Give to One Another

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Give to One Another

Give and Take – Matt’s Thoughts

Every healthy relationship must consist of both give and take for it to last.  We’ve got the “TAKE” part down with our hands tied behind our back and our fingers, toes, eyes and mid-digital hairs crossed. So we need to put our efforts into the “GIVE.”

Give your sweetie a back-rub (if you know he/she would enjoy it). Give your spouse a break today from what is usually their duty or household chore by doing it for them – and then whether that act is noticed or not, give him/her a hug or a kiss.  The paradox is that when we give, we are blessed tremendously. For one, usually our spouse will recognize our efforts and appreciate us for it. Sometimes they go after paybacks.  When our spouse gives and we catch them, why not have some fun with it and say something like, “I’m gonna get you back,” and look for an opportunity soon for “paybacks.”

Secondly, I’m guessing you’ve experienced this paradox found in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  You set out to serve someone else and in doing so you are blessed more than you bless those you serve.  Maybe it is therapeutic or cathartic for you to look outside of yourself.  More than likely, you benefit relationally because your interaction with those you are serving is insightful, memorable, or even profound. Most importantly, your heart becomes more like God’s. That heart gives and … gives some more.

Did You Even Notice? – Laura’s Thoughts

I’d like to go with what Matt said about “whether that act is noticed or not…”

Wouldn’t we like all of our acts of service and giving to be noticed? Don’t we want to be verbally appreciated and lavished with praise for all we do? When we perform acts of  kindness, break our backs doing the dirty work, unselfishly – day after day – work to meet the needs of our family…we’d all really like to be told thank you and to be given a wonderful appraisal of how great we are. Of course we all love appreciation, and we should obviously be appreciating each other continually.

Oh my, but did I just say, “work unselfishly”? Why did that word burst forth out of my little typing fingers?

Yes. Did you know that we can do all varieties of acts of kindness and service to our spouse, and much of it can be done with a heart of selfishness? With an attitude of martyrdom? With thoughts of “poor me, I work so hard to please my spouse – and for what?” haunting our minds while we labor? I know it’s true because I’ve been guilty of it many times.

When we give to our families by serving and loving them – and especially when we offer love and care to our spouse, we must surrender our selves to God and to our dear one.

We don’t give of ourselves so that we’ll be noticed, patted on the back or lavished with praise. We give of ourselves because this is what God calls us to do. We love and serve our spouse because we made the commitment on our wedding day to love, honor and cherish.

We give of ourselves because it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

 

Ladies, we know you’re reading here more often than the guys. ;)  We’d love husbands to read this article as well. If you feel so inclined please send the link to your husbands, or if it’s easier, we’ve created a downloadable article for you to quickly print off and share.   Healthy Marriage Tips A to Z – Give

Comments

  1. says

    I have been really struggling lately with wanting some appreciation for everything I do. My husband is a teacher and home all summer. It has been very hard to do everything around the house and work and on and on and on and not get upset when I never get a word of appreciation. BUT if I want to be happier in our everyday life I think I need to let it go and not worry about if they even notice. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. Julie says

    We do our work for the glory of God always in whatever capacity He has us.

    If a spouse isn’t feeling the love, though, it’s not more spiritual to just “put up and shut up.” There are healthy ways of expressing your feelings and needs in a way that still shows respect. I think that looks different for every couple.

    I like a lot of what the folks at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) have to say about this, actually. On their website, they have many, many resources for couples.

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  3. says

    I have just started following this series and I am loving it. I have a good marriage, but I’ve always wanted a great one. I am certain it is possible, but even more certain that it takes work and lots and lots of unselfishness. Thank you for that reminder. I will certainly be following this series closely.

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  4. Jill says

    I’m engaged so I’m taking this series as good prepration. This article is framed only in the context of acts of “service”. The authors don’t acknowledge that, while it’s importat to serve, it’s equally important to give acts of gratitude.

    I think the implication that we must “let go” of our desire to want appreciation is also an act of martyrdom. The need for acceptance is a basic human need. We need not feel guilty for it. God doesn’t call us to be taken advantage of and walked over just for the sake of serving others.

    In fact, acts of gratitude actually encourage more acts of service. It’s no surprise that the more often I tell my fiance, “thanks for doing the dishes” or “thanks for helping me in the yard” the more often he offers to help.

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  5. says

    This is a good point… one we struggle with significantly during my husband’s prolonged absences (deployments). It’s very hard to continue to pour out support to each other in ways that aren’t the way we’d like. He’d like to be here to do the dishes for me, but has to instead just send a card or try to get to a phone to try and offer support and encouragement. Definitely a struggle. Thanks for posting this series.

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