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Your Gift or Mine?

Your Gift or Mine?

Encourage each another to use your spiritual gifts
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After my husband and I faced each other, took a deep breath, and said, "I do," we joined a warm and welcoming church in the Seattle area. There, we connected with a group of other newlyweds for social events and Bible studies. As we got to know our new friends, someone asked us about our spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts? Although both of us grew up attending church, neither of us was familiar with this term.

During the next few years, we not only learned what spiritual gifts were, but we also discovered ours. I came to understand that natural abilities and spiritual gifts can be different. All of us have natural abilities we can use for many good purposes. But spiritual gifts—like hospitality, mercy, giving, and teaching—are given to each of us by the Holy Spirit specifically so that we can minister to others in the body of Christ. The Apostle Paul describes it this way: "If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it" (1 Corinthians 12:17-18). And so it is with us: each member of the body of Christ has a purpose in edifying other believers. Further, as husbands and wives, we have the privilege of encouraging our spouses to reach, teach, and minister to the Christian community through their gifts.

Start at the beginning. If you're newly married and you've never determined your spiritual gifts, now is the time. By beginning this process together, you set the stage for a lifetime of encouraging one another to grow in faith through serving.

  • Begin with prayer. Ask God to help make you aware of your gifts. Ask him to reveal areas where you could effectively use them. Read about the spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Ephesians 4:11-12; and 1 Peter 4:11.
  • Be receptive. Listen carefully to feedback you receive in your everyday interactions. Are you incredibly moved to give to the needy? Do you feel compelled to help others understand God's Word? These types of urges can be clues to your gifts and how you can use them. In addition, you may have gifts that push you beyond your comfort zone. You might discover that you have the gift of hospitaility, for example, even though you're not sure how to pull off a meal for six student ministry leaders with kids afoot. Remember, when God called Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, Moses protested. "Lord, please! Send anyone else" (Exodus 4:13). But God used Moses and he can use you, too.

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April 17, 2012  11:33am

Would like to see something written on - Is there such a thing as spirtual gift hogging? By this I mean what effort is made by women in leadership in determining spiritual giftedness of those they lead and placing them in positions to utilize that gift? How often are up front jobs hogged by those who enjoy doing them? Is there competition between people (Christians) for the positions of power, popularity, praise, prestige just as there is in the corporate world? even to the point of devaluing and destroying others? Would you be willing to give up your place to encourage another's giftedness?

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edward wafula

April 17, 2012  9:51am

This is great! As a couple, there is need to realize that you are called to complement each other. The beginning point is to appreciate where each is best suited to serve and be an inspiration.

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April 10, 2012  11:57am

I agreed with u totally because am experiencing a similar circumstances. My husband is the leader of mission & evangelism. He travels often, visiting the mission fields and my church happens to have many mission fields across the country. When hes at home, he attends meetings and go for evangelism.We're waiting-parent, which means am alone and lonely most of the time hes away. I could not follow him due to work. So sometimes, i felt bad and neglected, but i always adjust and try to encourage him,so that it won't look as if i don't want him to do the work of God, but its not easy.

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