Charity. The word probably brings to mind the organizations where you can donate things to help those in need. But it is also a form of love. It is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love. All people, no matter their background, depend on others for certain things and love is one of those.
“Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down” Marvin J Ashton.
With everything that is occurring in the world today, we need charity to bring us together and help us conquer many of the problems we face. And we need this type of love to keep our marriage and family together and stronger.
In order to change the world and make an impact on it, we need to start within our own home. None of us are perfect and it’s by finding our weaknesses and working on them that we become stronger.
Charity comes from understanding
Too often we judge quickly, before we know all the facts. When we understand the situation behind a family member’s actions, we come to know them better and that will help us get through the hard times.
We have to understand why our spouse is doing something. Maybe he/she leaves the dishes out without cleaning them up and by talking to him/her, you would find that it’s because of time or because they forgot.
The only way to understand why they do what they do is to talk to them (calmly). Tone plays a huge role in helping others understand your frustration and them making a change after. Know what causes them to react in certain situations and you might be able to help avoid those situations in the future, or to loosen some of the resentment you feel.
Maybe you aren’t as organized or get things done as quickly as your spouse would like. Communicate to help each other understand where you’re coming from and then work together on a solution.
Charity comes from patience
I will be the first to admit that patience is not my strong suit. Looking back on my life, I want to tell my younger self to chill out and relax because it works out. Like when I wondered if I would ever get married and then when we had problems getting pregnant, if I would ever be a mom.
There are times, more than I want to admit, when I’m not the most patient wife and mother. A lot of that comes from me expecting my family to be able to read my mind instead of communicating it with words.
I thought this quote hit the mark on how we react to people: “We tolerate imperfections in our partners until they inconvenience us. Then we expect them to change.” Many times we see exactly what is wrong with our family members without looking at the mistakes and quirks we have. We expect others to change immediately and then give ourselves the freedom to change eventually, or if even at all.
Recognize that there are times your spouse has been patient with you on things. Figure out the areas that trigger your impatience and see how you can change those or at least prepare yourself for them so you don’t lose your temper.
Charity comes from selflessness
When we serve our family and friends, we are serving God. We shouldn’t be thinking of serving only during the months of November and December but throughout the rest of the year.
You might also think, “I took the test from the 5 Love Languages and I don’t need service to feel loved and fulfilled.” Maybe your spouse does need that. Or maybe they don’t. The point is that serving will help us no matter if it’s our love language or not.
Serving helps us to see our dependence or love for another person. It gets us outside of ourselves and thinking the world revolves around our life. Serving helps us see that whether poor or rich, old or young, we can learn and grow from others. And when we serve our spouse, the measure of love deepens.
Maybe you’d rather be watching a game or reading a book or a host of other things that clean and take care of the house. But by working together to help each other out, it will get done in half the time and you can move onto doing what you wanted.
Leave thank you notes or clean out the car for your spouse. Let him/her know that you’re thinking about them with a text or a phone call, even during a busy day. Service doesn’t have to be dirt and grime all the time.
Charity is shown in forgiving
Forgiveness in the eyes of the world is weakness. But forgiveness in marriage is a dab of glue that keeps things moving forward. By holding onto gripes and resentments from the past, we move farther away from feeling any love.
Sometimes our husband or wife did something that broke your trust. While it may take time to rebuild that trust, you have to work to forgive that offense and then move on. You may be weary in future events until he/she can prove that trust again but don’t carry a grudge for so long that you are blind to any future actions of love and trust.
Forgive your husband for leaving his shirt right next to the hamper but also make sure to talk to him about it so you can understand why it seems to happen all. the. time. Forgive your wife for not having everything perfectly organized and work to help her out.
Charity is an action & An Attitude
Overall, charity is shown and grown through our actions. Stepping outside of ourselves and looking for the best in others is the best medicine.
“Charity does not flow automatically from having an extraordinary spouse. It is primarily the result of the way we choose to see each other.” Wallace Goddard
Choose to see the best in your spouse and the amazing things they do for you. Figure out your weaknesses and make sure to work together to turn those into strengths. Serve, show your love and work to build the life your family needs. True charity is learning to work with those shortcomings and build them to be better.