by Dr. Paul Osteen
You Must Speak It, For Them to Receive It
Did you know that from the very beginning, God created men and women to be in a relationship of blessing with others? And He designed the family to be the first place, the main source, of this blessing of unconditional love, acceptance, value and worth.
We as parents have a responsibility to extend blessing to our children. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.”
Giving the Blessing
Let’s look at the great Old Testament patriarch Isaac. Back then, the blessing of the Jewish father for his son was reserved for a single, powerful moment. The father knew that his words would give his son a sense of identity, setting the course of the young man’s future into motion. Once spoken, a blessing could not be revoked or changed. So a Jewish father chose his words carefully.
Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.” So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,“…May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness — an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed” (Genesis 27:26–29).
Touch Them, Speak to Them, Encourage Them, Remind Them, Bless Them
John Trent and Gary Smalley, in their book The Blessing, point out four practical ways that we can bless our children just as Isaac did.
Isaac called Jacob close to him, touched him and kissed him. Whatever form it takes (a kiss, a tickle, a wrestling match on the floor), the simple act of affectionate touch between a parent and a child communicates volumes. Jesus knew this, too. We learn from Him that “He took the children in His arms and He put His hands on them and He blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
Speak to Them
A blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. Your children need to hear you say: I love you…I’m proud of you…You can do it!
At two critical times in Jesus’ own life — at His baptism, when He was about to start His ministry; and near the end, on the Mount of Transfiguration — He heard His Father’s voice from heaven: This is my son whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.
The word bless actually means to bow your knee before someone. Bowing before someone is a graphic example of attaching value to that person. When you value people, you find out their like and dislikes; you laugh with them and cry with them. You invest your time.
Encourage your children to be all they can be in life; help them reach that potential by enlarging their vision of a God who always does things in abundance; find out their dreams and dream with them.
Remind your children of what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Use your words to change your children’s future. Give your children a blessing.