Compromise —it’s an action we love to receive but don’t always like to give. Yet in marriage if we don’t sometimes compromise, we probably couldn’t live together. But have you thought about compromising as it comes to using our God-given giftedness? Read what Pam Farrel writes about this subject in the fun book she and her husband Bill wrote. It is titled, Every Marriage Is a Fixer-Upper: A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Bringing Out the Best in Your Relationship.
Using Our Giftedness
“Over the years, my husband Bill and I had to learn to make compromises. I learned that having to share Bill [who has the gift of mercy] with the world. This is a small price to pay to be married to a man with his amazing heart and character. He learned to set up boundaries and protect days off, holidays, and vacations. He decided to meet people only at the office so our home could be a place of rest and family connection.
“We should make room for one another’s gifts instead of being frustrated by them. For example, a couple can become frustrated if the wife has the gift of hospitality and the husband is the kind of person who doesn’t like many people around. Or maybe he doesn’t want people to bother his stuff. Can you see how a situation like this might cause anxiety even though it involves your area of strength?
Making Allowances for Giftedness
“These gifts are God-given and enhance your life in a powerful way. They are also so powerful that they can disrupt your life if they run unchecked. A couple can come to a place of agreement by being aware of each other’s gifts. And then they can make allowances for them. Consider a couple that is asked to team-teach. If he has the gift of teaching but she has the gift of helps, he could teach and she could handle hospitality, provide resources, and make phone calls. She can be available for individual discussions to help people apply the material to their lives while staying in the background. This gives them both the opportunity to work in their comfort range.
“The ‘social butterfly’ married to ‘the king of the castle’ type might compromise and create a home that is guest-friendly. But it also includes a private space that is off-limits to company. That way, he can retreat if the company becomes too much for him.
“Talk with your mate about the list below. This is not an exhaustive list of gifts but rather a place to begin the dialogue. Discuss how you can make room for each other’s gifts. And then find creative solutions for any differences. [If your spouse isn’t the type who will do this with you, look the list over yourself to identify your giftedness. Then see if you can discover your spouses.]
God Given Giftedness
• “Administration: directing projects. (See: Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:5, 28)
• “Craftsmanship and artistry: using your hands to create or build so that others are pointed toward God. (See: Exodus 30:22-25; 2 Chronicles 34:9-13; Acts 16:14; Acts 18:3)
• “Evangelism: communicating spiritual truth to lead someone to a personal relationship with God. (See: Acts 5:42; Romans 10:15; Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:5.)
• “Exhortation: encouraging people and walking alongside them to bring out the best in them. (See: Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 2:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:2.)
• “Giving: providing faithful stewardship and sharing with others. (See: Mark 12:41-44; Luke 18:12; Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.)
• “Helps and serving: caring for others by working behind the scenes. (See: Mark 2:3-4; Luke 22:22-27; Romans 16:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:7; 1 Timothy 6:2; 1 Peter 4:9-10)
• “Hospitality: using the home or other resources to make people feel included and welcomed. (See: Acts 16:15; Acts 21:16-17; Romans 12:9-13; Romans 16:23.)
• “Intercession: devoting time and energy to pray more than the average person does. (See: Acts 12:1-17; Acts 16:25-31; Colossians 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:1-8.)
• “Knowledge: sharing information that helps people live life in a productive, healthy manner. (See: Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Corinthians 13:8.)
• “Leadership: directing people. (See: 1 Timothy 5:17.)
• “Mercy: showing compassion and acting to meet needs. (See: Luke 10:33-35; Acts 9:36; Acts 16:33-34; Romans 12:8.)
• “Music: singing or playing instruments to turn hearts toward God (1 Samuel 16:16; 1 Chronicles 16:41-42; 2 Chronicles 5:12-13).
• “Prophecy: publicly proclaiming truth (Ezra 6:3; Isaiah 14:28; Isaiah 25:1; 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 13:2; also, 1 Corinthians 14:1).
• “Teaching: explaining harder concepts to others and helping them apply them (Romans 12:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:2).
• “Wisdom: applying knowledge with discretion and insight (2 Chronicles 1:11-12; Proverbs 1:2; Proverbs 2:10).
• “Writing: communicating information to help others grow in faith, develop life skills, or turn toward God (Psalms 45:1; Acts 15:19-20; Philippians 3:1; 1 Timothy 3:14-15).”
Working With Giftedness
We hope this has been helpful for you as a married couple to consider your God-given giftedness. We also hope you will reach forward to help each other find opportunities to use your talents in the best way possible. But keep in mind that you are to work WITH each other on this. You are not to say, “Well, this is a talent/gift the Lord has given me so just learn to live with it!” On the other-hand, you’re not to say, “Your giftedness causes too many problems so you have to stop.” It’s finding ways to compromise and work WITH each other on this issue.
And if you don’t have a spouse who will discuss this list with you, ask the Lord for wisdom. Ask Him to show you how to work with giftedness in ways that won’t negatively affect your marriage. The Bible says in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
We pray the Lord will show you how to “let your light shine.” May others —including your spouse, see your good deeds and praise our Father in heaven.
Steve and Cindy Wright
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