What does it mean to nourish your spouse? Listen as Focus on the Family’s Dr. Greg Smalley fields questions on building healthy, God-centered marriages.
Webster’s dictionary defines nourish as “to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition.” In a marriage, that can look many different ways depending on the temperament of your spouse. Greg explains,
“You have to have that servant’s mindset. If I’m really going to get good at nourishing my wife it’s going to start because I am willing to be a servant. great marriage is made up of two servants who are trying to out-serve each other. When [Jesus] talks to me as a husband He’s telling to me to love my spouse as Christ loved the Church.”
Greg identifies two key terms that factor into the nourish discussion:
Serve: Look for ways to alleviate and love the other person
Sacrifice: Do it at the most inconvenient of times
Greg explains how he stepped in and started doing the dishes for his wife Erin – a task she never liked to do. Even though Greg didn’t enjoy it either, he had a change of heart. “I realized that I need to do that before I go to bed as a way to serve her.” He started gathering and washing the dishes each night, not because he enjoyed it, but because he chose to serve in a sacrificial way to demonstrate love for Erin.
Greg says, it boils down to a key question: “What do I do that makes you feel loved?” He also exhorts husbands to read the book of Hosea, where God models how to care for your spouse in His detailed pursuit of the nation of Israel.