Numbers 6:24 – 26 contains “The Priestly Blessing” that Aaron and his sons and all the priests
that followed were to bestow on the people. Many wedding ceremonies contain this blessing for the couple, “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” What great thoughts and what a wonderful blessing.
In our marriages, we need not only to pray for God’s blessing on our marriage and toward our spouse, but we also need to BE a blessing to our spouse. In June of 2000, Dr. Donnie Hilliard along with Dr. Nick and Nancy Stinnett authored and published a great study on marriage entitled: Magnificent Marriage. (This study includes a book, leader discussion guide, and student workbook. You can order this study from The Cloverdale Center For Family Strengths at Faulkner University, Montgomery, Alabama.) In their introductory chapter they discuss Practice of Blessing and list Five (5) Principles that were a part of Jewish Blessings and are a part of our blessing and being a blessing to our spouse. Here is my adaptation of these principles:
- Decide to Be a Source of Blessing to Your Spouse: Make a decision to be a positive force in the life of your spouse and therefore in the life of your marriage. This increases your inclination to reach out to your spouse more and more and to become less and less self-centered.
- Touch: Each time a patriarch or priest bestowed a blessing they touched the recipient. Human touch communicates genuine acceptance and caring. Touch is a most basic element of our communication. Touch each other by holding hands, playing “footsies” under the table, kissing, when you pray together, etc.
- Speak High Regard: Each priestly blessing communicated to the recipient that they had value in the eyes of the priest and in the eyes of the Lord. Successful couples communicate this value to each other. Husbands, tell your wife and demonstrate to her how highly you regard her. Show her the pedestal on which she lives in your heart.
- Envision a Bright Future: It makes each of us feel good to know that someone thinks we have a future together, especially a good future. Married couples need to have a vision of a successful marriage and a bright future. Share that positive vision with each other, talk about your plans for when: your children are older; when they leave the nest; what you want to do together in your “retirement” years.
- Commitment: Embedded in giving and being a blessing is the thrill of, and communication of, commitment. Commitment makes certain your marriage is the penultimate priority of your energy and time. (Your marriage comes second only to your relationship with God through Christ.) Deep commitment comes from a deep willingness to love.
Stinnett, Nick, Donnie Hilliard, Nancy Stinnett, Magnificent Marriage, (Montgomery;Pillar Press), 2000.