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The Generous Marriage

Emotionally Generous

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How many times have you made a request for connection in your marriage only to be met with indifference, dismissal, or even contempt? These “bids” for emotional connection, as one expert calls them, reveal the true health of a relationship. Whether it’s opening up about something that matters to you or seeking a moment of simple companionship, your spouse’s response shows if they are willing to turn toward you or turn away.

But how can we learn to consistently turn toward our spouse with emotional generosity?

The simple acts of attention, affection, appreciation, and acceptance hold the key to this “one flesh” intimacy God designed marriage to have.

  1. Be generous with your attention toward your spouse. Prioritize spending quality time and really listening to them. Focus on being present, not just physically proximate.
  2. Show affection and physical touch. Even a little bit each day when you see your spouse can make a big difference. Kisses, hugs, back rubs, etc.
  3. Express appreciation and build your spouse up. Focus on encouraging them rather than criticizing or nagging. Be generous with gratitude and recognition.
  4. Accept your spouse as they are. See them through the lens of God’s grace and become more understanding. Validate their emotions without judgment.
  5. Draw closer to God together. Pursuing Jesus together spiritually can bring you closer to each other. Praying for and with each other helps connect you emotionally and cultivates grace and unconditional love.

Emotional generosity toward your spouse doesn’t come automatically. It requires a daily decision to turn toward them and meet their needs, not your own. But when we learn to accept ourselves through Christ’s grace, that grace overflows into how we view and love our spouse.

Start with small steps – a moment of undivided attention each day, a gentle word of affirmation, a hug before leaving the house. Over time, these little acts of love will add up and draw you closer together. The journey to true intimacy in marriage begins when we decide to see our spouse through the eyes of grace, choosing to be a source of blessing in their life.

Let this be a moment of renewal for your relationship – a decision to turn toward each other with more understanding, acceptance and unconditional love. God can use even our small acts of generosity to transform your marriage into a picture of His love for us.


Romans 15:7, Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:25-33, John 13:34-35

All content is property of Kyle Idleman and Southeast Christian Church.