Some friends preparing for marriage asked for advice on money and giving as a couple. Looking at the Scriptures together - e.g. Exodus 35-36; 2 Cor 8-9; Ephesians 5 - we came up with three principles. A couple's giving should be generous, joyful and joint.
All giving should be generous and joyful (God loves a cheerful giver, He does not want your grudging sacrifice!). But there's an added dimension in marriage. If she's joyful and he's grudging it's not joint. You need to be jointly generous and jointly joyful in it.
For the partner who wants to give more, this calls for a patient trust in the grace of Jesus. Trust that He is your justification (not your level of sacrifice), and trust that only His grace can motivate the joyful generosity you long to see. The more generous spouse will be tempted to lay down the law in this situation. But on the contrary, this is a great opportunity to model the grace of Jesus and to see a real gospel motivation grow in their partner.
After discussing these three principles I wonder whether they can apply to many different areas of married life. Sex life, use of time, moving for gospel service...