How often do you bless your children?
It’s ok if you don’t have a firm grasp on what that truly means, because our culture has changed the definitions of blessed and blessing. You’ve seen #blessed in captions below pictures of coffee cups. That’s not quite what we’re talking about. God has given us pretty firm instructions about blessing others in 1 Peter 3:9.
“Bless - that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” (MSG)
So what exactly is a blessing? In the Love Dare, it’s explained as ‘a God-ordained way to handle those loving desires for our children, turning them from hopeful wishes into future realities.’ It’s more than just a prayer for a good future, although that’s a good start. Prayer is a personal conversation with God. A blessing is expressing your hopes and wishes for another person to that person, but with the intention of God providing the response. “From me to you, through God”, as John Piper says.
The act of speaking a blessing over your children is one of the most life-giving things you can do as a parent. Spoken blessings affirm who God made your children to be and speak truth about who they are becoming in Christ. Blessings express a parent’s highest wish for their children - that they would know and trust Jesus as their Savior. When a parent blesses their children in the morning, it can prepare them for the day by establishing them in truth about God’s character.
It can be as simple as saying one sentence in the school drop-off car line. Sure, it might feel awkward the first few times, but don’t let that keep you from starting a rich habit of blessing your children each morning. Print off some blessings from the Bible to keep in your car. Play The Blessing by Kari Jobe on the way to school. Write a blessing on a napkin for their lunchbox. If you’re stumped, start with the examples below.
“So in sum, look your children in the eye, and speak grace and peace into their lives based on the gift of God in the death of Jesus. And make plain the central blessings that Christ has purchased for his children: freedom from sin, everlasting life, everlasting joy, the personal presence of God — of Jesus — keeping them through all the hardships of life and suffering.” John Piper
Identify your child’s God-given gifts and abilities. Point them out by saying, “Because of your strength in ______, I could see God using that to _____.” Follow that up with prayer, encouragement, and affirmation.
Simply say, “I am thankful that you are my child. I love you very much. I hope and pray for God’s best for your life.”
Listen to My Prayer for You by Alisa Turner or The Blessing by Kari Jobe
The Bible is full of examples of blessings.
- “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
- “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it, and may you be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:16
- “May your love abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11
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