This month and next in school, the children (and consequently, the teachers!) will be memorizing Romans 12. If you listened to 7 kids quote a passage of Scripture an average of four times apiece, not counting reading it aloud every morning, you would have it memorized too, believe me! In fact, maybe I've just stumbled onto a unique "memorization tool!" Want to learn more Scripture? Just teach it to a group of kids and expect them to be able to quote it back to you...it sticks around, believe me!
Well, that's not really what this post is about though. As I was reading through Romans 12, preparing to explain a verse to the kids in opening assembly, (FYI: it's a lot easier for them to memorize something that's been explained!) the passage about the spiritual gifts caught my attention.
Always looking for practical application of the Scripture in my life (and maybe a good blog post, right?), I began to think about the verses a little more. I've never done one of those "What Is Your Spiritual Gift?" surveys, but I've heard several messages on them throughout the years. But I don't think I could really pinpoint one and say, "Well, that's MY spiritual gift."
But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like maybe, especially as a mom, I don't need--or have--just one. Maybe God blessed moms with a little of all of them...let's see...
Verse 6: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;" Yes, we all have been given different gifts, in different amounts. And us mommies need LOTS of grace! But before you think to yourself "I don't prophesy!"--are you sure? Have you ever said "See--Mommy told you if you keep rough-housing, you were going to get hurt!" Look---your prophecy has come to fruition! :) But in seriousness, we do prophesy (or preach) to our kiddos and the people around us. Are you preaching the truth? In love?
Verse 7: "Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching." Well, these gifts are pretty obvious to anyone who's a wife and/or mom. We spend all day, every day, doing these two! Cooking, cleaning, laundry--all forms of ministering. And that's only within our own home! Most of us minister in our church family too! And you know if you have kiddos, you're a teacher---whether you want to be one or not! Are you teaching the right things? With patience? (Yikes for me! Teaching-yes; patience-could stand a little more!)
Verse 8: "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness." To me, there's a lot in this one! We are to exhort, which means encouraging others to do the right thing. This one takes a lot of patience as well! Because, while it's easy to know what is right for everyone else to do, encouraging them to do it by your example is another thing entirely!
I think the next one is interesting in the way it is paired. Giving with simplicity. Seems simple on the surface, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a lot of times, our giving is complicated by our expectations of something in return. "I've done this and this and this, so you should at least be able to do that for me!" Simple giving expects nothing in return.
Ruling with diligence. We mommies don't really think of ourselves as "ruling", but we do, especially in the absence of our hubbies. Are we ruling with diligence? This speaks to me of consistency. Do your kiddos know when "no means no"? Kids thrive on boundaries and knowing what is what. Loving, consistent discipline is an important part of ruling with diligence.
Showing mercy with cheerfulness...another interesting couple. You would think, if you've made the decision to show mercy to someone, you would be cheerful about it, right? Well, maybe not...How about this scenario---"I'm going to show mercy to my hubby and pick up his dirty clothes from RIGHT NEXT TO THE HAMPER for the one hundredth time since we've been married. But I don't understand how someone who manages to leave the house for eight hours a day and do important, complicated work with other grown adults can't seem to figure out that the hamper is to put the clothes in, not around!" Showing mercy?...yes. Cheerfulness?...well, not so much!
So, there you have it! I know which gifts I need to work on...how about you? But hey, no one can say we moms aren't gifted! :)