How to Give a Blessing to Your Child
Drs. John Trent and Gary Smalley outlined five biblical steps for giving a blessing to children in their book The Blessing: Meaningful Touch, A Spoken Message, Attaching High Value, Picturing a Special Future, and An Active Commitment. I have expanded on these steps below.
1. Meaningful Touch. Before a word is spoken, there should be the laying on of hands, a hug, or a reaching out to touch. We see this throughout Scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments. Appropriate touch conveys in powerful, nonverbal ways our love and affirmation. Touch prepares the way for our words.
2. A Spoken Message. In biblical times, children weren’t left to “fill in the blanks” as to whether they were valuable to a parent or grandparent. Words were used, aloud and in writing. Today, words can place unconditional love and acceptance into the heart of a child or loved one.
3. Attaching High Value. But what words do you say or write? The word blessing carries the idea that the person you’re blessing is of incredible worth and value, even as an imperfect person. In short, you’re helping a child get the picture that you see things in his or her life today that make the child special, useful, and of great value to you.
4. Picturing a Special Future. With our touch and with our words that attach high value, the response in our children’s or loved ones’ hearts can be nothing short of transformational. The light goes on in their hearts and minds when they realize that, because of the way God made them, they can do more than they ever dreamed in living out a God-honoring future.
5. An Active Commitment. Blessing children doesn’t mean we never discipline them or point out areas where growth is needed. But children know at an incredibly deep level if they have their parents’ blessing—if their mom or dad, grandmother, aunt, uncle, or other loved one really sees high value in them—even during the tough times. Genuine commitment is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person that says as long as I have breath, I’ll be there to see to build these five elements of blessing into your life story.
Excerpt from Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family, by Michelle Anthony (page 115–116).
Parents, speak this blessing over your child.
(Child’s name), may you always seek to stay on the path God has laid out before you. (Child’s name), always remember that, should you happen to stray from that path, God is waiting to build you back up with His never-ending love for you.