Takers and Givers

Unhappy Couple 2I don’t like one-sided relationships. But I’m in one, where I feel like I do all the giving. I don’t mind doing my fair share, but a little appreciation would go a long way. In a perfect world we would share the same goals and work together towards them, but that’s not happening anytime soon. So I grit my teeth and write the check to the IRS, and pay my taxes once again.
Are you a taker or a giver? Everybody loves a giver. Givers are considered generous, compassionate and loving. Takers, on the other hand, are viewed as greedy, selfish and uncaring. As a single person, many of us had been looking out for #1 for so long that we didn’t automatically shift gears when we got married. But we do need to shift gears. Selfishness steals from our marriage, whereas generosity  enhances it. To emphasize the point, the Apostle Paul substitutes the verb take with the word steal in Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.burglar 2
Paul wants our relationship with Jesus to change us from being takers into givers. Walking with Jesus is supposed to change us from being self-centered to being others centered.
Most people agree that every relationship should have a little give and take but I’d like to modify that just a little. Because I’ve noticed that instead of give and take, marriage works better when characterized by give and receive. It may be semantics but I think there is an important distinction. Many people say marriage is a 50/50 proposition. I give 50%, my spouse gives 50% and that makes a good marriage. The problem with this equation is that it leaves both spouses with their cup half full. The bible instructs us to give ourselves completely to our spouse. If I’ve done the math right, that means that biblical marriage is a 100/100 proposition. If I give 100% to my spouse and my spouse give 100% to me, both of our needs are met 100%. Even better, they are not met by us taking what we need, but rather, by receiving what is gladly given by our spouse.
Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive… and it is. But receiving is pretty fun too!Happy Couple on Beach

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About John Paladini

John Paladini is a husband, pastor and author. He has been happily married to Andrena for 34+ years. They have three adult children, six grandchildren....and counting. John has devoted hundreds of hours to marriage counseling, conferences and bible studies that strengthen marriages.

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