Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Give a Spoken Blessing

I want to share a special way I bless my children.

But before I share it, let's look at some of the everyday ways we bless them:

1. We feed them, and sometimes go beyond boxed macaroni and cheese! (This is one of my most-used cookbooks, published by MOPs, Mothers of Preschoolers. Love those styles!)

(Although boxed mac and cheese is, by far, my George's favorite. None of that dry homemade stuff for him! No sirree, he wants the REAL Kraft processed stuff -- with the vibrant color! Pale-looking, flavorless mac and cheese just won't do for that boy.)

2. We talk with them, one-on-one, giving them that warm, loving acceptance. (This gets more difficult as they get older! As those of you with teenagers know, they love to talk. And talk. And talk.)

3. We support their interests. Since one of my sons loves airplanes, I try to educate myself somewhat in that area so we can talk about it. (This fulfills numbers 2 and 3!) I remember reading about Catherine Marshall. After her husband, Peter, passed away, she did all she could to learn about football so she could connect with their only son, and so he would still have encouragement in one of his favorite things. (By the way, I helped our Peter set up his own blog about All things Air just yesterday, if you want to visit, click here: To Fly! He would really appreciate it.)

4. We teach them and guide them. We educate our children, whether we homeschool or not.

5. We clothe them.

6. We nurse them when they're sick. Read them stories to help them get their minds off feeling terrible and bring them food in bed. (Pauline really is sick this morning. This picture isn't staged!)

7. We laugh with them and cry with them.

8. We try to understand them. (Key word: TRY) You know, we try to remember what it was like when we were that age. Put ourselves in their shoes.

There's so many more, but these are the kind of blessings we usually give them without thinking much about it.

Well, one morning I was still lying in bed reading and thinking. God put it on my heart to bless each child separately, giving them specific, verbal blessings. So I wrote out a blessing, kind of like a prayer, for each child.

Then after breakfast, I stood by each child and placed my hand on top of each head, one at a time. With our heads bowed, and my hand still on them, I read the blessing out loud, as a prayer.

Here's an example:

"Dear Lord, I thank you so much for George today. Thank you for his boundless energy. Bless him with discernment on how to best use his energy for Your glory today. Thank you for the joy and laughter you've blessed him with. May he use that joy to minister to others. I thank you for the way he makes my heart smile when I look at his sweet smiling face. And thank you for the way his joy blesses others and helps Mommy remember to not be so serious. Be with George today, Lord, and bless him with peace. In Jesus' name, Amen."

Oh, they feel so honored and then they feel they just have to try to live up to the blessing! God honors the blessing and gives them the strength to fulfill it.

Saying it out loud is very powerful. David CRIED OUT to God in the Psalms. Isaiah 49:1 says, "Lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid..." and then in Solomon 2:14 God says, "Let me hear your voice." There is definite power in a spoken blessing. God says again in Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." So many more examples all throughout His word! He promises to hear and to answer.

By touching them, having my hand on their heads, is like the prayer is going out of me and into them. I know that may sound weird, and maybe it is. But it's true.

In the Old Testament, the blessing was so valuable that Jacob actually took great pains to STEAL his brother Esau's blessing! I won't type the whole blessing here, but you can read the account and the actual blessing their father, Isaac, gave in Genesis 27 by clicking here.

I've given them blessings a few times now -- sometimes at the breakfast table, sometimes after a devotion time in the living room. The children have actually asked for their blessings from time to time.

It helps me to connect more with them and their struggles, because by writing each blessing down, it forces me to think deeply about their needs, and about what gifts that child has. I end up being just as blessed or more, because it helps me to see the "undesirable" traits they have in a new light. I end up being grateful for the traits that I usually would find annoying.

I save each blessing, and put it in their keepsake "boxes," that are stored under my bed. Those oblong tupperware-type containers that you might use for wrapping-paper rolls. Each child has one with his or her name on it to put special things in, like homemade cards, pictures, etc. It's great to finally have a place for all those cute notes and drawings they give us.

So that's a special way I bless the children. And it's a way they bless me.

For Father's Day, I wrote out a blessing for Drew, my husband. Each of the children wrote a blessing for him as well, and we read them in church during sharing time. Many tears! (The good kind of tears.)

Please leave a comment telling more ways to bless our children and husbands. Little blessings are just as important as big ones...and I could use fresh inspiration!


Heather C. said...

Reminds me of the hymn we sing... "sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life..." Spoken blessings are powerful and can create the desire in our children to "be" who God ( and mom & dad) really wants them to be !

Thank you for the encouragement and conviction. True words indeed!

Hugs & "spoken blessing" :)

Jimi Ann said...

Yes, that's a wonderful hymn. You're welcome!

Heidi... said...

Thanks for posting this today! Just the other day I thought about this and realized that I need to consciously pray blessings to and for my children as we pray together morning and night. I appreciate your openness and pictures (especially the one with the shoe! ; ) ).

Ali said...

This is great! I need to remember to bless my children everyday. The busyness of life sometimes gets in the way. Thank you for this encouragement!

Esther said...

Jimi Ann, so glad you could come visit For Such a Time as This. Thanks for this timely post. I often get caught up in day to day life and forget to ask God what specific blessing he'd like for me to speak over my children!