Don’t plug the funnel
Years ago, we threw my dad an epic 60th birthday party. Tables cascaded with food, and we turned our bodies sideways to edge through the crowd of nearly 200 that witnessed his utter shock when the blindfold was removed.
But my favorite part of a sparkling, unforgettable night? An open mic time. A friend of my father’s stood up and invited people to share the ways my father’s life had served them.
He and my mom mentor married couples. My father has a garage where, in his off hours, he provides free labor for car repair for missionaries and single parents—totaling over 100 cars per year. Their house should have a revolving door for all the guests they graciously host; people joke about my parents’ hotel.
I still remember a friend commenting to me, “Your folks are the most generous people I’ve ever known.”
It was a shock to me, because my parents aren’t wealthy. Their marriage is just a funnel of sorts, rather than a holding tank. Their health, time, vehicles, skills, compassion, home, children, resources—all are at God’s disposal.
I guess cash is not a necessity to live generously.
The pattern of God’s kingdom is one where “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). God’s kindness … multiplies.
We see this in Abraham, who was blessed to be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 12:2). In King David, whose leadership created prosperity and peace for an entire country for decades. In Ruth, whose perseverance and courage healed her extended family and bore an ancestor of Christ. In Mary, whose shame and willingness brought us a Savior. In Jesus, whose death brings “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).
God’s kindness to us remains not with us, but falls exponentially on those around us.
Because my parents chose to rescind their hold on their own life, my entire family stood rich that night: not in finances, per se, but in everything that mattered. Eventually, we had to cut off the open mic, even with others waiting in line.
Will yours be a generous marriage?
Click here for “What My Parents Taught Me About Generosity.”
The good stuff: “And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." (Mark 4:8)
Action points: Create a running list of the resources God has given you. As you write, commit each resource to God, and ask Him to continue to show you ways your marriage can give generously.
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