“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 (NKJV)
“The single most important concern we should have as parents should be the same primary concern Jesus has for us: We must make it our ultimate goal to help our children know and love God with all their heart. How do we do that? One of the simplest and most powerful ways…is to give them a daily, concrete encounter with His power and favor by laying hands on them and speaking a blessing.” Rolf Garborg, The Family Blessing
- Today, the invitation from the Holy Spirit is to let Him train you how to use your words to bless others. May you learn from the kindness and blessings of God’s words to be able to share those with your family.
- Open your Bible and read James 3:6, 9–10. Think about what James has to say about the importance of our words.
Think for a moment of something that one of your parents said to you when you were growing up. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it positive and edifying? Or does the mere memory of it bring a crippling sting that surprises you on most days?
The Bible tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21a KJV). Our words have the power to crush or heal, to wound or encourage. Many children often hear cruel statements by a parent during a time of anger, frustration, or insecurity. I recently talked to a friend who heard on multiple occasions growing up, “You were a mistake, you know. I wish you were never born.” and “You’re really a disappointment to me.” These are examples of receiving a verbal curse. We all can probably remember at least one from our growing-up years. Isn’t it amazing how those words still linger in our minds?
However, many of us have also been the recipients of verbal blessings from a parent. And if our parents never blessed us with their words, our Heavenly Father offers beautiful words of blessing to each of His children in Christ Jesus. Before you begin to assess yourself as a parent, before you think of ways that you can bless or stop using your words of criticism for injury, pause for a moment. Pause to hear with new ears the blessings that have been uttered on your behalf as truth by God Himself. I encourage you not just to read this list but to engage with every word, allowing God to impress these things on your heart. Take the time to look up each verse and read His words to you.
- Ephesians 1:5-7
- 1 John 5: 1, 4
- John 3:16
- Ephesians 2:6-10
- 1 Corinthians 6:14, 19
- 1 John 4:4
Now that you have saturated your mind with Truth, take time to assess your words. Some moms will struggle to use their words for blessing. Many fear that their words will create an inflated ego in their children or keep them from striving for more, while others have never truly had blessings spoken over them and do not know how to use it as a verbal gift.
The book of James in the Bible gives us sound advice about the use of our tongues:
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell…With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3:6, 9–10)
In a world that is constantly criticizing our children, I encourage moms to make their blessings to their children personal and intimate. You can do this by placing your hand on your child’s shoulder, head, or arm and looking at your child directly in the eye when you speak. It’s always a wonderful time to affirm your love first by telling your child how much you love him or her. After the affirmation of love, speak Scripture or ways that you see God’s truth manifesting itself in your child’s life. Example: “Mazie, your mother loves you. You are a child of God, and He has given you His grace and mercy. May your day be filled with opportunities to give that grace to others, and may you seek His best in every situation that comes your way, giving Him the glory in all things.”
Whether at bedtime or in the morning before everyone leaves for the day, offering a blessing can be a lifelong gift.
Blessings and Love,
Dr. Michelle Anthony
Questions to Ponder
- Take some time to reflect on your family of origin. Did you receive words of blessing or words that tore you down? How have those words shaped you for good? How have they negatively shaped you or caused ongoing pain?
- As you consider God’s words of blessing upon your life in Christ, how do these words from Him shape or reshape your identity?
While there is much power in our words to bless or to destroy, you can focus on the words that bring blessing. There are many forms of ways to “speak well” over your children. Take time this week to bless your children in each of these categories:
- Admiration. This is the giving of compliments or praise about something good that you notice. For example: “What a beautiful smile.” “I admire your sensitivity to others.” “You’re such a wonderful listener.”
- Affirmation. This is a specific statement of blessing for increase or endurance in what God is already doing in someone’s life. For example: “I see God giving you His heart for those in need.”
- Appreciation. This is an expression of gratitude that something good exists or has happened. For example: “Thank you for helping me.” “I appreciate your heart to care for your sister.”
- Anticipation. This is a blessing for the future. For example: “You’re going to bring a lot of people joy today with your loving and caring ways. May the Lord go with you and give you courage and strength.”
Take some time to consider these four A’s. How can you practice living these out verbally in your home—choosing to offer blessings in each category to your children on a regular basis?
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