Day 11: Generosity

Start with the Prayer of Abandonment.

Today’s theme is “generosity.”  Generosity is a virtue that pretty consistently distinguishes happy couples from unhappy couples. Unhappy couples fight for their rights, each stubbornly holding to marriage as a 50-50 proposition. The reality (as evidenced by their happy counterparts) is that marriage is not 50-50, but 100-100. Then there is the 100% you give the kids so … yeah … a happy marriage is a tiny miracle, and a foretaste of heaven.

Twenty years ago, as a new bride, I had no idea how much this principle was going to be tested in our new lives together. No idea how many kinds of generosity that marriage requires. Sure, there is the “for richer, for poorer,” literal variety. My husband overlooks my occasional shopping binge at Target, while I force myself not to roll my eyes when he finds one more electronic gadget to adorn his jam-packed office.

But there are other, subtler kinds as well: emotional generosity, which consistently believes the best, hopes for the better, and trusts in the goodness of the other person. There is generosity of time, not insisting that the other person always blindly follow our own agenda or timeline (this one is hard for me). There is parental generosity, which steps up to help set the boundaries in times when you really just wish the other person would be the Bad Cop.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said that it was easier for the camel to go through the eye of a needle then for the rich to get into heaven? While money has a tendency to keep us self-centered, generosity keeps us ever other-focused. And this, my friends, is the very nature of love: to give not just what is convenient or easy, but even when it means giving till it hurts. Just as Jesus gave all the way to the cross.

When was the last time you were generous with God? Is he presenting any opportunities to you right now?

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