“The word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”
In the Old Testament, the people clearly understood the power of the blessing. As the family patriarch approached senility or death, the oldest sons gathered alongside their father. The father would then lay his hands on each son's head and speak loving, faith-filled words over them about their future. These pronouncements comprised what was known ever after as "the blessing". The family realized that these were more than dad's dying wishes; these words carried spiritual authority and had the ability to bring success, prosperity, and health into their future.
One of the most amazing biblical records concerning the power of the blessing comes out of the lives of Jacob and Esau, the two sons of Isaac (Genesis 27:1-41). Jacob wanted his father's blessing. He didn't want just any blessing but he blessing that belonged to the firstborn son. Isaac was old, near death, and he was almost blind. One day he called to his son Esau and said, "Go kill some game, and prepare me a meal and I will give you the blessing that belongs to the firstborn son." But Jacob's mother, Rebekah, overheard this conversation. Rebekah loved Jacob more than she loved Esau, so she told Jacob to put on Esau's clothes in an attempt to trick Isaac into giving him the blessing. Then she prepared one of Isaac’s favorite meals.
While Esau was out into he field hunting she told Jacob, "Go to your father and present him this food. And he will give you the blessing that belongs to your brother."
Jacob knew what as happening. He knew his entire future was at risk for this. He recognized that the words his father spoke over him would impact him for either good or evil the rest of his life.
Just like Isaac's sons we know that our words affect our children's future for either good or evil. Our words have the same kind of power that Isaac's words had. We need to speak loving words of approval and acceptance, words that encourage, inspire, and motivate our children to reach new heights. When we do that, we are speaking blessings into their lives, and they will be blessed!
One of the goals this holiday season is to help you build a culture of blessing within your family. So, this Christmas I encourage you to step out of their comfort zone and do something perhaps a little different. I want to give you two suggestions of how you might bless your children at this special time of year.
I suspect that you may have been very busy looking for just the right gift for your children. The one thing that your children want more than a new IPhone or Xbox in their stocking is your “Blessing” or approval. They need to know, with words, that they are important and valuable to you. One way to “Bless” them is to write a short note of blessing and put it into their stocking to read on Christmas morning. I encourage you to make this part of your family tradition at Christmas. Those words of blessing will out-last any other gift that you might give them.
There are 5 key elements that you might want to include in your blessing for your child or spouse.
- Be committed to your son and daughter through every situation.
- Loving touch is a key to communicating love and acceptance to your child.
- Express high value with words that will honor and affirm them.
- See potential and bless them with words that picture a preferred future.
- Say it over and over. Your children need to know that they are loved and blessed by you!
SAMPLE “Christmas Blessing Stocking Stuffer Letter”
To a Beloved Son,
Twelve years ago, almost to the day, the Lord gave us a precious gift that almost came on the same day His Son was born. You had almost a full head of hair that first day – and have been filled with life and joy and fun and energy every day since. Your dad and I want you to know that we’ve seen how you’ve handled the transition from grade school to middle school this year – and we are incredibly proud of you. You’ve stayed close to your friends, stayed plugged in at church and with your small group at church, and you’ve worked super hard at staying on top of your grades – even when it’s been hard. That commitment to others and the Lord, is something we see in you, and know the Lord will bless and honor and use in the future – your special future. So enjoy your presents and being out of school, but for this short time to slow down and read this letter, know that we pray for you each day, are incredibly proud of the young man you’re becoming, and can’t wait to see how God uses you in the future to help and serve others and Him.
Signed (Love), Mom and Dad
A second very powerful way you can bless your family members is to speak a word of blessing to them personally. You might pick a quiet time, perhaps after dinner or in the evening just before everyone goes to bed. Have everyone gather around and then share what you’ll be doing. Tell them that you would like to take a few minutes to speak a blessing and pray over each person present.
Then, walk over to each one, take hold of their hand or put your hand on their shoulder. Look them in the eyes and then tell them something specific that you appreciate and value about their life. Give them a word of encouragement about their future and then pray a short prayer.
The prayer can be simple; just ask God to bless them in Spirit, Soul, and Body. What you may discover is that as you pray, God will give you something special to pray that will really touch their heart. And if you’re a little uncomfortable, do it together as husband and wife.
If you haven’t already, make this the beginning of a new and powerful Christmas tradition. You’ll be making memories and your family will thank you.