This is the time of year we typically think about giving gifts. Generosity is both a spiritual principle (2 Corinthians 9:6-15), and a spiritual gift (Romans 12:6-8). But generosity and giving goes far beyond money and material things. In a healthy, Christ-centered marriage, sacrificial giving is a part of your covenant relationship. It is not about making sure your mate regularly gets elaborate or expensive gifts. Rather, it is giving of yourself in order to bless your mate and bless your union.
When you give sacrificially of yourself, a couple powerful things happen.
- First, you build intimacy. Your time and your presence are the most powerful, precious resources that you have. They are the one thing that no one else can decide how you will use them, and no one else can give them for you. When you give those to your mate, you build an intimate oneness that is uniquely yours as a couple.
- Second, you build trust. When you give of yourself to your spouse, you open yourself up to a level of vulnerability —emotionally, socially, intellectually, spiritually, and physically— that should only be shared with your mate. You tell him/her “I am putting my whole being— the good, the bad, my fears, my joys, all of who I am —into your hands. I know you can hurt me, but I trust that you won’t.”
It’s always easier to be stingy, to withhold and refuse to share. It can give the illusion of being safe, being in control. But the more you give to your mate, the more you will see the positive benefits it brings to your marriage relationship, and the more it will lead you to an even greater generosity. Blessings generate more blessings.When you give, be careful not to let your giving become expectations of something in return. If you only give for what you expect to get back, that is not love, that is manipulation. Give. Give to your mate. Give to your mate freely and fully. Throughout the Christmas season, and throughout your marriage, blessed are those who give.