Sally Clarkson shares with us about The Power of Blessing and 4 words that all children need to hear.
If we are determined to craft a blessing that will endure in the minds and hearts of our children, we must first take initiative and commit to regularly verbalize that blessing. The four “words” below come together over time to build a solid sense of blessing in our children’s lives.
Words of God’s Commitment
The first step of true blessing is to assure our children of where the blessing comes from! If children are to know they are blessed, they must know God is a sure foundation; that He is committed to them and will continue to be committed to them, throughout their lives.
The Aaronic blessing gives us a beautiful example …
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 on you,
And give you peace.
Words of Promise for Hard Times
Our children must also be assured that when difficult times come to their lives, they will not be alone but will find the Lord sustaining and strengthening them. Jesus extended such a blessing to His disciples, after explaining all that was about to take place on the night He would be betrayed … “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” John 16:33.
Words of Love and Appreciation
All of us sometimes (often!) feel insecure, inadequate to accomplish what seemingly must be done, less than the world’s standards for intellect or physical attractiveness or personality, longing to be loved in spite of all our not-enoughness. God, of course, loves us this way, and our children need to know this love both from Him and us!
In Romans 8:38-39 Paul reminds us of the immensity of God’s love …
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Words of Affirmation and Purpose
Finally, our children must know they have been created with a special role to play in the story God is writing throughout history. Their particular personalities and talents are God’s particular way of affecting the circumstances into which they’ve been born and the world in which they live.
We see evidence of this special shaping in Psalm 139:13-16 …
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Each of us longs to be part of something bigger than ourselves, something that truly matters. So, we set out to affirm our children’s inherent value to us, to God, and to the world, as well as to confirm the reality that God has a plan for their lives.
You might also enjoy reading Drawing Our Children Close.
Check out Sally’s books, The Lifegiving Table, and The Lifegiving Table Experience. They’re full of stories of Sally’s family’s practice of conversation, discipleship, encouragement, and more around the myriad types of tables we’ve shared (and some of our favorite recipes, too!)