When was the last time you received a blessing? I usually think of a blessing as something good happening to me, or as something good given to me. But in the Bible it is much more than that. We most often see a father blessing a child and it usually involves ceremony and deep intimate connection.
In the New Testament Paul encourages us to “bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14b (NIV)
John Ortberg writes about this in his book Soul Keeping:
Blessing and cursing are not compartmentalized Bible words at all. They are simply the two ways we treat people. They are as inescapable as breathing in and breathing out.
As a mother, these words resonated within me. I have a choice each day to speak a blessing or a curse; to speak words that bring life or words that bring death. It sounds simple enough right? Oh, I wish that it was. I’ve often joked with my husband that, “these kids are making me sin!” But the truth is that they are just bringing to the surface—with alarming regularity—my selfish nature, my impatience and my obvious need for God.
However, one thing I do have on my side is my desire to learn. So today, I choose to bless. I started with the blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV) and added my own thoughts as well as some notes from John’s book and wrote a blessing for my daughter Emily. I read the following to her one day last week as I tucked her into bed.
A Blessing for Emily
The Lord bless you…
my sweet, beautiful, strong, talented Emily.
The Lord keep you…
may God protect you with the care and sacrificial love of Christ that was poured out on the cross, and guard everything precious and sacred about you daughter!
The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you…
your face was meant to shine, your heart inhabits the glory of God and you share that glory and grace with others.
The Lord lift His countenance upon you…
God is fully present with you every day in every way. You are never alone. He loves and gives all of Himself to you!
And give you peace…
an unthreatened and undisturbed peace. A peace that surpasses all understanding. A peace that guards your heart and mind. A lasting peace.
This is my prayer for you sweet daughter!
She held my hand. Her eyes were shining and she never stopped smiling. I gave her a big hug and told her, “This is true Emily. Even if you have a hard day. Even if we argue. No matter what you go through—I bless you!”
It’s never too late to learn to give a blessing. We were made for this! Our hearts and souls cry out for it and we have the opportunity to bless our children, our spouses, our friends, our family.
What choice will you make today: to bless or curse?