The power of the spoken blessing

BY AL EARLEY

Sun Columnist

The pastor was not pleased with the girlfriend his son chose. She was from a broken family, had a very checkered past and was once divorced with a child.

He watched as the two walked the road of romance, engagement and marriage. The pastor tried not to express his disappointment, but the girlfriend felt it all the time. The wedding day was a muted celebration as she felt she just didn’t measure up. It was a source of real struggle for her and her new husband.

One day, the pastor went to his daughter-in-law, took both of her hands in his and spoke a blessing something like this, “I want to bless you for how well you have handled the way I have treated you. I know it has not been easy, and you have handled it with great poise and dignity. I want to bless you for your continued openness to me and respect for me, even though I don’t deserve it and haven’t earned it. I want God to bless our future together as father-in-law and daughter-in-law that we will become great friends as I will celebrate what a special woman my son has married, and give you the love and respect you deserve.”

This moment of blessing changed the future of the father-in-law and daughter-in-law as their lives have become integrally woven together in mission and ministry. That is the power of blessing one another that can change our relationships completely.

The Bible has much to say about the power of the blessing. We read in I Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (see also Luke 6:28 and Romans 12:14, just to name a few).

In his book “The 2 Minute Miracle,” M. Lynn Reddick offers a road map to a hidden treasure that blessing others can become in our life. He explores the Jewish tradition of sharing family blessings as a part of the Sabbath.

In ancient Jewish life the parents would share a blessing upon one another and then their children, thus releasing God’s power into someone’s life. We can pour love, light, and healing into the lives of the people around us. We can bless the lives of our spouse, children, co-workers, friends, even those that don’t think they like us, and see God’s power transform us, them, and our relationships.

If you read the blessing the pastor shared with his daughter-in-law, you will see it has three parts. We can start by blessing the person in who they were. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the hardships and struggles if they have been present, and lift up how the person rose up in victory over those challenges.

We can move to blessing the person in who they are today. How has that person matured, grown in wisdom and character, or become stronger? Then we can bless who they will be in the future.

Try to incorporate the person’s personality, hopes,and dreams into a blessing on their future that they can live into. You don’t have to have each of these parts. There are no rules to blessing others. Simply decide today to seek every opportunity to speak a blessing into other’s lives.

One big by-product of the quarantine is couples and families are spending lots more time together. Statistics show this is not necessarily a good thing. The incidence of physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism and drug abuse, and filing for divorce is way up. If you are experiencing any of these I highly recommend you plan on blessing the people around you.

Take time to write down your blessing for each member of your family if that makes it easier. Imagine how your marriage can be moved in a completely new direction if you were to write a blessing for your spouse that blessed the struggles of the past and present and then asked God to bless the future with healing and hope.

You don’t have to be struggling in your relationships to bless those you love. How would it affect your spouse and children if you spoke blessing into their lives (adult children need a blessing from their parents as well)? Can you share a blessing without writing it down, or would it be better if you took some time and wrote your blessing down? What keeps you from following through on this challenge? How can you become a person who truly blesses those around you?

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous columns, see www.lagrangepres.org.