Sunday, November 18, 2012

Understanding Our God-Given Gifts in Marriage

How Marriage Works:
21 Secrets Every Couple Needs to Know

Secret #15: Understanding our gifts reduces conflict, and creates success in love and work. 

I've noticed that I'm very different from my girlfriends. But my husband is definitely "all boy" like his buddies. Why am I more like him?

It is interesting … because sometimes I do not think like a woman ... yikes. 1) I'm more competitive :) 2) My brain is focused on work and church and I go home to rest ... and worry less about homemaking tasks (am I bad) lol, my house is not a major mess but I would rather sit and read or write over doing the dishes or laundry. :) I struggle in not being a miss susie homemaker ... if I had more time maybe I would - but really my thoughts are ministry before home. … I also do not 'need' a lot of female interaction, I'm good with my own company and with my man.Shelley
We definitely have different interests. For example, he likes to travel -- internationally, even. I'm a homebody, but it's not just that I don't want to travel -- every time I do I spend hours in the bathroom, to put it delicately.BarbaraH

We are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) When a couple gets married, they're given a lifetime to unwrap the most wonderful gift of all ... each other!
First, think of Male and Female as two polarities. Classic gender differences tend to show up in marriage when we're under stress. You can read about the general characteristics of male and female here.
However, as you've observed, women don't all share the same interests. For example, like biblical Mary, many women prefer a quiet contemplative life, with less social contact. Similarly, only a portion of women truly love domesticity like her sister Martha. In the same way, some men excel in deep study, caring very little about big salaries or big adventure outside their offices.

We were Gifted Before Birth
That's because each of us is gifted by God before birth. (Not to be confused with the supernatural gifts Christians receive after salvation.) In terms of personality, all of us actually fall somewhere along a broad continuum that stretches between the two poles of male and female.
These tendencies are hard-wired into our brains. They are the direct result of varying amounts of sex hormones we were exposed to in our mother's womb. According to Scripture, we are “flavored” or gifted by grace in the direction of God's own choosing.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Rom 12:6-8 NIV)

How Can We Discover our Gifts?

In his loving wisdom, God has laid out for us the "Mother of all Personality-Type Indicators" in the Bible. (It's far superior to Myers-Briggs, if your familiar with that model.) Found in Rom 12:6-8, Paul outlines a total of seven natural gifts or temperaments given to humanity. Each of us is born with one strong gift that shapes our personality; most people also exhibit a less dominant secondary gift.

Authors Don and Katie Fortune do a masterful job of explaining the characteristics of the seven Biblical motivational gifts in, Discover Your God-Given Gifts.

This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I highly recommend it.

The Fortune’s easy self-tests help readers discover which of the seven Biblical “personality types” best describes them. The gifts are variously bestowed upon male and female alike, and each gift is of equal value.

Two Distinctions Within the Seven Gifts

Scripture teaches that there are two distinctions within the motivational gifts, speaking gifts and serving gifts (1 Pet 4:11). We are commanded to use our gift to benefit others, for it was designed by the Creator to overflow from us to those around us.

The Fortunes note that our dominant gift can be observed in childhood. Like donning a pair of tinted glasses, our gift colors all we see and do. The authors’ thorough research has shown that God bestows some of the gifts more frequently than others. For instance, there is a greater need for followers than leaders.

Summary of the Seven Biblical Gifts      


Perceiver — Declares the will of God. Also called Prophet.
— Researches and teaches the Bible.
— Encourages personal growth. Also called Encourager.
— Gives leadership & direction. Also called Leader.

Three SERVING Gifts

Compassion — Provides emotional support. Also called Mercy.
— Offers practical service.
— Shares financial assistance. Also called Contributor.

Note: Scripture teaches that there is a particular limitation on a woman's use of her leadership gifts in the church. Curious about that? Click here.

Joy is the By-Product      

"The best way to measure whether or not you are operating in the sphere of your motivational gift is to take this simple test: Are you joyful? Joy is the by-product of operating in your motivational gift. Frustration is the by-product of trying to operate outside it. Joy is always a byproduct of what is in the will of God for you. Joy can never be sought as a goal or an end in itself. But as you function in the giftedness that God has given you, you will have joy."—Discover Your God-Given Gifts, The Fortunes.

Photos: MatthewandTracie, AlexDram, INIJIE and svacher(Flickr)

This post is linked at Time Warp Wife's Titus2Tuesdays

It’s Marriage Monday! Please Join Us

Group Topic: "Our God-Given Gifts" If you would like to link a post today, take a minute to read the introduction to today's topic.

Comment Policy. Don't forget to leave a brief comment! BTW, you might have strong feelings about this post. As a courtesy to others, please refrain from expressing them here, especially for the sake of those who might be new. This is your chance to blog your heart out, Sister!

Test Your Link. You’re welcome to add your link any time up until eleven PM MT on Wednesday. Please include a text link back to Chrysalis, or you can use one of these graphic buttons instead.

If you're new at Chrysalis, welcome! Please accept my invitation to join our Marriage Monday community. You might want to read an introduction to this Blog Hop and find out how to join the Marriage Monday Blog List.

Thanks for linking at Chrysalis today, sweet Sister!



Tami Boesiger said...

My husband and I are clearly gifted differently. He's the visionary. I'm the practical realist. But the longer we're married, the more we become like each other. I guess we're rubbing off on each other!

Great to have you back, e-Mom.

nice A said...

I and hubby have different gifts but it's both our gift of music that drew us closer to each other and made us united in our faith. I've just linked my post about it. Thanks for this topic, e-Mom. It gave me an opportunity to reflect how God can use our talents for His glory.

Faith said...

my husband and I started our friendship because we were/are both gifted in music and served on our church's music ministry team! Now that we are married and older, we have learned over the last 22 yrs about other giftings we have as well. I like to call them our Natural giftings vs our spiritual giftings. Our natural giftings are quite different (i'm a teacher, he is not). Our spiritual giftings are similar (we both are teachers of the word, leaders, and encouragers) He tends to be more of the intercessor and prophet and I tend to be more of the mercy and hospitality type (although I'm not really a susie homemaker type! LOL). We BOTH utilize our natural giftings with our spiritual ones....and i think we balance each other fairly well. Didnt have time to write for this as the school year is just too busy to do 2 of these a month....i had some other blogging that was on my heart :)

Constance said...

I am always amazed at how unique God has created each and every one of us! I remember many years ago, our daughter Jessica (now 30) was so sensitive and tender-hearted that she couldn't even watch the TV show, "Rescue 911" hosted by William Shatner. I would explain to her that these stories all had happy endings but all she could focus on was the pain and fear that people were experiencing. I remember telling God how frustrated I was because we had gotten to the point where we couldn't let her watch it.

God reminded me that He had created her with that sensitivity and compassion and as a parent, I was admonished to speak life into her, mold her and shape her so she could be a force for good.

Another of our children has born leadership qualities but without being shaped and molded, she'd just be flat out bossy!

Our uniqueness can be used by satan against us if we're not careful, turning our strengths into weaknesses. It's important to nurture and grow our gifts but we also have to be on guard, lest we become a clanging cymbal!


Miriam Pauline said...

I could have written Tami's comment! My husband is the big-picture dreamer and gifted giver; I'm the detailed oriented 'can we really do that?' counterpart. I guess we balance each other.

Chicken pox has invaded our house, so no time to write. Maybe next time. Happy Thanksgiving!

All Flickr images displayed on this weblog are used under a Creative Commons License.


Copyright © 2006-2015 C h r y s a l i s ღ. Design by Insight