SPENDING IN RELATIONSHIPS
Gift giving and receiving, is an actual love language, and if you are a gift giver/reciever you are more than likely looking forward to the next paycheck, even though you just got paid!
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
Gifts as a love language, is one of the trickiest, but also one of the most rewarding. I say that it can be “tricky” because often people equate giving gifts with spending large amounts of money, and gift givers do have a tendency to over-extend themselves, as they financially will often put the needs of others, above themselves. For example, a person with “gift giving” as a love language, hungry to be loved, can easily have 400$ in the bank see the “perfect” gift for someone else in a store (399$) and buy it for them! Leaving themselves only a dollar to spare! A normally frugal person might look at this behavior and say, “What a fool!” When in reality, the gift giver feels and receives love through giving gifts to others. The feeling that they get seeing the look on someone else’s face when they open the “stereo of their dreams”, far outweighs any and all temporary hardship of not being able to eat!
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, by Dr. Gary Chapman pgs 77-78
“If you are to become an effective gift giver, you may have to change your attitude about money. Each of us has an individualized perception of the purposes of money, and we have various emotions associated with spending it. Some of us have a spending orientation. We feel good about ourselves when we are spending money. Others have a saving and investing perspective. We feel good about ourselves when we are saving money and investing it wisely.
If you are a spender, you will have little difficulty purchasing gifts for your spouse. But if you are a saver, you will experience emotional resistance to the idea of spending money as an expression of love. You don’t purchase things for yourself. Why should you purchase things for your spouse? But that attitude fails to recognize that you are purchasing things for yourself. By saving and investing money you are purchasing self-worth and emotional security. You are caring for your own emotional needs in the way you handle money. What you are not doing is meeting the emotional needs of your spouse. If you discover that your spouse’s primary love language is receiving gifts, then perhaps you will understand that purchasing gifts for him or her is the best investment that you can make.
You are investing in your relationship and filling your love’s emotional love tank, and with a full love tank, he or she will likely reciprocate emotional love to you in a language that you will understand. When both persons’ emotional needs are met, your marriage will take on a new dimension. Don’t worry about your savings You will always be a saver, but to invest in loving your spouse is to invest in blue chip stocks.”
IT DOESN’T ALWAYS TAKE MONEY
I can remember being shocked the first time that I read this love language, in Dr. Chapman’s book. After all, I could understand all of the love languages and their importance, except for this one. “Gifts” is my secondary love language, and interestingly enough, it is the one that has always caused me the most grief. How are you supposed to be able to buy everything you need or want for others and yourself, when we can never have or give enough? It was never my desire for my husband to work all day to buy me stuff!
What I learned though, was that when my husband took a day off work (either during a workday or weekend) to spend at home with me, I felt loved. First, because he was spending quality time with me, and secondly because he was giving me the gift of himself. His time is the most valuable commodity he has! People who only have time to give to others, sometimes end up giving the best gift of all.
IT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE
Our first Christmas, Jeff and I had very little money and we were living in a studio apartment. It was quaint, but at 400 sqft, Jeff could lay on the floor at touch both walls! He worked at an auto-parts store and for Christmas ended up buying me a little silver plated treasure chest with bath beads (bubbles) in it. It wasn’t much, it was my only gift from him, it was all that he had to give. Fourteen years later, I still have it, and if you have watched any of our video blogs “The Word Works! with Jeff and Jessica Heilman”, you will see that little treasure chest, it is “The Topic Box”.
Sometimes, when I am feeling tired, or out of energy I will go and buy something. It may be small, and under a dollar, but to a gift receiver, it is all that I need to pick me up. Buying gifts for myself, or others, actually gives me energy and self-worth. I have learned to find just as much joy in chewing a piece of gum, drinking a glass of Coke, or sucking on a butterscotch, as I have in jewelry, cars, or houses. Gifts mean most, when they are from the heart.
Like all of the love languages, gift giving and receiving requires balance and often a new perspective. Giving gifts requires a new outlook on finances and what money is intended for. If you know or are a gift giver, recognize that the desire to “spend” is rooted deeply in a desire to “give” and to “bless”, and we as Christian’s are blessed to be a blessing. The giving cycle should never stop. If you remember temperance, and budget accordingly, your life can be filled with daily gifts to be given to others and received. If you suspect that your spouse speaks the gifts language, on your way home, purchase a rose, chocolates, or a gift card to spend (above regular groceries). Go out of your way to bring home a present… AND JUST WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!
A prayer for today, is that your eyes would be opened to the possibility that all those little trinkets that you have around the house, might have been gifts to you or your spouse. I pray that you would not be overwhelmed by clutter, but that you would allow the cycle of giving to “go through you”, and as you give whatever is taking up to much room away… you would recognize that you are opening up room for more things to come to you. Thank you Lord for giving us this opportunity to bring something special to someone today, and to recognize there is nothing wrong with the desire to spend, as long as we seek You first on how exactly to spend it!
May God bless you with all the prosperity necessary and the greatest gift of all, unlimited knowledge of Him and His Kingdom!
As a community we welcome your comments and replies!