Giving of gifts in relationships in such senses as a way of expressing love is one of the key areas of irregularities and misconceptions just the same way the concept of love is often misconstrued. The misconceptions about giving gifts in a relationship are parallel with the various misconceptions about Love.
Secondly, this misconceptions is as a result of not properly differentiating between giving and giving of gifts.
Can anyone ever say don’t give or stop giving? Of course no. But with a lot of superfluity in the practice of giving gifts among Christians friends, there is an obvious need for an outlined etiquettes on giving gifts in Christian relationships.
The aim of this article is to outline and dissolve the various extreme paradigm, and erroneous practices among Christians in a relationship. Thus, in this article, such believes and various misconceptions about giving of gifts will be outlined and a paradigm shift highlighted.
Is ‘giving’ the same with ‘giving of gifts’?
For the purpose of clarity, giving, in general, will be differentiated from giving of gifts; which is an aspect of giving.
While giving of gifts connotes such acts as giving a present, Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, surprise gifts, and extending to behaviours like who puts a calls through to another, who send the texts, who give gives the affirming words, who expresses feelings,who asks for outings, who proposes, and who initiates various love expressions and love languages.
But giving in general Bible sense is offering to solve a need. The character of giving is the character of friends in need that is a friend indeed.
Thus, in this article, giving will be referred differently to the giving of gifts.
Where did ladies tendencies to being the receivers come from?
Ladies are more reserved and conservative when it comes to giving a gift in a relationship. Have you ever wondered of where and how ladies learned to hold up in everything including in stuff that is supposedly in their interest?
Tracing the origin of this familiar behavior will help us in deciding whether to make a paradigm shift or to maintain the status quo.
Thus, the origin of these paradigms is traceable to the following:
- It originated from the primitive society’s role definition: the early society’s setting and family systems defined the male-female sex into gender roles that birthed these paradigms.
- It originated from our relationship counselors: Many relationship counselors having adopted the conservative approach in teaching in order to play save have also propagated these paradigms up to this present dispensation. These counselors didn’t note the fact that Men are born with all the tender and vulnerable emotions that women have. Yet, where women are expected and allowed to withhold their emotions, men get punished for expressing them.
- Interestingly, these paradigms have no trace from the Bible as you can see in the Bible motives for giving.
Why is receiving common with ladies?
The explanation to why ladies tend to hold up in all manner of giving in a relationship is commonly centered around cautious efforts to not appear cheap, not to get taken for granted, not to get misunderstood as loose, and generally to play safe and avoid any possible hurt.
This, as noted in the immediate subheading above, has lasted in the society. However, today we know better, thus calls for a paradigm shift. We know that love is a two-way thing. We know that everyone desires to be loved, men and ladies alike.
Some other times, It really seems that ladies are more disciplined in the aspect of their self-control approach to relating with their men counterpart. Think of the feelings of missing someone and the craving to hear from them, you would wonder if it is only limited to men. It will make You to also think of the ladies that hold up to either do it in pretense or the ladies are more proud and arrogant than their men counterparts.
This is because while they don’t wish to be let down, taken for granted or misunderstood, they do the same to men.
Or maybe because they are not told that men are also vulnerable and goes through tough times where they need to be checked on and shown love too.
Wrong paradigms on giving of gifts
A person who does not give gifts is not generous or is not serious about the relationship:
Many ladies do not take seriously any man friend that doesn’t give them gifts. They would rather see them as just a friend or a childhood friend. There are cases where ladies would go the extent of putting their man to a test in a bid to verifying to their self if the man is truly serious. Notwithstanding if the man has what to give. To such ladies, no matter how much length a man goes to express his love, one that takes her out and lavish on her would always win her heart.
Such are the likes of abnormalities that should be the case with natural people. A Christian needs to consciously redefine her thought pattern.
While a generous person may have good tendencies to gift gifts, one who doesn’t give gifts cannot be conclusively condemned for not being generous.
Also, when one gives a gift, it should not be assumed to mean a commitment for future purposes. There should be no room for assumption in Christian relationship, only the things that are stated and communicated holds.
Love is sacrificial; one who doesn’t give gifts doesn’t love enough:
Many believe strongly that those who don’t give gifts do not love enough. Be it giving to solve a problem or as a present.
Admittedly, giving of gifts is a very important love language. But it doesn’t overrule the other love languages like giving words of affirmation, acts of service to one another, physical touch and spending quality time together.
A good test for love should consider all these love languages with a sense of equity. And, it should be weighed with 1Corinthians 13. Because, giving gifts on its own alone is not a litmus test for love. It is not sacrificing except it is sacrificial; mitigating a need.
To be considered also, are factors like the motive for giving, whether such a man has what to give at the time being.
Giving gifts is not all it looks like. Christians, who care for love must be certain what value it is they want in another. Knowing one another’s capacity per time and cutting their cloaks according to their coats while continuing to encourage and trust God on behalf of one another. Knowing and trusting in their visions.
This is very important because this same paradigm has an extension in another common paradigm that, ladies are for already made men and not available for their palsclassmateses, or colleagues.
Also, stemming from the paradigm of buying over the ladies heart with gifts by the already made men. The expectations of the ladies should learn to know the patient in starting and believing in her man pal.
A man who collects from a woman is not man enough:
This may basically be applicable in giving but not in giving of gifts. Yet, generally in the Bible, giving is not specified as a gender role, it is rather specified as an act of righteousness: Proverbs 21:26 “…the righteous gives and does not hold back“, and for any that wish to be blessed; Acts 20:35 “…, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive”.
The Bible did talk of a man who can not provide for his family as worse than an infidel. But that verse is addressing provision and not giving.
The same explanation above goes for another common paradigm that a lady who gives is being loose or is being desperate. Last time I checked, everyone desires to be loved, cherished and wanted, men and ladies alike.
Anyways, the parties in a Christian relationship should communicate deeply on such paradigms and adjust accordingly.
Giving is a way to win someone’s one’s heart:
This paradigm describes the wrong motive in giving where a givers intention is to buy over the heart and favor of the other.
Normally, when a man wants to get a lady, by all means, he is advised to lavish the lady with gifts. Giving gifts blinds the eyes of the receiver and brings false/temporal peace in the mind of the receiver about the giver. The Mister nice man syndrome.
This is most applicable to ladies. Giving of gifts should not be a bribe to one’s heart. While men should learn to give generally for love motive and as much as possible build tangible bonds in their relationship before introducing gifts. The ladies should learn to consciously refuse to be bought over. To do this requires some conscious efforts to get your sense down. Even if a man buys Ford for a lady, it is not all the yes proofs. A relationship that will give glory to God eternally is not built on such false peace. Take note!
The Paradigm shift
There is an obvious need for a new paradigm in the principle and approach to giving of gifts in Christian relationship both for the giver and the receiver. This new paradigm as listed below is a better alternative to the wrong paradigms. They are reasonable for a healthier Christian relationship. And, with the basis that makes Bible sense. Some of these new paradigms are already stated addressing the wrong paradigms. A wrap up on the remaining paradigm shift is as follows:
Esteem the widow’s mite (Luke 21:1-4):
One may not know what some persons go through some times in a bid to put a smile on the face of their loved ones. Stories abound; some go hungry, get to manage after they have gone over their budget in the process, etc.
When you come across someone who forgoes other opportunity costs in order to help out a need — that is a special gift already!
Everyone can give (2 Corinthian 2:19):
Christain Ladies should for sometimes intentionally take a break from always waiting, planning, hoping to receive. And sometimes, plan to give knowing that giving is not necessarily about who has.
Communicate deeply to share a mutual understanding of key matters like giving of gifts:
In areas where the fear of being misunderstood is the case, communication is the key; air your fears, and thereafter, live life true and full.
Give thoughtfully (Proverbs 21:14 ) :
You don’t need to go over your budget to getting priceless stuff. There is more to a gift than the item itself. A gift should rather be thoughtful, special, surprising and timely. It can be as cheap as a handcrafted item and yet speak volumes once it is given with love.
A story was once told of a brother who wanted to celebrate a lady’s birthday. He had little on him so he decided to buy two sweets. He wrapped it very well and while giving it to the Lady he said a number of things and added ‘because you are too sweet to me, I have decided to give you these two sweets…
Avoid giving with Alterio motives:
The difference in giving of gifts and giving should be applied in Christian relationship. Giving of gifts is best suitable for a love language in Christian relationship (between basic relationship cadres to secondary cadres of relationships) while giving to mitigate a need is more needful in the commitment cadres of relationship (courtship-marriage). Except where necessary.
The Other GiftsThere other gifts we can receive in Christian Relationships other than material things. And these gifts ought to be prioritized than the material expectations from one another. Some of this gifts include;
- The gift of honesty
- The gift of time
- The gift of comrades
- The gift of fellowship
- The gift of moments
- The list continues.
I had always wished to highlight that everyone should feel free in expressing themselves in Christian relationship. For long I had been in search of an approach to explain it without sounding like another quality writer. I have waited until this time to have enough biblical line of thought to address these old paradigms.
However, I wouldn’t say I have done justice to this matter. I would like to get your view on this, comment below in the comment box.
THANKS, FOR READING!
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