Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What's giving all about?

These days when people hear the word 'give', they immediately imagine an action that is detrimental to their health, their wallet and their well-being in general. Young men complain about giving; comments like "she's my girlfriend, not my daughter" is at the tip of their tongues. Young women believe it's the man's duty to give while they hoard everything and shine. Afterall, the man is the provider and protector.

Sadly, in some marriages, the act of giving is not practised. It's either one partner is doing all the giving and the other all the receiving or both partners aren't willing to give anything at all.

First of all, what is giving all about and why is it so important in relationships? When many of us hear that word 'give', money is the first thing that springs to mind and being a generation full of people that want to prove that we're 'smart and NOT available to be taken for a ride', we ruin our relationships mostly by our unwillingness to give anything.

In a relationship, giving is not just about gifts and money, it's emotional too. If you can't give your partner, your parents, your child the attention, love and care that they need, you're robbing the relationship of its chances to succeed!

Think about your relationship with God for a moment; many of us often fall out of sync with God when we are distracted by life's problems or carried away by our pride in self-sufficiency. The less attention we pay to that relationship, the less likely it is to blossom into anything.

Think about a woman and a man on a date; one person is talking while the other is busy 'phubbing' (phone- snubbing), what will those two have learnt about each other at the end of the date? Nothing!

Credits: spacecoastliving.com
We need to apply the same principles to our relationships with friends, family members and our chosen partners. The lack of emotional availability on the part of anyone can either ruin the relationship or result in a relationship that is endured by the other person and not necessarily enjoyed.
The act of giving emotionally is not the only important part of giving. Gifts are very important too. Ladies take note: the act of giving gifts is not a one way street! In a relationship, both parties should be willing to give. Someone once asked me why I believe giving gifts in a relationship is so important and my answer was simple- It shows your appreciation of your partner. It doesn't have to be the latest Roberto Cavali or the most expensive Marc Jacobs; small thoughtful gifts count too. You don't have to wait for a birthday or valentine's day because that's giving out of obligation. Every other day should be 'gift day'... A scripture to brighten their day, a song that uplifts the soul, a strong word of encouragement, a picture frame, a little antique, a home-cooked meal served with love....all these are gifts that are more likely to show your partner how much you appreciate and love them.

You can give without loving but can you love without giving? A young lady once lamented to me that her fiance was not a giver. He always told her to wait till he pays her bride price before he starts to give. Not once did he buy her a tiny wrap of bubble gum, not to mention anything remotely thoughtful. My advice was simple... I asked her if she was familiar with the letters R.U.N.

It is impossible to love and not give! Read through the bible and take note of the lives of Abraham and David; these two men were willing to GIVE ALL to God. It did not matter how expensive it was, They gave! Why? Because they loved God beyond any reasonable doubt. Sometimes I wonder what a lucky woman Sarah must have been to have a giving husband like Abraham.

Don't let anyone fool you or play the materialism card. In your relationships, you don't need to ask for it. When a man and woman love each other, they don't need to tell each other "You should give me a gift tomorrow". It comes naturally with the feeling of love. In a relationship filled with love, a gift is not a reward for being sweet or being courteous. It's a show of appreciation and care, therefore it shouldn't be administered with the carrot and stick approach.

If you haven't been doing so, start to show your friends, family and partner how much you appreciate them. It will definitely strengthen your relationship!


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