Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bless or Curse

Years ago when I was studying the Ten Commandments from the Hebraic perspective, I was excited to learn about the literal meaning of "Honor thy parents." The commandment wasn't given with the option of ignoring it if your parents were less than honorable. I wondered how those with challenging family circumstances with could fully keep that commandment. I learned that, Biblically speaking, parenthood is a "weighty" task and that we could honor that, even if other behaviors left much to be desired. Just giving birth and keeping us alive is to be valued and acknowledged.

For those blessed with good parents, it would be a joy to have the privilege of adding "value" to them by our honor.

This concept of "weighty glory added upon" is also found in the Doctrine and Covenants as well as the New Testament-see 2 Corinthians 4:17, D&C 63:66, and D&C 132:16.

John Trent wrote the quote I have used below, and I hope you find it as helpful as I have. I love knowing the power I have to bless and that I should be aware and careful of the power to diminish others with my words and actions.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

I’m referring to the choice we make each day, as parents and people who love Jesus, to add or subtract. Put in biblical terms, to bless or to curse.

Do you know what the biblical meaning of the word bless is? When we sing, “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul!” or read that the Lord is worthy to be “blessed,” it literally means He is “heavy, weighty,” worthy to be “bowed before.” The meaning comes from gold that is weighed out on scales. The more weight added, the more valuable. So when we bless the Lord or our children, we’re adding “weight” to their words or person.

Do you know what the word curse means in the Scriptures? It’s used to describe a stream that has dried up to a muddy trickle because water has been “subtracted” from it.

From the first “curse” that fell upon Adam and Eve for their sin, you can see the idea of “subtraction” linked to it. Their choice to disobey took away Eden and subtracted life from them as well.

What does this have to do with parenting? Every day, we've got a choice set before us. Literally. Whether we are a parent or a leader. Teenager or grandparent. Accountant or welder. Husband or wife.

(Trent, John, Quiet Whispers From God’s Heart For Parents, J. Countryman, Nashville, Tennessee, 1999, pgs 24-25)

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