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Marriage
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This Christmas, Would a Husband Actually Be Disappointed in His Wife Who Loves to Give and Share the Gospel?

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Men, does your wife love to give during the holiday season? Neighbors to bake for, teachers to show thanks to, co-workers to surprise . . . For most of us, the outlets we have for giving to others during Christmastime go well beyond family. And when you add up the cost of all those gift cards, pies, coffee mugs, and poinsettias, it can get really expensive, really fast! But maybe your wife isn’t thinking about the cost as much as you can’t help but do. Because she just says, “I LOVE to gift. I LOVE to give—money, flowers, food. Whatever the cost, I just LOVE to give to others!”

Does she also love to share the glorious message of Jesus during this season? Again, whether it’s neighbors, teachers, co-workers, or the sales lady at Kohl’s, does it seem she never misses an opportunity to remind others of the “reason for the season”—to the point where you find yourself shamefully embarrassed at times? But again, she probably isn’t thinking about if something may be embarrassing others around her or causing conversations to become awkward, because she just says, “I LOVE to witness of the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ! Wherever I go, whomever I’m with, I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to tell people about Jesus at Christmastime.”

Husbands, it is in these times that you have a choice: Will you honor your wife and encourage her love for others and for Jesus, or will you dampen her spirit and shame her for acting on the gifts and passions that God placed inside her heart?

If you’re like many men, you may want to spend less than your wife in this area. And when you come home from work to find a Target receipt taller than your preschooler complete with a million little gifts for people in your family’s life you claim to barely even know, it may be tempting to make unwise comments about her “always giving.”

Likewise, when she gives out these gifts—each with a card that cost even more money!—you know that she is going to write some sort of gospel message on it about the gift of Jesus. And not only will she ask you to sign it as well, but you’re giving these notes to your boss, your co-workers, the new couple down the street you’re just getting to know. Shamefully, you can’t help but feel embarrassed by her “always” talking about Jesus, not only in Christmas cards but out in public as well.

Yes, she may need to give and talk less. Certainly there is a limit for anyone when it comes to spending money; we are not to go into debt just because we don’t want to be the only one who didn’t buy Christmas gifts for the kids’ teachers. As well, Scripture’s many warnings about being wise in speech (e.g., Proverbs 17:27; James 1:19) can even apply to how and when we choose to speak aloud the gospel of Jesus. 

But at the same time, what if God endowed your wife with the spiritual gift of giving (Romans 12:8) and evangelism (Ephesians 4:11)? What if, in these situations where you are tempted to squash her passions for loving others and loving God, she is simply joyfully responding to the desires God planted inside her?

Some husbands are disappointed in their wives giving and talking too much, especially during this Christmas season. But are these husbands actually taking issue with the very gifting of God?

I suggest these men measure their words during the holidays. When addressing his concerns, he needs to applaud and affirm her heart and desires. When she gives to people in need, let her know that you value her giving spirit, which is why you married her. But knowing this about her, and what you know about yourself, help ahead of time by setting aside a certain amount each quarter for her to give spontaneously, yet stay within budget. A husband need not attack by saying, "You are spending all of our money!" Instead, he can work together on wisely spending the money (which is his goal) but at the same time being generous to others (which is her goal). And who knows, maybe these become shared goals.

If she disappoints him in the restaurant or at the neighborhood block party by being too verbose about Jesus in that public setting, he needs to take the angle that she may undermine her effectiveness as a witness when she is too loud and aggressive with the gospel. Do not take the slant that she embarrasses you. There is a wise way to make the point and an unwise way to make the point.

Men, you will simply crush your wife’s spirit if you communicate to her that you are disappointed that she loves to give and witness to others. But at the same time, while you should also be encouraged to expand your comfort zone and your faith in God’s faithful provision, you may also have some prudent reasons for feeling as you do. So I challenge you to measure your words, be wise in your timing, and when unsure, err on the side of generosity and the gospel!

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

Questions to Consider