In the early years of parenting, as I searched out resources and information, I came across a book about actively blessing our children. The idea impressed me as a way to regularly make spiritual deposits into my children’s lives. I had never considered the authority I truly had as a parent to bless my children. It wasn’t reserved for only those who had attained a certain theological standing. Extending a blessing is really a gift that can be bestowed by anyone upon another. There are so many examples of blessing in scripture…. Abraham blessing Isaac, Isaac blessing his sons, blessings given by people and blessings given by God. When we bless one another, we are invoking the power of God to be the one who fulfills the words.
What does it look like in practical terms?
When our oldest children were toddlers, we began to give them a blessing each night before bed. Perhaps somewhat to streamline and make things easy, we chose to use the same blessing each day. One in particular stood out to us from that book. We adopted it for our own. There was a second that was so powerful, we chose to add it as well. At first, I would have the words next to me as I read the blessing. Slowly but surely, I began to refer less and less to the written words.
Daily, either my husband or I laid our hand on our children’s little heads and gave them the blessing. Sometimes we would line them all up and work down the row. At times we knelt beside their beds and sometimes held them in our arms. The style might have looked different, but the words were always the same.
In the early years of parenting, demands were high. Though we tried to be intentional, some days it was just survival. But there always was the blessing before bed. My children expected it. We once hired a babysitter for date night, one of the little ones told me that we couldn’t leave. Why? Because our babysitter didn’t know the blessing. As time went on, if my husband and I were both gone for any reason, our older children could give the blessing. They had grown up with it and now laid their hand on their younger sibling’s head and blessed them.
It took no time at all for our little ones to memorize the blessing themselves. I have observed dollies receiving the blessing. I’m pretty sure the dog was blessed too. When Clarity, was about 3 and I was giving her the blessing, I knew for certain she was listening. I had just finished the section blessing her with “abundance and prosperity”. She stopped me short and said, “I’m not prosperity, I’m Clarity!”. There were times that after I gave children their blessing they instinctively reached to me. They placed their hand on my head and blessed me! Though these actions truly did warm my heart, there was yet a treasure that would humble me and bring me to tears.
Passing on the legacy of blessing
When my daughter was dating her future husband, he spent a significant amount of time at our house. He learned the blessing as being one of our family practices. When they became parents, and little Gwendolyn was just a few days old, they began blessing her with the same blessing that we gave to our own children each night. Now as he is away on a Coast Guard assignment, he calls in on video every night to bless their daughter. They also had a stuffed bunny toy made with a voice recording of Daddy blessing Gwen. If there is ever a time she wants to hear his voice, she is blessed as well.
The blessing carries our children into adulthood and beyond the years of them being under our roof. We have a son in the Army. He is not always available for communication. When I send a letter, sometimes I write out the blessing and enclose it. Occasionally, I text it to him to find the next time he has access to his phone. He knows that we pray a blessing for him even while he is away. I know that he treasures it. The words of the blessing seem even more powerful now as I pray them for him in his absence. It is truly God who holds our children and their lives.
Blessing into the unknown
We may never know what exact results will come from the blessing. But it is true that God’s Word has power and that it will not return void. We know that there is power and life in the words that we speak. Even in those things, we can be intentional. If you haven’t blessed your child, reach out and bless them. Even if they are no longer at home, bless them. You have authority to do so and you may find yourself blessed as well!
Resources for Your Family
To download and print a copy of one of the blessings our family has used click here.
Ideas and blessing shared with permission from the book “The Family Blessing” by Rolf Garborg. Though the book is out of print, you can purchase a copy directly from the author. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org . I know you are going to want to get a copy!
This post was originally published in issue #97 of the Above Rubies Magazine. Follow this link to sign up to receive your very own copy of the Above Rubies Magazine.