Shelby G. Floyd
All of us remember the special times our parents gave us special praise and encouragement. Children crave their parent’s blessings. In fact we were created to be blessed. After the Almighty created Adam and Eve, the Bible declares, “Then God blessed them…” (Genesis 1:28).
Abraham was promised that one of his descendants would bless all the earth: “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This referred to Christ who indeed has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Him and the hope of eternal life: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Giving their children a special blessing was a common part of family life as portrayed in Old Testament history. We should invoke God’s blessings and our blessings on them when they are born (cf. Ruth 4:14-15), when they are married (cf. Genesis 24:60), and on other special occasion in their lives. Of course our children have a responsibility to treasure the blessings we give them, and not reject or despise them as did Esau, who purchased the most expensive pot of stew, by selling his birthright as the first-born son—which meant a double portion of the inheritance. No wonder he cried out when he lost his father’s blessing later in life, “Bless me, even me also, oh my father” (Genesis 27:34). Many children grow up in a home where they have not received acceptance, approval, love and encouragement. All children need hugs, words of praise and encouragement when they do well. Many parents only condemn the faults of the children and never give any positive reinforcement.
God’s word declares that children are “the heritage of the Lord,” and that we as parents have the responsibility to not make our children “angry” and “discouraged,” but instead, “Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).
The Irish have been very good in giving family blessings and have left us some excellent examples of these blessings:
May the sun shine, all day long, everything go right, and nothing wrong. May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true!
But of course the word of God is always the best example. This is the priestly blessing that God taught Moses and Aaron to say to the children of Israel:
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
And God added that in giving this blessing Moses and Aaron would put God’s name upon the children of Israel and He would bless them (Numbers 6:27). And in like manner we desire God the bless our children!
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142