Do you ever feel lost and wonder what your life’s work is? Or maybe you’re trying to find your purpose. I mean, you know God made you. He loves you. He has a plan for your life. But, what IS it? Sometimes it’s hard to discern. Okay, a lot of times it is.
You don’t have to be a teenager or suffering a mid-life crisis to find yourself thinking about it. After all, it’s the stuff of life.
The good news? God has given each and every believer special gifts, spiritual gifts.
What are Spiritual Gifts?
Spiritual gifts are unique individual abilities God has given to each and everyone one of us to help play a role in His plan for the church and in our family. Paul’s letter to the Romans reminds us of this:
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.”(Romans 12:4-6a)
I don’t know about you, but this is pretty exciting stuff.
I don’t need a woo-woo guru to find my life’s calling. The Holy Spirit is my guide, my personal spiritual director.
Helping Ben find his spiritual gifts has been one of my greatest joys as a mama. And I can tell you, it’s also been a challenge. He’s got a spiritual gift regarding leadership and takes responsibility very seriously. This means I might find myself driving 12 hours one way to ensure he makes his Sea Cadet training. Or I’m waiting up for him because he stayed after work to counsel a friend.
My own spiritual gifts have definitely come into play in our own household dynamics. I’m so glad that while watching a recent episode of Little House on the Prairie (don’t judge me), Laura asked Pa if “gumption” was a gift. He said, “Yes, Half Pint, I believe it is.” Gumption is, “spirited initiative and resourcefulness.” Friends, gumption I’ve got.
I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 1 Corinthians 7:7 (ESV)
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. Romans 12:6-8 (ESV)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.1 Corinthians 12:4-12 (ESV)And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:28 (ESV)
4 Ways Spiritual Gifts Help Your Family
Through study, prayer, and involvement in our local church body, we have learned to understand what gifts God has granted to us. And we often think of these spiritual gifts in relation to the church. However, do you know how to use your spiritual gifts to help your family? Here are just a few ways you can do so.
The Spiritual Gift Of Faith
According to the Spiritual Gifts Test, the Gift of Faith is, “confidence, certainty, trust, and assurance in the object of faith. The gift of faith is rooted in one’s saving faith in Christ and the trust that comes through a close relationship with the Savior. Those with this gift have a trust and confidence in God that allows them to live boldly for Him and manifest that faith in mighty ways. … The Holy Spirit distributes this gift to some in the church to encourage and build up the church in her confidence in God.”
If you have the gift of faith, then you’ll be able to help your family overcome any obstacle by helping them see the God possibilities that lie in the future. Whether your partner is having a hard time at work, or children are going through mid-terms in school, your comforting gift of faith will help keep them grounded in God and His word.
They will see your faith in the Lord, and by trust in you, learn to trust our Savior more and more.
The Spiritual Gift Of Giving
I found that ChurchGrowth.com (and other resources) define the Gift of Giving, “If you are a Giver, you have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by giving of your material resources, far beyond the tithe, to further the work of God. You are the person who meets the financial needs of fellow Christians and church members.”
I thought that was interesting, and I agree. But, it’s also true that one of the best gifts a family member can receive is a gift of one-on-one time, so that a person feels as if they matter. It brings great joy and delight to be taken out to go bowling, eat ice cream, make a favorite snack or meal, or to make a hand crafted project for them. It will help to instill a great love that you have for them when you generously use your gift of giving to give of your time to your husband and children.
The Spiritual Gift Of Mercy
Life is full of bumps and curves in the road. If you see your child going through a rough time (and social media certainly creates a lot of stress!), then be there to lend an ear and sympathize. Help open up a line of communication so that your child knows that they have someone they can talk with that truly cares about their situation.
By enriching your family with your Gift of Mercy, you will show them how to use this wonderful gift to others in this world that feel like they’re lonely or outcasts, or to simply teach them to serve empathetically and joyfully.
If you have deep empathy and compassion for others, then you’ll not only be able to help your own family, but friends . . . you can change the world. And by your example, your family will be inspired to do the same.
The Spiritual Gift Of Teaching
Do you think you have the spiritual Gift of Teaching? Spiritual Gifts Test describes this gifts as, “Those with the spiritual gift of teaching love to study the Word of God for extended periods of time. They consume the Scriptures as food for their hearts, souls and minds with the expressed purpose of knowing Him and then making Him known to others.”
This gift, in the family setting, often falls to us moms. Not always, but very often. In the church setting, we normally see men as the primary teacher of adults, and women as primary teacher of children. I’m not here to debate anything, but to point out that both men AND women are endowed with this spiritual gift.
In what ways can those of us with this gift strive to be a teacher for our family to help communicate God’s word in a powerful and practical way?
God gives us so many teachable moments as homeschool moms. Some of those teaching moments are meant for our children, and some are the Lord’s way of gently directing and loving us. Having the spiritual gift of teaching is often paired with the gift of discernment (or wisdom), giving us His direction for how to apply what we learn in the Word. This is a powerful gift God gives, and not to be taken lightly. While we’re accountable for all of the gifts God gives us, this one comes with the strongest admonition to teach rightly.
I’d further say this gift can feel like a burden. I mean, aligning our entire lives to the Word and feeling compelled to make Him known to others can not only serve our family and others well, but it can also cost us friends. If your child has this gift, be aware and prepared.
So, what are your spiritual gifts?
- Ask your local church leadership what they see as your spiritual gifts.
- Study the Bible to determine what God defines as spiritual gifts and journal your discoveries.
- Pray for God to reveal your spiritual gifts to you.
- Take a Spiritual Gifts test.