At Home with God - Blessing
God loves to bless. When he created, he blessed. When he gave promises, he blessed. God desires for goodness to expand, to nurture fruitfulness, and promote thriving in his people. He is for us and seeks our good at all times.
God blesses us with his presence and wants us to share his goodness with the whole world.
How might families create an atmosphere of blessing that mirrors God's heart toward us? How could habits of blessing one another counteract the negative messages that surround us in the world?
Our world is full of curses--name calling and belittling of one another. We hear it on social media, kids experience it on the playground. It seems cruelty often wins over kindness these days.
it is easy to underestimate the power of a blessing. It seems like such a little thing but over time blessings, or the lack thereof, can affect our identities--the way we view ourselves which is formed through the words and reactions of others toward us.
As families we have the opportunity to make our homes a refuge where blessings win over curses. Jesus teaches his followers to bless no matter what, to even offer blessings to those who persecute or curse us.
When our homes become a place of blessing--when we are secure in God's love, and in our love for one another--we have the opportunity to meaningfully impact our neighbors and those who we meet. Flourishing in God's blessing frees us to bless others; not out of obligation but out of an overflow of love.
Here are some practical ideas for cultivating blessings in your home.
1. Have a formal time when you bless your kids every day. This may include:
- a blessing from Scripture, a song, or a liturgy that you pray over them at bedtime
- a time of personal blessing at breakfast or dinner.
Make this a habit. Look into their eyes or put your hand on their head. Let them feel your pleasure in them and your trust that God loves them immensely and walks with them continually.
2. When you notice your family members blessing one another through their actions--helping one another, encouraging one another, sacrificing for one another--call it out. Thank that family member for being a blessing and contributing to the blessings in the world.
3. When you notice your family members escalating to frustration, anger and belittling of one another help them understand that those choices counteract blessings. Give your blessing to them in the moment so that they will have something to share with others.
Here are some tools to consider for your toolbox.
1. Keep some flash cards on a ring that have your favorite blessings from Scripture. Add blessings as you run across them. End Scripture reading or family prayer times with one of these blessings.
2. Keep a blessings journal as a family. Record how God has blessed your family and how family members have blessed one another. Update it every week.
3. Make or purchase stickers or pins that say "You are a blessing" Hand out the stickers when family members are caught blessing one another.
4. For ideas about choosing a formal family blessing, see the handout below.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:3-8 (NLT)
It is hard for us to bless others (even our kids) if we are insecure in God's blessing toward us. We may have little experience with being blessed by another human being which can color our view of God's blessing.
Use these verses regularly to renew your mind and heart to the truth of how God sees you and blesses you. Let these thoughts guide you as you pattern your family blessing after how God blesses his children.