By Kermit Rowe
The finale of Encompass Connection Center’s recent Valentine’s Day virtual Gala, attended by 126 supporters and beneficiaries of our 16-year-old relationship ministry, featured staff member Jenny Hamilton and her husband, Mike, doing a touching rendition of the wildly successful worship song “The Blessing.”
It led me to think deeply about the blessing of holy matrimony, and what the Bible says about it. Obviously, the blessing of having my wife Nancy in my life the past 40 years quickly came to mind. She has been a constant blessing. But I also know that the word “blessing” is used so loosely in today’s culture, that its true meaning can easily be cheapened or even lost.
So, I asked myself, “How can I be more of a blessing to her?” That led me to dive into God’s Word, landing on Deut. 30:19, thanks to a recent article I read by John Trent for Focus on The Family.
“I call heaven and earth to witness that I have set before you life or death. The Blessing or the curse. So, choose life. You and your descendants …”
Each morning that we are blessed to have our spouse still in our lives, we have a choice to be purposeful in how we treat them.
When we think of a life of marital blessing, we automatically think of it in terms of good things that we receive from it. But what if the true blessing is being a blessing to our spouse? And what if we need to choose each day to be a blessing to them?
Trent pointed out that Deut. 30:19 includes a two-pronged choice: choosing life or death and a blessing or a curse. He also pointed out that the word “blessing” had two-word pictures. The first is one of “bowing the knee” and captures the feeling that the person is of great value. The second is of adding to another’s life. So “the blessing” can be found in an attitude of holding someone in high value and purposefully living that out in our lives.
What if our degree of marital bliss and strength of our marriage depends on us and how much we strive to be a blessing to our spouse, not on the actions of our spouse? What if we purposely set our minds and hearts toward purposely letting them know how much we value them through our words and actions? Would that “them first” approach better glorify God? Would it transform our marriage into one that better models the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church?
Yes, there is great blessing in being “the blessing.” We just need to purposely choose to do so.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.