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Generous, Joyful and Joint

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...

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0 thoughts on “Generous, Joyful and Joint

  1. Heather

    After discussing these three principles I wonder whether they can apply to many different areas of married life.

    Most definitely!

    I much appreciate that you brought out the constant training that occurs in the lives of believers. Perhaps one spouse is more generous, but needs to work on communication skills or patience or some other area that is weak.

    Craig and I seem to take turns seeing need and being more desirous to share our blessings. And, I tend to be pushy when he's not quite with me on what I think ought to be done.
    It's been good for me to remember that "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will." Handing the situation over to the Lord has often resulted in Craig coming over to "my" side and even enthusiastically going beyond what I originally hoped for. Sometimes, it turns out I was motivated by guilt or some other self-centered motivation and his hesitance gives me time to cool down and re-evaluate.

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