Updated: Oct 5
Generosity: The Power of Graciously Giving to Your Spouse
In the previous posts on boundaries and accountability, I confessed my bad habit of letting my car run out of gas. What I didn’t tell you was that I did the same thing with changing the oil- i.e., I didn’t do it (insert SMH emoji here). You can imagine just how many times I was stranded on the side of the road.
My poor car.
Thank goodness for the “emergency cell phone” kept in my glove compartment. I’d use it to call my dad, apologize for neglecting my car maintenance again, and he would drive to the rescue. More times than I can count, he graciously gave his time, attention, and forgiveness to make sure his teenage daughter was safe… and not stranded.
My poor dad.
It wasn’t until he said, “Next time this happens, don’t call me,” that I finally took responsibility for my car maintenance (after a couple more times of neglecting it... which resulted in meeting an NFL player and riding in the back of a stranger’s van… insert SMH emoji here!!).
Just like our cars, we must take care of our spouse. We cannot ignore the gas gauge on E or the check engine light; those are indicators that our car (and our marriage) will not function properly if we keep neglecting it!
Instead of waiting for the warnings, we need to give generously.
When we freely and generously pour our energy into loving our spouse- and do it in service to God- we will never burn out.
God’s Word says it is true.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about giving.
In God’s kingdom, it is better to give than to receive.
Read the following passages that say it is so.
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Read that again. Do not miss the blessing in it!
For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. Another translation says it this way: The amount you give will determine the amount you get back (NLT).
Give generously, receive abundantly.
If this is a new thought, we invite you to listen to How to Practically Apply the Bible to Marriage: The Sermon on the Mount (Part 3) :: [Ep. 83]
Too many of us are running on empty because we merely give one drop at a time (if this is hitting home, listen to this podcast from Tracy). We give only when our spouse needs it, instead of generously and lavishly.
Remember, when we freely pour into that which fulfills, we will never burn out.
Proverbs 11:24-25 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Blessings abound when we give generously.
This is how it is in God’s economy.
When we go outside of God’s boundaries- being stingy and selfish- we burn out quickly. That’s when we think I have nothing left to give. But withholding in hopes that it will change our spouse makes us only suffer in want.
Remember God’s promise: Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
THIS IS NOT A TRANSACTION with your spouse. GOD will satisfy, sustain, and fulfill you, even if your spouse does not.
Don't make your actions and giving dependent on what your spouse does or does not do for you!!
In Luke 21:1-4, a poor widow gives all she has in the temple collection box. When Jesus sees this, He says, …this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them, For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.
This is what our marriage requires: giving all that we have- generously and without condition- to show love for our spouse the way Christ loved us.
Do you ever feel justified in withholding because you are “poor” (your spouse isn’t giving generously)? This is how marriages end up on E, stalled on the side of the road.
Just like the poor widow, God sees you (listen to this podcast episode for great encouragement on that very thing!) giving even when your spouse isn’t.
Take heart, He will bless you in your faithful generosity!
Vow to change: an encouraging call to action
Ask yourself (and your spouse) the following questions, writing down answers to each one.
This week, how have I withheld giving love based on my spouse’s actions?
In what ways have I made sharing the gifts God has given me conditional (i.e., my spouse has to earn my generosity)?
Where do I need to be generous (and why)? Back it up with Scripture.
Create practical questions for your accountability partner to ask you, keeping in line with God’s boundaries and economy in which it is better to give than receive.
Go and GIVE FREELY WITH RECKLESS ABANDON!!!
Check it out
Knowing God’s design for marriage and the roles He calls us to fill is helpful and important as we generously give to our spouse. Read the next post, How Fulfilling Your Role Can Change Your Marriage, to learn more about your role as husband or wife.