Dear Jil, relationships are conceptualised as two-way traffic. The traffic can’t keep flowing in one direction. If you want to experience abundance of joy in your relationship, 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. And you don’t justify stinginess with the logic, “After all, he’s the man!” That’s sexist selfishness. If you’re a stingy or grudging giver it will affect your relationship. It will become contrived. Even God in a typical display of anthropopathism loves a cheerful giver. If you don’t give, at some point the other party will start feeling cheated. Your partner may continue to give, but the joy that comes from reciprocity of affection is hoovered out of the relationship.
Giving is an attitude first. And when I say giving I’m talking about generosity of soul. What is giving without generosity? The stingy will invariably lose! A sclerotic soul deprives itself of nourishment. And you know something is wrong when to give becomes a calculated and calculating exercise. The relationship has slipped into the inglorious era of manipulation. And it soon scales up. Emotional calculus is introduced: “I want him to love me more than I love him”. Texts are withheld. Economical care. Pretentious uncare. Genuine uncare. Taking for granted… Parties begin to withhold affection from one another. And this with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with! Sometimes these things go back to our backgrounds- the feeling of feeling unwanted, unloved in childhood can breed insecurity. And so to artificially induce being needed and wanted you withhold affection. Wives do it too. Some even withhold sex!
It’s a bargaining ploy, a conflicted strategy to gain the upper hand in a relationship, to 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 syringes. And the relationship becomes a tit for tat tournament of emotional withholding. And soon someone becomes emotionally tired of all the game. It’s after all emotional insincerity and manipulatedness. It’s better to have a love and affection surplus in a relationship than an emotional deficit. Love gives! And giving, especially gift giving can’t be limited to anniversaries. Giving can’t be anniversary exclusive. If the only time you give is at birthdays that’s not good for the soul of the relationship. Whatever happened to random acts of generosity! That belt, that perfume, the t-shirt, text, flowers…tokens of affection.
What a joy a relationship will be when both parties are givers! The relationship will not lack emotional nourishment. Giving entails deprivation. And meaningful giving demands generosity of soul. The beauty of a generous life is screened from the stingy of heart. He’s impervious to it, can’t know it. And there are gifts that communicate despite. Don’t do that! Let your giving be motivated by love. If you don’t change your attitude towards giving it will become your character.
Giving enhances a relationship because it focuses us on the other party. And so it’s an antidote to selfishness. I believe men ought to be generous to their wives (or girlfriends); but women ought to be too. You can’t lose giving, even if it’s unappreciated. That’s because of the conceptual mechanics of giving. A gift is cosmically likened to a seed. Therefore the principle regulating its life cycle is modelled on that of a seed. Paul did a great study on this. His thesis took things to a surprise dimension- resurrection!
From the sayings of Jesus and Pauline disquisition we learn that a gift is a seed. Pay attention now. When a seed falls to the ground it dies. It thus presents itself as a loss. That’s what some people can’t handle- the “loss”. But without seed obituary there can be no seed resurrection. It can’t become a multiplicand. No multiplication. 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, who’ll most likely lose you to a generous man. Didn’t Solomon say kindness makes a man attractive? The return can come from any source.
Just give, you can’t lose! The cliché is true: Givers never lose! A generous soul will be made rich. 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 shoes, you ask, shouldn’t I then reap shoes going by the law of reciprocation? Isn’t what you sow what you reap? You ask because you’ve not taken time to study Paul’s exposition.
There is the principle of body substitution in agric, not so? No seed 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 the esoteric laws of sowing and reaping say 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 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) and reap conception. Sometimes spiritual laws are stranger 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.
© Leke Alder 2014