The gift of generosity is just that … a gift - the giving of something notable without compensation. There has been no greater demonstration of the gift of generosity than when God sent His son Jesus to this earth. When we think of generosity in the context of marriage, we typically envision a couple or a family being generous with others. But what would it look like if we were most generous to the one closest to us … to our spouse?
Generous With our Time
Oftentimes the rigor of family life and time demands feel like they limit us in being generous with our time. After a long day of work (inside and/or outside the home) and then caring for the physical needs of a family there just doesn’t seem to be any more hours in the day left to give. It is in these moments that I want to challenge you to dig deep and look to the Holy Spirit to empower you. Empower you to not just respond to requests made by your spouse to spend quality time together. But to initiate that quality time. Usually when I am most resistant is when quality time with my spouse is most needed. And when I respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, it is always a sweet encounter.
Generous With our Love
I feel like maybe this one seems to be a foregone conclusion. “They’re my spouse … of course I’m going to love them!” one might say. Then let’s go deeper. How generous are we in DEMONSTRATING that love to our spouse. No excuses. No “They know how I feel!” or “I tell them everyday I love them!” I mean truly doing a self evaluation. Taking inventory of how you demonstrate your love to them. The beauty of this idea is that it affords you the opportunity to observe and study your spouse. Learn what speaks to their very heart and makes them feel most loved. Then go and do it. Generously.
Generous With our Forgiveness
This one may potentially be the most challenging. Living under the same roof provides multiple opportunities on the daily for us to offend one another. Sometimes intentionally … sometimes unintentionally. Regardless of how you end up there, being in a place of hurt due to something your spouse did or failed to do is valid. This is why in Ephesians, when Paul instructs us to forgive others, he includes the reminder “as God in Christ forgave you.” Webster’s Dictionary defines as in this way - “to the same degree or amount.” I believe this amount to be generous. Never in our lifetime will we experience (specifically from our spouse) the level of offense our sin has caused. And yet, “God demonstrate(d) his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That, my friend, is generous forgiveness.
As you learn to develop the spirit of generosity, remember to begin in your own home!
Check out our podcast with more on this topic here!