MC Asks: I want to give, but my spouse or partner doesn't... What do I do?
This is a really great question because of how relevant it is. There are people worldwide who practice Christianity and follow Jesus, but the other person in the relationship doesn't. That can work out for a while, but when it comes to financial generosity, it can become a conflict because our incomes and expenses are often shared in these relationships.
Talking about the giving aspect of our faith involves the other person in ways we're not necessarily used to including them. The other person may not want to donate for several reasons. They may not have any religion or different beliefs than you. You might attend church together but interpret biblical financial stewardship differently.
Sometimes, your spouse or partner might have grown up in and around the church and experienced abuse and/or neglect. Reasonably, it will be tough for them to tolerate giving money to the local church.
When conversing about giving, the conversation mustn't turn this person off to faith more than they already are. We want the conversation to encourage faith interest. God wants us to do acts of generosity, especially regarding our finances, but not at the cost of our significant others finding Jesus.
I wouldn't want you to hurt their faith when generosity and practicing giving should be very life-giving. It is gratifying, not just for you, but for the people you're blessing with your generosity. The goal of our faith isn't to get people to the point of giving money but rather to help people find Jesus. In following Jesus, we know that generosity is an aspect of that.
Our response as followers of Jesus is to show love back to God through our acts of generosity. God's love for us is why he gave (John 3:16). I don't want it to sound trite because we always say it, but it's true: God loves us. His love doesn't change based on whether or not you give. Whether your spouse or partner has faith, God still loves them. This is a foundational belief when proceeding with the topic at hand.
Q: I want to give, by my spouse/partner doesn't... what do I do?
A: Begin with a conversation about your faith and how finances are a part of that. Make an ask about giving, and clarify expectations as you go. Keep good communication going by regularly seeking feedback. Share the stories of how your giving is being put to work. Generosity is something that should help them on their spiritual journey, not hurt it.Support the show
Welcome to the Madison church podcast. My name is Steven faith. I'm the lead pastor and host of today's episode in which Madison church ask, I want to give, but my spouse or partner doesn't? What do I do? What do I do? It is a really great question because of how relevant it is. There are several people not just at Madison church or in Madison, but all over the world who practice Christianity, they're following Jesus, but their partner spouse, the other person in the relationship doesn't, and for the most part that can work out. But when it comes to the area of finances, it does get a little tricky, because finances and our budgets are shared. Most times when we're in a relationship with someone like a marriage, our budgets are shared, our income is shared, our expenses are shared. And so when we talk about the giving aspect of our faith, it does involve the other person, the other person may not want to give, for several reasons, they may not have any faith, they may have a different faith than you, you might be a follower of Jesus, and they're a Buddhist. And so there could be lots of reasons on that aspect and why they don't they might be antagonistic or even upset that you have different faith views or perspectives. They may be apathetic toward yours. But again, there could just be a lot of reasons. And on the flip side, you might both be going to church together, you might both be following Jesus, but you interpret this part when it comes to giving and financial stewardship, you guys might interpret this differently. And so it can cause a lot of conflict. And so again, I think it's a great question because of how relevant is and so let's dive into trying to answer this question. I would begin with stating, and I think this is foundational, I don't want it to sound trite, because we say it all the time. But it's nonetheless true. But God loves them. And God loves you. Whether your spouse partner has faith or not, God still loves them. And God's love for humanity and God's love for them. And God's love for you doesn't change on based on whether or not you give or whether or not they give. We begin this way. Because I think most importantly, is that how you proceed with the conversations and what you do has to be done in light of this revelation of this truth that God loves us as we are. Now we know that God's love for us is why He gave, right John 316, For God so loved the world that he gave. And so then our response from Christians, as followers of Jesus is to show love back to God through our giving through our own acts of generosity, and it's not paying God back. It's just a response to God's love. And so when we're having the conversation of I want to give my spouse or partner doesn't, it's important that giving in the conversation doesn't turn this person off to faith, even more so than they already are. It's important that this conversation is encouraging to the faith or whatever faith they have. Or if they don't have faith, it's important that it potentially opens up a door. And so that's how I would first proceed, I would proceed by saying, you know, making sure that you understand that God loves you, God loves them. God wants us to do acts of generosity, especially when it comes to our finances, but not at the cost of somebody not finding him not because it becomes a point of conflict. And another reason that this person in your life doesn't like your faith. And so with that, I would begin by saying ask them and begin with a conversation, just good communication and clarifying expectations. I would say that, you know, hey, my faith is really important to me. I know that giving and generosity, that those are supposed to be aspects of my life. And it would mean a lot to me if we could contribute to the church. And from there, see what they say. They may be more open to it than you think, which would be great. They're open to it, they see how much it matters to you. They see how much your faith matters to you. They want to be supportive. And so then you guys get to decide how much and what's the frequency of that? Are you going to give weekly or monthly, you're going to give us here and there when it comes to a fundraiser. What's it going to be? What is the next step there? For some of the other folks you're you're married or you're your spouse or partner comes to Madison church with you, but you want to give more or more frequently, more often whatever, and they do not. I think that's important to have a conversation there. Where is the hang up? What is the barrier? Is it a trusting and God issue because a lot of times when it comes to our Money is a very tangible step of faith. And one that is just as important as reading the Bible, and praying. But it does come with a cost because when you give however much it is, you have less. When you pray, when you read the Bible, you might have a little less time. But you don't necessarily missed that, like you miss the contributions, the money coming out of your account, I think the conversation becomes what is the Hangout, what is the barrier, and you can go from there, if it's a trusting God issue, then maybe put it to a test, and just a half, maybe for the next three months, six months, 12 months, let's try this. And if it's awful, we can back up. But see if you can get them to take agree to take a step. And again, if they don't, I just don't know if it's worth fighting, I wouldn't want to cost someone their faith or hurt their faith when generosity and practicing giving should actually be something that is very life giving it is very rewarding, not just for you, but for the people, you're blessing with your generosity. And so we don't want this conversation to be hurtful, but we want it to be helpful. The goal of our faith isn't to get people to the point of giving money, but it is the Draw near to God, it's to help people find and follow Jesus. And in the process of finding and following Jesus as we follow Him, we know that generosity is an aspect of that. And so whether or not your spouse shares your faith, we want to grow in generosity. And so you have the conversation, this conversation doesn't go well. I would leave it alone, I would continue to walk out your faith, the best you can showing them the same love and grace that God shows us. But if the conversation does go, well, it's important to start, it's important to keep communication lines open. It's important again to come to an agreement. And then the check in on that agreement. If you guys agreed that you're going to give X Y, Z every week. After a couple of months, ask your partner spouse how they feel, see if it's still okay. If the conversation was increasing the frequency or the amount again, I would strongly suggest checking in with them after a few months. How is this going? How are you feeling? And I think what's going to happen is that if you have a good conversation, and you do this and you're in you're listening, and you're you're honestly listening, you'll see that this does open up a door. Not only will you experience God's blessings and favor, and you'll see the impact of your giving, not just in your own life, but in the lives of people around you at the church that you call home, but they'll see it too. And so I think that after even after you have the conversations, you do the check ins, how are things going? I think it's very critical that you continue to tell. And this is more for the folks who have spouses who don't share the same faith with them, but to continue to share stories of the generosity and practice and the tangible ways that it's making an impact, because you'll be there at the small group. So the Hangouts, the Sunday morning gatherings, you'll get the letters, you'll read the emails, and so you'll know how your giving is impacting people, but they won't necessarily see those things the way that you do. And so it's important then to use good discernment and say, Hey, this is a way that our giving is making a difference. And that could be really encouraging and motivating to someone, especially in the case of somebody who may be grew up in and around the church and was hurt by the church, experienced forms of abuse or neglect, this could be very hard for them to come around to the idea of financially giving back to God through the church through the local church. And as long as there are people in churches, churches are going to be imperfect, unfortunately. And we're all contributing to those problems, that messiness. But I think what we try to do at Madison church is to be appropriately transparent and responsible and follow Jesus to the best of our ability. And so as you communicate the stories of what we're doing, the people who come out that the kids who are learning in their faith, the people who make decisions to be baptized, and then turn around and they decide that, hey, I want to pursue eldership, or I want to become a leader, and I'm teaching other kids or whatever role in ministry that you're stepping up into, this can be very encouraging to them and help them heal from the past. So again, great question. I think it begins with a conversation, clarifying expectations, keeping lines of communication open, getting started checking in, and then telling stories of how your generosity is getting put to work. Thanks again for listening today. I got my recording studio in the basement and set up so hopefully we'll be able to get these episodes out every week. We do get questions in as a response to the messages on Sundays. And so we want to give people an opportunity to ask questions when something isn't clear when they disagree. And this was one of the questions that came in again during During the giving series back in January I hope that you have a great week and that we'll see you Sunday at 11am