate greetings when I walk in.

  • Feeling wanted

  • When you publicly build me up and value what I do

  • When you get up early and make me breakfast even though I could do it myself and you could get a little extra sleep. You know what it means to me and you do it with joy.

  • When we talk and you listen and we share ideas together


  • When you say, “I love you” and add the weighted statement of “Very much” or “So much” – it is the intentional not the obligatory.

  • When you share my blog and say nice things about it or comment on it. It is affirming and supportive.

  • When you remember things on your own. When you do things like giving me a gift on Mother’s day, unlike times in the past when you didn’t give me anything because I wasn’t your mother. Special days: when you make the effort to get me something. Not so much about the actual gift but in those instances you actually took the time, thought, effort and planning.

  • When you call me during the day it tells me you are thinking of me. The difference is dramatic now as opposed to other times in our relationship when you never called or touched base with me for entire weekends when you were away. I’m on your mind and you are thinking of me and you want to connect with me.

  • It is the thoughtful things. Like when you get up to get a snack and you simply ask if I want something. I just want to be asked. Being thought of and being asked is what makes me feel valued. We would ask if there was a guest in our house. We often don’t treat each other as well as a guest.

Notice how our lists are different. Maybe you need to ask and then CHERISH! I know this with certainty. If you simply value your spouse like you would value a prized possession or treasure you can’t fail at cherishing your spouse. How would you treat that prized possession?

How do you guard your partner? Guard It!

Does your spouse “feel” guarded by you?

How do you protect your partner? Protect It!

Does your spouse “feel” protected by you?

How do you show off your treasured partner?  Show It Off! Does your spouse “feel” like you show them off?

You may think you cherish your spouse, but the proof is in the pudding so to speak. If they don’t feel treasured maybe it is time to rethink your methodology.

We would love to hear from you in the comments below What are some ways you feel cherished by your spouse? What are some ways you wish your spouse would cherish you? What are some things your spouse does that make you feel un-cherished? How do you intentionally cherish your spouse? Does your spouse feel cherished by you?

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