By Jeanine DeHoney
Sometimes we spouses forget the basic rule of charity, which is, that it begins with each other. The word charity is neither a sensual or romantic word and not at the top of our list for conveying to our spouse. However, it is necessary if we want to safeguard our marriage. It will not only help our partner feel cherished but will impart lifelong lessons for our children to emulate””lessons on being self-sacrificing and empathetic toward others.
If you haven’t been charitable in your relationship here are some tips to get you started.
1. Be charitable in supporting your spouse’s dreams.
Don’t negate your spouse’s dreams, listen to them and inspire him or her with your belief in their worth. How about having a family night where you, your spouse and children write down your visions for the future and put them in a keepsake box. Each month revisit them and discuss steps you’ve taken, or work through the challenges you’re facing as you move closer to realizing them.
2. Be charitable in safeguarding romantic rendezvous’ with your spouse.
Set aside time to have a weekly lunch, dinner date or mini getaway. Get your mojo back as a couple.
3. Be charitable in your forgiveness of your spouse.
Forgiveness is as much for you as it is for your partner. It empowers you to live an emotionally abundant life without the encumbrance of resentment. Be openhanded in your forgiveness of your spouse’s misdeeds especially if he or she has made amends.
4. Be charitable with your laughter towards your spouse.
A family that laughs together has less time to argue and dwell on negativity. You might be surprised to learn your husband is the next Kevin Hart or your wife the next Monique.
5. Be charitable with your compliments to your spouse.
It’s often second nature for us to compliment a co-worker, friend, even stranger. Make it second nature to recognize his or her gifts however minute and show your appreciation.
6. Be charitable with your tolerance of your spouse.
Imperfection is a part of everyone’s tapestry including your spouse. We all are like the Potter’s clay needing to be molded, and remolded over again because of our character flaws. Focus on what’s right with your spouse instead of his or her bothersome nuances.
7. Be charitable with your romantic gestures and expressions towards your spouse.
Snuggle, embrace, and call each other terms of endearment. A long embrace or neck massage not only fuels your romantic flame but melts away the stresses of the day.
8. Be charitable with your commitment to your spouse.
Let your spouse know that you will stay the course in your marriage. Your children will also benefit from this knowing that when trouble comes neither one of you will bail, that your foundation is oak-tree strong even when your branches perilously sway and bend.
Remember, by being emotionally generous to your spouse you are bound to garner a myriad of unexpected marital benefits in your own rite.
Jeanine DeHoney is a wife, mother and grandmother and freelance writer. She has written for Essence, Upscale, Black Romance, Beautiful Black, Mused-Bella Online, Mothering.com., Grand Magazine, and Family Fun Magazine.