As a mother, it is hard to want anything but good things for our children. We want them to be “blessed” with constant joy, great friends, and an overall happy life. We want to protect them from pain, from the hard things, and from the fallenness in their own hearts, and in the world. So we work to protect, to shield and to prevent. And, while I am certainly not advocating being irresponsible, I am asking us to consider taking a different view on what it looks like to really live a blessed life.
Let’s take a look at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and consider what that might look like for our girls.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In order to be poor in spirit, our girls need to feel the weight of their sin. Apart from Christ there is no relief from the death our sin brings. Shielding our girls from the sin in their own hearts, is shielding them from recognizing their need for Jesus. We are shielding them from being blessed as one who is poor in spirit.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. There are several different ways to look at this verse. Many believe that this alludes to mourning over sin. We know that for those who are in Christ, there is great relief and comfort to be had. Our sin is no longer our own weight to carry, nor is it our debt to pay. There is great comfort to be had for our girls, when they mourn over their sin. There is comfort in Christ!
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Being meek refers to a heart that does not assert itself above others to get ahead. This means our girls might get passed over, or need to willingly miss out on praise and adoration from the world. Perhaps they won’t get ahead because they are living their lives with quiet integrity. That’s okay, because God sees them, and those who live a meek life in Christ, will surely inherit a far greater reward!
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Righteousness is found in God, and imparted to us through Christ. Those who pursue righteousness apart from Christ, will continue to hunger for it without being satisfied. That means our girls can search and search and search for validation from the good things they do. However, only those who know God through saving faith in Jesus will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Being merciful can look like weakness in our world. However, in order for our girls to fully experience the weight of mercy they have been given, they might need to appear weak to those who are watching. That’s okay though, because they too will receive mercy. God’s mercy is truly the farthest thing from weakness one could ever encounter.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Pursuing holiness means pursuing our holy God. At times, our girls will have to decide between the temporary excitement and enticements of this world, and a pursuit of holiness. Their blessing will come as they begin to lay aside the impure desires of their hearts, and a more clear view of God is opened up to them.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Making peace usually means sacrificing. Promoting peace, or being a peacemaker, might mean asking others to put their own agendas aside for the sake of the greater good. While that might not always make our girls popular, it is a blessing to be a peacemaker. There is no greater title to hold than Child of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. In light of what is going on today with Christians in Iraq, our generation is really getting a tangible picture of what persecution looks like. No mother would ever wish that on her child. Yet, God’s word tells us that those who are persecuted for the sake of the gospel, will indeed be blessed as theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
While it isn’t terrible to want good things for our children (what mother doesn’t), it is so important for us to frame blessing for them in the same way that God does. Because, the good things we get are blessings, but so are the hard things. All that God gives us is for our good. Our girls hear us when we talk about being blessed. Let’s be sure to continually remind them that God’s blessings are found in EVERYTHING he gives us.