Treasure. Pirates searched for it. Scavenger’s scour oceans for it. Bruno Mars sang about it. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote about it. Jesus taught about it.
The simple definition of “treasure” is “something that is very special, important, or valuable.” When one finds a treasure they are overjoyed and it triggers specific responses from the finder toward their treasure.
In the pages of the Bible God called the nation of Israel his “treasured possession.” (Deuteronomy 26:18) In speaking about investing in the things of God Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)
When did you last think of your spouse as your “treasure?” Jesus’ words about your heart following your treasure apply to marriage as well. You will fall more deeply in love with your spouse as as you learn to treat them like your treasure!
Here are five ways to treat your spouse like treasure:
1. See your spouse through God’s eyes
If you struggle to see your spouse as your “treasure,” then begin with a prayer like this: “Father, please open my eyes to see and appreciate anew all of the wonderful things you see in my mate. Help me to dwell on the good and learn to love them with the love that you’ve shown me through Jesus. Amen.”
In fact, that would be a great prayer for all of us who are married to pray every day! Try it and see what God does in your heart.
2. Show honor and respect to your spouse
When we treasure someone we treat them with value. Marriage expert Dr. Gary Smalley uses the illustration of an old violin. If he handed it to you and said he found it at an auction you would treat it casually. But if he said it was a Stradivarius worth $1 million, you would hold it with awe and respect. Value matters.
Your spouse is more valuable than a Stradivarius. Celebrate them. Recognize their accomplishments at home or at work. Remember their birthday and special anniversary dates (use your smartphone to remember!). Be thoughtful of what they enjoy. Do things that will communicate value and worth to them.
3. Look out for your spouse
When someone has a car or motorcycle they love, they take care of it. They park it further out in the parking lot. It gets cleaned carefully and maintained regularly. When walking away from the car or bike, the owner will often look over their shoulder simply enjoying how their vehicle looks—and they do so with pride!
When someone treats their spouse like a treasure, they take care of them. They protect them from gossip and from others misunderstanding them. They speak of them in the highest of terms. They seek to serve their spouse proactively in little ways that are meaningful—a back rub or foot rub, a favorite meal, a card or gift. Think right now about how you can treat your spouse like a treasure. What might communicate your care for them?
4. Gaze as one in love
Life is so busy and distracting these days that we are usually looking at a screen (phone, tablet, computer, TV). Eye contact is critical in communicating to your spouse that they matter.
Take time to look gently into your spouse’s eyes for a while. Do you see joy? Sadness? Anticipation or fear? Your spouse needs to see gentleness, longing, interest and care from your eyes. Even a flirty sparkle in your eye can go a long way in letting them know that they are attractive and special to you!
5. Express to others your delight
Your love for your spouse comes out when you talk about them to others. Tell people the positive things about your spouse—character qualities or accomplishments. Say these things when your spouse is present so they can hear your delight in who they are.
Don’t be afraid to hold hands, walk arm in arm, put your arms around each other or give a kiss in public. Those little expressions of public affection shout to the world that you two belong together!
What have you and your spouse done to show that you are treasured? Take positive steps forward in treasuring your spouse as your build your marriage!