When was the last time you said, “God bless you”? Odds are, it was probably after someone sneezed. But did you really intend to bless that person or were you just being polite?
We read about blessings throughout the Bible, but none of those instances involve hay fever or the common cold. In fact, God seems to take blessings very seriously.
The First Blessing
The first person we read about receiving God’s verbal blessing is Abraham:
“…indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:17-18 17 NAS).
Abraham’s immediate family carried on the tradition, with Isaac blessing Jacob and Esau. (See Genesis 27.) Later, when Jacob was about to die, he blessed his twelve sons, “every one with the blessing appropriate to him” (Genesis 49:28b NAS).
Our Right to Bless
As spiritual descendants of Abraham, we have the right to bless our own children. These are not empty platitudes, though, but words of real power:
“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The LORD bless you, and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.’ So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them” (Numbers 6:23-27 NAS).
Years ago, my mother began to speak blessings over us kids, and it made a real difference. I know it helped me to focus on God and His Word, and it gave me hope for my future.
How to Bless
When I became pregnant last year, I knew this was a tradition I wanted to pass down to my child. But what kinds of blessings was I supposed to give him?
Dr. Mary Ruth Swope of Bless Your Children Every Day states we should “make sure that our blessings are in line with God’s promises and fit in with His plans and purposes for the one we are blessing. Remember, the most important goal for our children and grandchildren should be that they bring glory to God in all they say and do. If we keep that in mind, then our blessings will not become selfish or worldly in nature.”
I highly recommend Dr. Swope’s book. It provides a clear basis for our right to bless our loved ones, and it includes numerous blessings that you can use or modify as needed, such as blessings for authority, clear direction, courage, good health, and peace.
I didn’t have to wait for my little one to be born to start blessing him, though. In the book Pure Joy, authors Crystal Wade and Arthur A. Burk explain that parents can bless their children—whether they’re far away or still in the womb—by speaking the blessing to the child’s spirit. This may sound a bit weird, but the Bible does indicate that the spirit of a child is far more advanced than the child’s cognitive ability.
- Isaiah said that God called him “from the womb” (Isaiah 49:1 NAS).
- Jeremiah quoted God as saying “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5 NAS).
- In the New Testament, Elizabeth’s baby (John the Baptist) acknowledged the presence of Jesus and “leaped in [her] womb for joy” when Mary approached her while pregnant with baby Jesus (Luke 1:44 NAS).
Bless Your Children Today
During my pregnancy, Robby and I spoke beautiful, faith-filled words to the spirit of our little one. Now that he’s here with us, we continue to speak blessings over him.
I encourage you to do the same, to bless those within your sphere of influence, especially your children. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simply speak your heart. Your children will know that it’s something special, and they’ll come back to you for more.
Here’s a blessing for you today:
May you discover the beauty and power in the spoken blessing. May you find the courage and discipline to rise up and bless your children with God’s promises. May your family flourish as they walk in the ways of the Lord all the days of their lives. I bless you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you bless your children? If so, what has been your experience? If not, what’s stopping you? Please leave a comment below.
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