All throughout the Bible we see a very important and repeated process that we have largely forgotten in our day and age. It is the act of ‘Blessing’. It is right there at the very beginning of creation in Genesis. God blesses the animals and gives them the mandate to be fruitful and multiply. God then repeats this same blessing with Adam and Eve.
This pattern of speaking a blessing over someone as a sign of love, encouragement, destiny, and purpose follows down through the family-line of Israel all the way to Jesus. God blessed Noah after the flood. God made a covenant with Abraham to ‘bless him’ and everyone associated with him. Later we see Jacob snag the family birthright from Esau, but also wanted the ‘blessing’ from Isaac as well.
The word ‘bless’ shows up almost 500 times in the Bible! Even Jesus was ‘blessed’ by God the Father at His baptism. Matthew 3:16-17 “16 After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and settling on Him, 17 and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
It’s so important to notice that God blessed our first parents prior to their performance. God blessed his own son before He had completed the covenant and died on the cross. God’s blessing of love and affirmation for their worth, position, authority, role and significance came BEFORE they had ‘performed’ a single act of obedience.
God loved them and blessed them because of WHO they were, not because of WHAT they did or didn’t do. Our minds have difficulty grasping this concept. Everything we know and the very fabric of our society is based on performance.
This issue comes up in our families all the time. It’s easy to love our spouse and kids and thank them and bless them when they are doing what we want. However, when things are difficult and crisis comes at you, it’s a real challenge to continue speaking blessing over your family.
This is where ‘unconditional’ must win out over ‘conditional’ love. We have to choose to bless our spouse and children for who they are. She is your wife because of the love and covenant you made with her and God on your wedding day. She is precious, valuable, lovely, and worthy of protection because of her position as wife, not because she performed whatever tasks she’s in-charge of.
He is your husband because of the covenant you made with him and God. He is worthy of honor, respect, love, encouragement and support because of his position as husband, not because he did something right.
Your children are a gift from God, entrusted to you for a season of time to love, train, and empower. They need to know every day that they are loved and accepted for ‘who they are’ as your son or daughter, and not for how well they did at school or in sports.
So in this season of stress and uncertainty let me encourage you to find a way to bless your family every day for 7 days. Here are a few simple suggestions to help.
1.) At a random time during the day look at your spouse or children and ask, ‘Did you know I love you?” Then give them a hug and kiss.
2.) At dinner one night have everyone go around the table and speak at least 1 thing they love about each of your family members.
3.) Bless your spouse or children with something you know they love like a type of food, a time for rest, or a special activity. Try not to connect it to something, but make it ‘just because’.
4.) Pick a task your spouse or child normally handles around the house and you bless them and do that job instead. Make sure they know you handled that task as a way to bless them. No shaming allowed if you did the task better :)
5.) Send a random text message during the day with words of affirmation to each member of your family. If your kids don’t have cell phones then leave them note in their room while they’re at school.
6.) Sit down together and remember back to your favorite family vacations or moments and share the things you loved and appreciated about each family member in that time.
7.) Write out a prayer that includes a blessing for your spouse, your family, and your future.