by Jay Dennis
Blessing your child is one of the most important acts you will do as a dad. In the Old Testament the blessing is spoken about 415 times, demonstrating the importance of it. Bless means to speak well of by the words you say and the way you say it. In the Bible there are four types of blessing: God to His people; from people to God; the blessing of God over a person or thing; and the blessing by one person to another. The latter is what this article will focus upon. There are many people who have missed the blessing from their father, creating a void, a vacuum, an empty spot which leaves the child vulnerable throughout his life.
The blessing brings a sense of security, self-worth and confidence. In Mark 10:13-16, people were bringing their children to Jesus so He could bless them. The disciples attempted to the c prevent the children from approaching Jesus. When He discovered that, He was indignant. When they got to Him, He blessed them. Through this passage we discover how every dad can pass on a blessing to his son or daughter.
There are 9 elements to blessing your child:
- Introduce Jesus
Whatever you do, get your child to Jesus. Dad, your primary job in life is to bring your child to Jesus. The earlier you get your child to Jesus, the more likely it is he will receive Him as his Savior and Lord. The majority of those coming to Christ, do so before they reach their 18th birthday. Further this means getting him to Jesus means bringing him to church, to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School; AWANA; other Bible **and creating an atmosphere in your home that focuses on Jesus Christ and His teachings.
- Reassuring Touch
Jesus used the power of touch to bless the children. That touch communicates love, acceptance, warmth, care, encouragement and affirmation. Kiss your child, hug your child, and lovingly touch your child.
- Uplifting Words
Jesus used words to encourage the children. “And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them” (Mark 10:16). Jesus’ blessing was a spoken blessing. Tell your child, “I love you,” “I am proud of you,” “Please forgive me,” or “I was wrong.” Negative words have the power to destroy and even set a person’s destiny whether it be a negative nickname, negative comparisons, and a negative reputation. Your blessing can break the power of the negative. Dad, it’s not too late to bless your child.
- Consistent Affirmation
Notice how Jesus blessed the children. He used the children as an example of those who make up the Kingdom of God. Imagine how encouraging to have Jesus point to the children and tell the adults,” You need to be like them.”
- Unconditional Acceptance
Notice one word in Mark 10:15: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” The word is “receive” which literally means accepted. Jesus accepted these children. It didn’t matter what they looked like, whose family they came from or what they had or didn’t have. Your child needs to know that you accept him or her. That’s not to suggest you will agree with their lifestyle, only that you accept him or her as your precious child. When you bless your child you are saying, “I accept you as you are.”
- Attentive Listening
Jesus listened to these children. They were drawn to Him, I believe, because they knew He would give them His undivided attention. He took time to hear them. In your busy lifestyle, be aware the most important investment you can make is giving your child your attention and listen to him.
- Hope-Filled Future
Jesus blessed these children by letting them know that God had given them a special and unique future. As part of the kingdom of God, they had the best future possible. In a culture where your child hears many negative things, remind him or her that God has a purpose, a unique plan for them. Jeremiah 29:11 sums up what you are trying to communicate: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
- Understood Accessibility
Blessing your child means being accessible to your child. Jesus was accessible. He was the most important Man Who ever walked on this planet, yet He took the time for these children. He told the disciples not to hinder or restrain the children and to allow them to come to Him. Your child needs to know that no matter where you are or whom you are with, if he or she needs you, you will be there.
- Specific Praying
In Matthew 19:13 we are told, “Then some of the children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray…” Jesus prayed for these children. You need to pray for and with your child every day. There are four specific items you need to be crying out to God about on behalf of your child: (1) Pray for your child’s salvation; (2) Pray for your child’s mate; (3) Pray for your child’s protection; and (4) Pray for your child’s friends.
What if you have missed the blessing? There are 5 brief actions you can take:
- No matter what age your child is, give your blessing.
Don’t wait another day. Face to face is preferable, but if that’s not possible Face-Time, Skype or call. If that’s not possible email him or write a letter. Don’t leave this earth without having blessed your child.
- If your parent is not going to give you the blessing (maybe they are dead or you know they just won’t offer the blessing), find an older, godly person and ask him to bless you and to bless your children.
There are godly people who would love to be part of you and your children’s lives.
- Be a Blesser. Ask God for opportunities for you to bless someone.
Mentoring is a great way to bless someone.
- If you have given into temptation and made choices that took you out of God’s will, confess the sin and seek Gods forgiving grace.
Pursue holiness, not happiness. Holy people are happy people.
- Don’t expect any person to be what only Jesus can be to you.
No person on earth can be to you all you need. People will let you down, they will disappoint you. Jesus Christ IS the blessing. Dad make certain that your child knows that he knows that he knows if he died he would go to heaven. Sharing with your child how to be saved is the greatest gift you can give to him or her. I encourage you dad to read John Trent and Gary Smalley’s book called, The Blessing. It will give you further insight into how you can bless your son or daughter.