We can’t take credit for this idea. Gary Thomas, in his new book Cherish, does an outstanding job of explaining it by quoting Dr. John Gottman…
“…throughout each person’s day, one partner will make regular “bids” for the other’s attention. In our marriage, we could describe these bids as the question, “Do you still cherish me?”
“What the spouse does in response to these bids has a huge impact on marital connection and happiness.”
Gary Thomas goes on to further explain…
“…whenever my wife expresses an opinion, reads something interesting from the local paper, or makes an observation, I am either cherishing her or neglecting her. There is no middle ground here. Her bid is either met or rejected. Cherishing is expressed, or it’s not. Intimacy is built, or it is assaulted, even in the most mundane marital conversations.”
Intimacy is built by practicing this on a daily basis. But it’s not easy.
“If I looked at you every time you talked I’d never get anything done.”
At that point we knew we had work to do. I needed to work on the timing, and Tom needed to work on the listening.
But catching bids is not always about conversations that need to be shared, it’s also about sharing dreams and desires.
My son did this well as a new husband caring for his pregnant wife. It was late one night and he heard her mention how much she wanted something they didn’t have. Before she knew it he was out the door to purchase what she was craving. That’s cherishing! And that is how you build intimacy that not only lasts, but warms the heart and soul.
So this week let’s purpose to be bid catchers. Instead of lamenting the bids we’ve lost, we can win by catching each other’s bids and cherishing them in creative ways. You may be surprised how many you find. We love to hear your stories, so please come back and share your catches with us!