Blessing your child

A child’s heart is like wet cement, the words you speak make an impression that could last a lifetime. Our prayer is that as you speak words of love, truth and life over your child so that they will grow up confident and unafraid knowing who and whose they are , believing they were created on purpose for a purpose.


Children thirst for parental acceptance - they long for their mother and father to reinforce their worth. Meeting your children's need for affirmation doesn't have to be difficult. One way to do this is to do "the blessing." Blessing your child is as simple as that, speaking words of life, love and truth to them and over them intentionally and regularly.


This blessing has five distinct elements to build up your sons and daughters and help them understand their worth in your family and before God. Those five elements are:

  1. Appropriate and meaningful touch
  2. Words of love and acceptance
  3. Value placed on the child
  4. Acknowledgement of a special future
  5. Genuine commitment

Resource Used – Focus on the Family

YOUR CHILD AND THE BLESSING

Interpreting it for your child

Although there are five elements to this blessing, each child is unique and will interpret those five elements differently.

Age is also an important factor in how a child receives a blessing. As your child grows, he or she may require a different type of affirmation. Part of showing children your approval and their value is figuring out how to affirm them in a way they can understand.


Blessing preschoolers

Parents can sing a blessing to young children, even if their children don't understand all that's being said. Something like: "Good morning, good morning, how are you today? The Lord bless you and keep you throughout the day." The song is simple, but it can help your children start each day with words that spoke of your love and God's love for them. Young children are affirmed and their hearts remain open to God when they hear words about their parents' and God's love for them daily.


Affirming school-age children

A great time to do this is during the time it takes to drive them to school.

Before they get out the car, take their hands and pray over them and their day. You might want to pray for a child's friendship with someone or about a test that day. This individualised, quick prayer includes meaningful touch and links them with God's special future for them that day. Before they leave the car, they know your love goes with them.


Using words well with teens

For older children, the blessing can become even more powerful — particularly when you use all five elements as a reaction to a teen's struggles or challenges. When speaking to your child ..... Just by placing your hand on theirs - Meaningful touch – you say, "I love you. I believe in you." No matter the circumstance even if you need to say something they might not want to hear , speak gently, speak with kindness and use words of love and acceptance. Place value on your child – as well as the other stuff see the potential in them, and speak into their value as well. Use those points of value to always point them toward a future where God might someday use that in them. Commit to always helping your children with their struggles whatever it may be.


The blessing as described in Scripture always included five elements:

  1. Meaningful and appropriate touch
  2. A spoken message
  3. Attaching high value to the one being blessed
  4. Picturing a special future for him or her
  5. An active commitment to fulfil the blessing

5 ELEMENTS OF BLESSING

Let's take a quick look at each of these:


Meaningful Touch

Meaningful touch was an essential element in bestowing the blessing in Old Testament homes. So it was with Isaac when he went to bless his son. We read in Genesis 27:26 that Isaac said, "Come near now and kiss me, my son." This incident was not an isolated one. Each time the blessing was given in the Scriptures, a meaningful touch provided a car­ing background to the words that would be spoken. Kissing, hugging or the laying on of hands were all a part of bestow­ing the blessing.

Meaningful touch has many beneficial effects. The act of touch is key in communicating warmth, personal acceptance, affirmation, even physical health. For any person who wishes to bless a child, touch is an integral part of that blessing.


A Spoken Message

The second element of the blessing involves a spoken message — one that is actually put into words. In many homes today such words of love and acceptance are seldom received. Parents in these homes assume that simply being present com­municates the blessing — a tragic misconception. A blessing fulfills its purpose only when it is actually verbalized — spoken in person, written down or preferably both.For a child in search of the blessing, silence communi­cates mostly confusion. Children who are left to fill in the blanks when it comes to what their parents think about them will often fail the test when it comes to feeling valuable and secure. Spoken or written words at least give the child an indi­cation that he or she is worthy of some attention. Many adults in counselling will tell you they interpreted their parents' silence in exactly that same way. They feel as though they were third-string children to their parents. Their parents may have provided a roof over their heads (or even a Porsche to drive), but without actual words of blessing, they were left unsure of how much they were valued and accepted.

Abraham spoke his blessing to his son Isaac. Isaac spoke a blessing to his son Jacob. Jacob gave a verbal blessing to each of his twelve sons and to two of his grandchildren. When God blessed us with the gift of his Son, it was his Word that "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). God has always been a God of words. To see the blessing bloom and grow in the life of a child, you need to verbalize your message. Good intentions aside, good words — spoken, written and prefera­bly both — are necessary to communicate genuine acceptance.


Attaching High Value

Meaningful touch and a spoken (or written) message — these first two elements lead up to the content of the words themselves. To convey the blessing, the words must attach high value to the person being blessed.

In blessing Jacob (thinking it was Esau), Isaac said, "Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. ... Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you" (Gen. 27:27, 29).

That pictures a very valuable person! Not just anybody merits having nations bow down to him! And while we might think that calling a person a field would be criticizing him, that is not the case. A blessed field was one where there was tremendous growth and life and reward. Just ask a farm kid what a record crop, all ready to harvest, means to his or her parents. That's the picture Isaac gives his son. As you may have noticed, Isaac uses a word picture (the field) to describe how valuable his son is to him. Word pic­tures are a powerful way of communicating acceptance. In the Old Testament they were a key to communicating to a child a mes­sage of high value — the third element of the family blessing.


Picturing a Special Future

A fourth element of the blessing is the way it pictures a special future for the person being blessed. Isaac said to his son Jacob, "May God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fat­ness of the earth. ... Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you" (Gen. 27:28–29). One distinction should be made between Isaac's blessing and the act of picturing a special future for a person today. Because of Isaac's unique position as a patriarch (God's appointed leader and a father of the nation of Israel), his words to Jacob carried with them the weight of biblical prophecy. You can’t predict another person's future with such biblical accuracy. But you can help those you are blessing see a future that is full of light and opportunity. You can let them know you believe they can build an outstanding life and future with the strengths and abilities God has given them. Jesus himself speaks quite eloquently about our future in the Bible. In fact, he goes to great lengths to assure us of our present relationship with him and of the ocean full of blessings in store for us as his children. You need to picture just such a special future for your chil­dren if you are serious about giving them your blessing. With this fourth element of the blessing, a child can gain a sense of security in the present and grow in confidence to serve God and others in the future.


An Active Commitment

The last element of the blessing concerns the responsibility that goes with giving the blessing. For the patriarchs, not only their words but God himself stood behind the blessing they bestowed on their children. Several times God spoke directly through the angel of the Lord to the patriarchs confirming his active commitment to their family line. Parents today, in particular, need to rely on the Lord to give them the strength and staying power to confirm their children's blessing by expressing such an active commitment. They, too, have God's Word through the Scriptures as a guide, plus the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Why is active commitment so important when it comes to bestowing the blessing? Words alone cannot communicate the blessing; they need to be backed with a willingness to do everything possible to help the one blessed be successful. We can tell a child, "You have the talent to be a very good pianist." But if we neglect to provide a piano for that child to practice on, our lack of commitment has undermined our message. When it comes to spending time together or helping develop a certain skill, some children hear, "Wait until the weekend." Then it becomes, "Wait until another weekend" so many times that they no longer believe the words of blessing. The fifth element of the blessing, an active commitment, is crucial to communicating the blessing in our homes.

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At Home with the Family Blessing


Spend some time thinking about what you have just read, about the age and stage your children are at and how you can bless them intentionally and regularly using these 5 elements


Writing a Blessing - Take your first step of the blessing challenge by first writing out a formal blessing for your child and then sharing it with him or her.


Why Write?

Both the spoken word and the written word are important in giving the blessing. Writing your words out first can take away a lot of pressure. You have the opportunity to put the words together at your leisure. You can double-check that you have included all the elements of the blessing and that your words convey exactly what you want. And if your words have been chosen ahead of time, when you do speak your blessing, you can concentrate on connecting with your child. Another reason to write out your blessing, though, is that a written blessing can be saved. The words can be read and reread, and the paper it is written on can be tucked away as a keepsake. Written blessings can also be sent by letter or e-mail and thus cover great distances. A written blessing has the capacity to bring warmth and light and love to your child again and again throughout his or her life — far beyond the mere ink marks on paper.


What Do I Say?

Keep in mind that there is no wrong way to craft a blessing, and there are lots of creative right ways. And whether it comes out all at once in a rush of words or takes you a few tries and several evenings to outline and polish what you want to say, your child will cherish both what you write and what it repre­sents about your relationship. How you actually do the writing depends on what you are comfortable with. Some people work best in pencil on a yellow legal pad. Others can't even think without a word processor. You could even talk into a voice recorder and then transcribe your words. And what should you say? Your words can be plain or poetic. They just need to carry with them a picture of your blessing that can help your child know that he or she is of high value to you.


Sharing Your Blessing With Your Child

Once you have written your words of blessing, we encourage you to talk with your spouse (if you're married) and pick a spe­cial time and place to share these words with your child. If at all possible, do it face-to-face. Pick a meaningful time, place or event — a family affair with lots of friends and relatives, a milestone celebration such as a birth or graduation, or a quiet dinner with just the two of you. Just make sure that it is at a time and place that allows you to be quiet long enough to read or recite the blessing you have written to your son or daughter. Don't forget to include the element of meaningful, appropriate touch along with your blessing — a hand on the head, an arm around the shoulder and hopefully a big hug. You might even want to snap a picture of the two of you together or give the child a keepsake copy of your blessing done in a special font, calligraphy or just your best handwriting.

Writing a blessing can be a more formal way of giving a more in depth blessing that you have time to think about and can is great for special occasions like baby dedications, graduations, milestones, birthdays etc. But blessing your child should not be reserved for special occasions, simple, daily blessings or words or affirmation are just as important. Work on giving your child both.