Generosity is Attractive
By Laura Way
Generosity is an attractive quality in a spouse.
When there’s an opportunity to give to charity, my husband and I take time to pray about it. Then we’ll both ballpark a number. My heart swells with love when his number’s higher than mine.
Once when studying Proverbs, he shared he was learning that financial stewardship (aka, using the money God gifts us) is often heralded as a virtue, but like the money itself, only when used the proper way. Stewardship is good when it leads to generosity. Stewardship is not so good if it only leads to accumulation.
My husband imagined that if there was currency in Heaven, bargaining might look more like each person trying to outdo each other in generosity rather than lowballing each other.
What a beautiful table! Let me give you $500 for it.
Thank you, but I couldn’t possibly take more than $300.
“Wouldn’t that be a fun way to bargain?” he asked.
It’s fun to give a generous gift to someone, but if I’m honest, it’s because I’m fairly certain I’ll have enough left for what I need. Jesus seems to teach a more radical generosity, though. Given from scarcity rather than abundance, which can feel more risky than fun.
Marriage pushes us toward a more radical way of giving—not just of money, but of my time and energy too. And daily life is like boot camp for living this out.
It feels risky to give extra pieces of me to my husband when I’m worried if I’ll have enough left for myself. Like at the end of the day, when I just really want time to watch TV or curl up with a good book, but my husband needs to talk about his day.
Thankfully, we can keep fixing our eyes on Jesus who perfectly modeled, “it’s more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Because Jesus’ brand of generosity? That’s pretty attractive.
The good stuff: Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Action points: Is your life characterized by generosity? With money, with your time and energy? Does giving in these ways feel fun or risky? Ask God if He’ll empower you to trust Him to provide for your needs so you can give with a joyful heart.
Visit the FamilyLife® Website