Love is generous & humble.
A woman tells a story of visiting friends who had just celebrated their fifty-fourth wedding anniversary. The husband came into the house wearing his work boots and left clods of dirt behind him on the spotless kitchen floor. The visitor, expecting the wife to be upset, said, “His boots certainly do bring the dirt in.” “Yes,” the wife said with a smile as she got up to get the broom, “but they bring him in, too.”
We often think of generosity as the act of giving material things. And as women, we sometimes feel like we do nothing but give! Giving food to the children, giving affection to our husbands, giving of our time at church, giving of resources to younger women. We often give until we are completely spent. So you may ask - how much more can I give? Giving of tangible things has its place in marriage, but there is also being generous with the intangible things that you have to offer. And that's the point to drive home today.
The story above is a perfect model of wifely generosity. What would you do? You have worked all day, been with the children, cooked or ordered several meals, dealt with family - perhaps a crisis or two. Finally, you ease into your favorite chair to enjoy a lovely cup of coffee or tea with a friend. A luxury. A moment of solace. The first sip barely crosses your lips when in comes to your husband creating yet another thing for you to do. Would you react as she did? Happy that her husband came in alive and well, or would you give in to the annoyance of the interruption? Maybe for you, it isn't your spouse, but a knock on the door. Or the sweet interruption of little feet while you attempt to shower. Are you generous or quickly annoyed? Do you fall prey to criticizing those that you love most often? Or do you freely give that which you have to others in a spirit of love and kindness?
Generosity is about so many things, but the central theme is selflessness. Jesus himself offered the ultimate act of selfless, sacrificial love by descending from heaven to live, die and rise again to grant us access to the Father. His final act of love is humbling to even the hardest heart and is good for us as wives to remember the next time that we are feeling less than generous. "Give, and it will be given to you....For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38) Jesus wants us to be generous with our love and attention towards others so that we can be blessed with that very same consideration. This is particularly the case in our marriages
So just how can you maintain a spirit of generosity in your home?
Here are a few tips on things you can be generous with:
- Affection! Hold hands, snuggle when the children are in bed, and enjoy each other intentionally.
- Speak Life! Encourage your husband and engage in conversations that uplift him. Remember, you are not his mother - scolding has no place in your marital conversation.
- Choose Love! Make intentional choices to forgive in advance and love in spite of. When you do this, you set yourself up for success.
- Be prepared! You know your husband's likes, dislikes, and idiosyncrasies. So be prepared with a loving and kind response to habits to minimize altercation by putting his needs first.
- Pray! Lavish prayers over him so that God can move mightily on his behalf.
You may be familiar with a Biblical account where pride was divinely shut down and a sentence rendered that ushered in humility. In Genesis 11, the Holy Trinity diversified human languages during construction of a tower near Baghdad. Technological innovations were advancing as quickly as they do today, to no end, as God says: “...nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” God is not anti-tech, but He is anti-pride. Unless the Lord builds, he who builds, labors in vain.
As husbands we have a towering call to a love that is humble, to follow the example of Jesus Christ, (who walked the path of obedience all the way to death, who had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of Himself that He had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what) to love our wives as Christ loved the church.
Love is humble. Christ is Love
He was not conceited or proud. Love is humble, so one of the many ways He demonstrated love was through humility. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.
Men, let’s follow His example. Christ did not look out for his own interests but to the interests of others. We can demonstrate love by forgetting our needs and wants, rather helping our wives reach her goals. Jesus, did nothing through selfish ambition or conceit, instead, in lowliness of mind He esteemed others better than Himself. Let us value our wive above ourselves and properly understand that she is more delicate than we are.
Did I mention the call is towering? I’m thinking of that scene from the movie Interstellar, when Anne Hathaway’s character makes a calculated error. The waves that she believes that she sees in the middle of that arduous ocean swell re not small and irrelevant. They are, in fact, the size of mountains. Yes, being patient and loving our wives like Christ can reach beyond those heights and it would be impossible if Jesus did not equip us to do so and if He did not leave us an example. But He did. And so we can.