Al-Hashr (The Gathering)
Chapter 59: Verse 9
"But those who before them had homes (in Madina) and had adopted the Faith, show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity."
Al-Bukhari narrated in his collection that Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) said that a man came to the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and said, "I'm exhausted and hungry."
The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) sent to his wives asking for food to feed this man. They all replied that they had no food at all. The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) asked the companions around him if one of them could host this hungry, tired man. One of the Ansar volunteered. He took the hungry man with him to his house. He asked his wife, "Do we have any food to feed the guest of Allah's messenger?"
"The only food we have is the children's food", the wife replied.
"Try to put the children to sleep without food and bring their food for the guest", the man said. He also asked her to turn the lamp light off so the guest wouldn't notice that the hosts were not eating with him. She did so and they were able to feed the guest. The next day, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam)told the man that Allah was impressed with him and his wife's actions. Allah then revealed the above verse.
The above is a beautiful example of cooperation in goodness between husband and wife. No doubt, both helped each other with this wonderful act of hospitality and helped each other be closer to Allah and enhance the level of their faith.
When reading such examples it may seem obvious that this was the right thing for the couple to do, but when we stop and put ourselves in their shoes, it becomes evident how much they sacrificed with each act. Perhaps this can be roughly compared to a situation in our time: giving charity to the hungry and homeless. This couple sacrificed their children's dinner in order to feed their guest. The wife never protested at her husband's request. This is truly remarkable. By remembering these types of examples, when our spouses suggest that we donate money to the poor, instead of thinking about the computer we are saving up for or the vacation we would like to take, we may be able to support our spouses and ourselves in strengthening our faith.
"Blissful Marriage, A Practical Islamic Guide" - Dr. Ekram and M. Rida Beshir, pp. 29-30