Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nourish and Cherish

True, unconditional love is evident when the happiness, health, and spiritual growth of
another person are as important to you as your own. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church” (Ephesians 5:29 NASB). It is not selfish or self-centered to nourish and cherish our own bodies; it is a natural, healthy love of self. True love means to nourish and cherish another just as we naturally do for ourselves.

To nourish means to nurture toward growth and maturity. For example, to nurture a plant or flower in your garden, you provide all the sun, water, and plant food it needs to grow tall and become fruitful. In a similar way, nurturing that special someone in your life means to provide for his or her growth and maturity by meeting needs, just as you make sure your own needs are met.

To cherish means to protect from harm. Picture a mother bird spreading her wings over her babies to shield them from bad weather or danger. Cherishing your special friend means protecting him or her from all harm, just as you take precautions to protect yourself from dangers of any kind.

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