Relationships are conceived as two-way traffic. The traffic has to keep flowing in both directions, can’t keep flowing in just one direction. If you are sincere with yourself about experiencing abundance of joy in your relationship, then learn to give. It’s not the duty of one party to give. It’s the duty of both.
You can’t be stingy to your boyfriend/girlfriend (fiancé/fiancée…feel free to choose the one that suits you). And you do not justify stinginess with the logic, “saying after all, he’s the man!” That is called sexist selfishness. If you’re a stingy or grudging giver it will definitely affect your relationship. It will become contrived. Even God our creator declared He loves a cheerful giver. If you do not give, at some point the other party will start feeling cheated. Your partner may continue to give though, but the joy that comes from reciprocity of affection is hovered out of the relationship.
Giving is first an attitude. And when I say giving I’m talking about generosity of soul. Giving without generosity is nothing more than an eye-service. The stingy will invariably lose out! A sclerotic soul deprives itself of nourishment. And you know something is very wrong somewhere when giving becomes mathematical and calculating exercise for you. The relationship has slipped into the shameful era of manipulation and it soon scales up where emotional calculus is introduced: “I want him to love me more than I love him”.
Texts are withheld… Parties begin to withhold affection from one another. And to imagine you’re doing this with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is so immature! Sometimes these things could be traced back to our backgrounds- the feeling of feeling unwanted, being unloved in childhood can breed insecurity. And so to artificially induce being needed and wanted you intentionally withhold affection. Wives do it too. Some even withhold sex or require some form of payment before their husbands can have their bodies! (only God knows what they’re selling)
It’s a bargaining ploy, a conflicted strategy to gain the upper hand in a relationship, to always be in control. Call it affection economics- the gambit runs on the laws of demand and supply…the less the supply the higher the price. Affection is dispensed in measurements less than that obtainable in syringes (nanoscale measurement). And the relationship becomes a tit for tat tournament of emotional withholding and soon someone becomes emotionally tired of all the game, and thoughts go haywire.
I’d say it is better to have love and affection in surplus in a relationship than an emotional deficit. Love gives! And giving, especially gift giving can’t be limited to anniversaries alone. Giving can’t be anniversary exclusive. If the only time you give is at birthdays that’s not good enough for the soul of the relationship. Whatever happened to random acts of generosity! That belt, that perfume, the t-shirt, text, flowers, books…tokens of affection.
What a joy a relationship will be when both parties are givers! The relationship will not lack emotional nourishment. Meaningful giving demands generosity of soul. Let your giving be motivated by love. If you don’t change your attitude towards giving it will become your character which is a good thing.
Giving nourishes a relationship because it focuses us on the other party and so it’s a potent antidote to selfishness. I strongly believe men ought to be generous to their wives (or girlfriends); but it shouldn’t be limited to just guys/men, women ought to be too. You are never a loser giving, even if it’s unappreciated. That’s because of the conceptual mechanics of giving. A gift is likened to a seed therefore the principle regulating its life cycle is modelled on that of a seed.
From the sayings of Jesus and Paul’s disquisition we learn that a gift is a seed. When a seed falls to the ground it dies says the bible, it thus presents itself as a loss. And that’s what some people can’t handle- the “loss”. But without the seed dying there can be no seed resurrection. It can’t become a multiplicand. No multiplication whatsoever. Of course what you sow you’ll reap, and in the quantum to which you sow is what you’ll reap. And so the quantum of generosity you put into that material or emotional gift is what will be multiplied back to you. The return will not necessarily come from that stingy boyfriend/girlfriend, who’ll most likely lose you to a generous man/woman. Didn’t Solomon say kindness makes a man attractive? The return can come from any source.
Just give, you simply cannot lose! The cliché is true: Givers never lose and they never lack! A generous soul will be made rich. You might be tempted into asking “but if what you sow is what you reap, how does buying presents translate into love”? A present is material. How can you reap immateriality from sowing a material thing? If I give a belt, you ask, shouldn’t I then reap belts going by the law of reciprocation? Isn’t what you sow what you reap? You only ask because you’ve not taken time to study Paul’s exposition.
I believe there is the principle of body substitution in agric, not so? No seed ever germinates with the same body. When a seed is sown it dies. What germinates (or resurrects) is another body entirely. To use Paul’s analogy, the resurrection body of your seed is not the same as the mortal body sown. The key principle is body substitution and one beautiful thing about the laws of sowing and reaping is that it can be any type of body. Paul wrote: “God who provides seed for the sower…will also multiply the FRUITS of your righteousness which MANIFESTS itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity.”
You can reap goodness, kindness and love from giving material gifts: immaterial returns can come from material gifts. You can sow presents in your relationship and reap love, fidelity and happiness. It’s a corporeal-incorporeal dynamic. Return is usually not constrained to a body type. Paul says God can give the return on your seed-gift any body He desires. The implication of Paul’s thesis is that a barren woman can sow material gifts (including money) or caring for neighbours kids and reap conception. Sometimes spiritual laws are strange and awesome than fiction. But life is two-dimensional- material and immaterial.
Remember, if you hold on to your seed by withholding affection, you never get to sow! And so you can’t reap…