Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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We each have been created uniquely by God. God has given each of us particular set of gifts and talents with which we are to serve the world.  That seems obvious, right?  Yet, when we serve others, we often do so in the way that the world expects us to serve, rather than by using our God-given gifts and talents.

For instance, the world tells us that “good” mothers do certain things. They bake cookies.  They sew Halloween costumes.  And they join the PTA.  But what if you are a mother, and none of that is your cup of tea?  What if God simply didn’t give you those skills?

We need to forget what the world expects, and instead serve others by giving them our best.  So, as mothers, we need to parent our children in a way that comes naturally to us.  If we try to parent like everyone else, we’ll be frustrated.

For instance, I’m not much of a baker. I can make a decent pie crust, and I can bake passable chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  But I don’t enjoy doing so.  Baking, for me, is a chore.  So, I rarely bake, even though that is a quintessential “mom” activity.

Instead, I mother by sharing with my daughter what I love – books. When she was small, I read to her all the time.  I loved the picture books as much as she did!  And I became an expert in what was the best in children’s literature.  As she has gotten older, we’ve spent much of our mother-daughter time going to libraries and bookstores.  Over the years, I’ve tried to offer my daughter my best.

The same concept holds true in marriage. In the ideal marriage, spouses complement each other.  One spouse may be more organized, while the other is more creative.  One may be great at housekeeping, while the other is good at cooking.  And if each person serves the marriage by doing what they are naturally good at, the marriage becomes a highly effective partnership.  It becomes a union in which the two joined together are far superior to when they were separate.

But so often, we try to offer our spouse what we think we should be offering. For example, there are very few marriages in which the husband stays home and raises the kids, while the wife is the breadwinner.  However, there probably are many marriages in which the husband is more nurturing and the wife is more career-oriented.  However, they both spouses feel obliged to serve the marriage in ways that don’t come naturally to them.

The key to success in every relationship is to offer our best to the other person. And the other key is to accept the other person’s best.  Don’t harp on what the other person lacks!  Instead, accept and appreciate what that person has to offer you.

For example, you may wish that your spouse was more romantic. However, romantic words and gestures may not come naturally to him or her.  Appreciate the natural qualities that your spouse does possess.  Your spouse may not be romantic, but he or she may be very kind and gentle.  Or your spouse may be financially responsible and organized.  Instead of lamenting over the qualities that your spouse does not possess, praise the qualities that he or she does possess!

None of us comes to the table with the same gifts and attributes. Learning to appreciate what is good about others, and refusing to focus on where others are lacking, is the way to build positive relationships.

This week, try to give others your best. And appreciate when others give you theirs!  Remember that God made each of us uniquely for a reason.  Don’t second guess God.  Instead, give the world what He has created you to offer.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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