Writing cards and letters is increasingly becoming a lost art. It can be so much easier to send a quick text or email. And truthfully, I struggle spending more than five dollars on a card—and most greeting cards are averaging higher than that these days! But, you can’t put a price tag on a thoughtful handwritten card or letter from someone you love. There are so many cards and letters I have saved over the years and look back on with so much gratitude. So in today’s post, I’d love to offer you some biblical card and letter writing inspiration.
A Biblical Look At Letter Writing
Another reason I struggle buying store-bought cards with pre-written messages is that many of them aren’t biblical. I love a humorous birthday card, but many are just plain mean! (Who is buying these??) I’ve found that oftentimes “get well” and sympathy cards give recipients false hope and offer promises we don’t know will truly come to pass. I’ve realized that I spend so much time in the card aisle looking for just the right one, that I could just get some blank cards and spend my time writing a personalized card. This can be overwhelming—especially on occasions on which I just don’t feel like I have the words. However, we can learn a lot from the structure of New Testament letters and apply that to our own card and letter writing for an easy roadmap to help us write.
Many of the New Testament books are letters and these letters (also called epistles) follow a general format:
- Closing Greeting
If we take a close look at the epistles, we’ll notice structural differences between many of the letters. For instance, the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians is much different than his letter to the Philippians. If we read a bit of commentary in our study Bibles about the audience and reasons the New Testament authors wrote each letter, we’ll find that the structure of letters changed based on things like the occasion or urgency of the message. Thinking about our own reasons for writing cards, we can relate to how the content in our own letters and cards changes from birthday to loss, wedding to retirement, “get well” to new baby, and so on. But having this general structure in mind can be so helpful to us as we consider what to write to our loved ones.
Biblical Card and Letter Writing Inspiration for You
So, let’s break down how we can apply this biblical letter writing structure to our own cards:
Get a Card
Biblical epistles were carefully written on scrolls. Today, a simple piece of lined paper works just fine. But, you can make your letter extra special by writing it on a card. I have a collection of beautiful, biblical cards in my shop that you can purchase individually or save when you buy four or more through my Greeting Card Pack listing. (Bonus: they ship free and you can mix and match the cards in your pack!) I created each card with multiple uses in mind. So, whether you are writing to a loved one about a birthday, wedding, loss, encouragement, new baby, thank you, or whatever circumstance, you are sure to find something that will fit the given occasion. (View each individual listing for my recommendations.)
During biblical times, it was common to open with who the letter was from. This makes sense, considering how long the letters were. Readers needed to know who was writing to them from the beginning. But, we generally aren’t writing letters that are the length of a book of the Bible! For a brief note in a card or even a single-page letter, starting with something like “Dear, [Recipient]” and signing our name at the end is just fine. If you are hoping for a response, following with a question like “How are you doing?” can make a great greeting.
A Word of Gratitude & Prayer
Regardless of the occasion, it is always sweet to open with a word of gratitude and how you have been praying for the recipient. If you haven’t been praying for that person, share how you will be praying for him or her in the future. It may feel most natural to open with the prayer piece and follow with gratitude—or, save the prayer for the end! Many of the epistles close with a prayer too. The point is, wherever you place these elements in your letter, know they will likely be extremely encouraging to the reader!
If you have something specific you want to say, the body of your letter is where that will happen. For longer letters, you may have a lot to write and several topics to cover. But, for shorter cards, this might just be a sentence or two. If you are writing a card for a specific occasion and aren’t quite sure what to say, but you want it to come from the heart, an additional word of encouragement, a Bible verse, or simple Scripture reference are all great options to add to the body of your letter.
If you are hoping for a response, closing with some questions for the recipient is a great way to close. If not, either way, a word of blessing and encouragement, an “I love you,” or a reminder of how you’ll be praying for the recipient are all thoughtful closing remarks. And of course, don’t forget to sign your name clearly!
Need some additional help improving your letter writing skills? I’ve got you covered! Below are three examples of how I personally apply this biblical format to letters. And hopefully you’ll see how each of the elements we unpacked above work for any occasion.
Happy Birthday, Kyla!
What a joy it is to celebrate you today! I am so grateful God brought you into this world, because you have been such a light in my life. You point me to Christ, you pray for me, you make me laugh when I need it most, and even the way you love on my cat is just the absolute sweetest. You are truly a one-of-a-kind friend! I hope you have the best birthday and I pray that God will bless you with many, many more years to come! (Numbers 6:24-26) Have a fantastic day! <3
Thinking of You / Encouragement Sample
Hello, sweet Anika!
How have you been? I know I haven’t seen you in a bit, but I am so grateful God gave me you for a friend! I have been praying for you as school wraps up—how are things going? Last time you wrote, you said you were pretty swamped and overwhelmed. So, I just wanted to remind you that Jesus promises to strengthen you and use your weakness to display His power and glory (Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9). I know you know this, but sometimes we just need a reminder to keep turning to Him! He will enable you to finish strong! Love you oodles and bunches and I’m excited to hang when you’re on break!
How are you doing? I have been praying for you as you and your family grieve and process this loss. I know that nothing I say can heal this deep wound, but I praise God that He promises to heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). He is acquainted with our grief (Isaiah 53:3), He is near (Psalm 34:18), and He is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). I pray you will know and feel the Lord’s compassion for you at this time and that you’d experience His peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). Feel free to reach out if you need anything—I can bring a meal, be a listening ear, babysit the kids so you can get away for a bit… whatever you need, I’m here. And no matter what, know that I’ll be praying. Love you, sweet friend.
I hope this post about biblical card and letter writing inspiration has been a gift and tool you can use! It’s my hope that you’ll now feel more equipped to write a card or letter from the heart—one that your recipient will cherish for years to come.
It can be super helpful to have extra cards on hand for when the unexpected happens or that celebration on the calendar creeps up on you faster than you expected! So again, I invite you to check out my collection of greeting cards in my shop. Order individually or save when you order four or more through the Greeting Card Pack listing (all greeting cards ship free!). Words are a sweet gift, but if you want to add a little something extra, I have lots of stickers and bookmarks that fit neatly in an envelope. Or get a little fancier with a foiled Bible verse print, enamel pin, or something else. Happy writing!