Situation: One Spouse Wants to Be Generous
Julie from the UK asks, “What do I do if I feel called to give but my husband does not?”
Our colleague Lee Turner and his wife Gerri have walked together on their generosity journey for decades. We asked the Turners to share their perspective as seasoned veterans in trying to give with unity. They’ve shared that, while they have different passions and approaches, they pray together and work to come together to give with unity.
While they have different passions and approaches, they pray together and work to come together to give with unity.
Lee notes that “generosity has been a process, a journey for us.” One of them has an income stream from an oil and gas inheritance; the other has a pension and retirement investments. In addition to having wealth from different sources, Lee and Gerri – like all couples –have slightly different giving passions. When it comes to pursuing unity in their generosity, the Turners know what they’re talking about.
Scripture: Pursue Unity of the Spirit
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
Steps: Praying Toward Unity
Lee and Gerri Turner offered these thoughts in response to Julie’s question:
This is a common challenge, especially when one spouse has attended a Journey of Generosity and another has not. That’s why it’s great to bring your spouse to a JOG!
1. Pray without Ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray continually.” Pray that God would align your spouse’s heart on giving with His generous heart.
Pray that over time, your husband would see God as the true owner of your family’s assets, and that you are not owners, but managers of the assets God has entrusted to you. Read with your husband the “Parable of the Talents” from Matthew 25:14-30.
When we pray, we often fail. But when we pray, God can always succeed!
2. Pursue Fellowship.
If any of your trusted female friends have attended a Journey of Generosity, meet with them to discuss your impressions. Sharpen each other. If appropriate, pray together with your husband. James 5:16 says that the “Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
3. Be a Role Model for Whole-life Generosity.
God calls us to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). We believe that “ourselves” includes our time, talent, touch, and network.
4. Share a Video.
When the time seems right, ask your husband if he would watch a short video with you, then watch Gary and Cath Grant’s story from the UK.
Pushing too hard about generous giving to a reluctant husband might make the situation worse.
It’s a wonderful example of what Martin Luther called the three stages of conversion: first the heart, then the mind, and finally the wallet. Ask your husband what stands out to him in the video.
Finally, take it slowly. Patience is the fourth Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Pushing too hard about generous giving to a reluctant husband might make the situation worse. We are all on this journey of generosity over our lifetimes, and we’re all at different stages, just like the journey of conversion to faith in Jesus. We should have grace and sensitivity for those coming along behind us.
Thanks, Lee and Gerri, for sharing your wisdom.