Have spoken blessings changed lives?
As mothers, fathers, and children have learned to bless one another in the Lord’s name, the power of spoken blessings has become evident in their families. Below are several testimonies from family members who have learned to bless one another.
A Father’s Blessing for His Family
A family in Maryland shares about the impact of receiving a blessing from their father. This testimony was written by the oldest of the three daughters in the family:
“[My father] sits us in a circle and puts his hands on ours and prays a blessing individually on each of my sisters, my mother, and me. He asks God to give me strength and wisdom because I am a leader; he prays that I will lead my younger siblings in the right direction, along with the children and teenagers in our church.
“He then prays a blessing on my sister, who is fourteen—that she won’t follow the wrong crowd and that she would always have a sweet spirit. He prays that my eleven-year-old sister will follow the right crowd and that she will have a servant’s spirit, willing to help out in any area of the home and the church.
“Every time my father gets through blessing us, the most amazing thing happens. My sisters and I don’t quarrel! My eleven-year-old sister will hug me and tell me that she loves me. I do the same to her. Before being blessed, we would never do that! . . . My sisters and I are getting closer and closer, and our family devotions have more meaning.”
Blessings Are a Heritage From the Lord
The children we bless are free to choose to accept or reject the blessings given to them. Nevertheless, giving our children a heritage of many spoken blessings is one of the wisest and most loving things we can do for them.
For some, the joy of a father’s blessing can be long in coming. One young woman whose childhood memories were mostly negative heard a message about gratefulness and sought to apply it in her relationship with her father. This is her testimony:
“. . . Over the years, God brought to my remembrance more and more things for which I could be thankful. Before I knew it, I was writing those things down and sending them to my father in letters. . . . I watched as our relationship slowly changed. . . .
“One day my husband came home from work to find me sitting on the living room floor, holding a letter from Daddy and crying. Bob asked if it was a good letter or a bad letter. I responded, ‘I’ve waited forty years for this letter!’ The letter told me how proud of me he was. It was my father’s blessing.”
The Entire Family Benefits From Spoken Blessings
Should you give a spoken blessing to your children every day? Some parents do, and there are good reasons why we should try to give blessings regularly.
One mother reported, “We have noticed several things happen in our family as we apply the lessons we have learned regarding the ‘spoken blessing.’ We are all demonstrating more love toward each other, attitudes really are transformed, and the children are growing in faith!
“Our children will come to us and report that one of their siblings needs a blessing because he or she has a bad attitude or is being naughty. All of us then gather around and bless the ‘offender.’ This act demonstrates great love toward him or her. No need for the children to be telling tales or taking matters into their own hands, as they now have a practical solution to the situation.
“Whenever my husband and I notice a wrong attitude in a child, that child receives a blessing, and I am continually amazed how attitudes are changed immediately. Sometimes a little talk is required, but the spoken blessing is the transformer. . . .
“Our children now come to us and ask for a blessing. . . . I frequently get asked to give a ‘school blessing,’ particularly for math! A sports blessing is another favorite, or help with ‘I can’t seem to get myself going’ attitudes. Our ten-year-old son blesses me several times each day, every day. This is truly exciting!”
It Is Worthwhile to Persevere With Faith and an Obedient Spirit
Sometimes speaking a blessing to a child can be awkward for both the child and the person who is blessing him. However, this awkwardness doesn’t weaken the blessing. Many individuals who have taken the initiative to bless children have testified that in time, the initial awkwardness disappears.
There is benefit in imparting a blessing even when you don’t feel like it. A young woman testified that she had allowed a spirit of bitterness to interfere with her relationship with her family. Her father learned about the power of spoken blessings and decided to begin practicing this concept in their home.
This is the young woman’s testimony: “One day he asked my brother and me if we would be willing to pray and bless each other, the three of us together. First my dad would pray a blessing upon my brother and me. Next we would pray a blessing on him.
“I didn’t want to bless my dad. My heart and mind were filled with anger and distrust toward him for allowing certain things into my life. . . .
“As the three of us were kneeling, my dad looked at me, and with tears streaming down his face he said, ‘Why don’t you want to bless me? Are you that filled with hate and anger toward me? I’ve always had only your best interest in mind. I’m still human and make mistakes.’
“By this time he was weeping, and my brother, who is rarely moved to tears, was misty-eyed. Both of them began praying and pleading with me to soften my heart and turn back to the heavenly Father. I finally agreed to bless them both.
“I don’t remember what I said, but I do know that the spoken blessing proved to be a powerful tool. It wasn’t until a few months later that I truly and finally surrendered my all on the altar and got back on the right track. It wasn’t an instant breakthrough for me, but I do know that when I blessed my father with my will—in spite of my feelings—God began a work of healing in our relationship.
“Those words spoken out of obedience began a great work and miracle of tearing down the strong tower Satan was using to destroy my life. Praise God. . . . God has used this concept of speaking a blessing to change my life.”
A Blessing Can Be an Instrument of Training and Discipline
A spoken blessing can have great value in the process of training children and shaping their development. It can be spoken even during the process of disciplining a child. Such a blessing should emphasize God’s love for the child and His great purposes for him.
Blessing a child while taking disciplinary action should help you overcome any anger or frustration and encourage a spirit of patience and love. (The blessing can serve as a reminder that the primary goal of discipline is not to bring the child under your authority but rather to bring him under God’s authority.)
Consider Giving a Melodic Blessing
In Ephesians 5:18, we are exhorted to “be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Songs can be an effective method of communication, especially when communicating with children. Bestowing a blessing on a child is an ideal opportunity to create a “spiritual song” for him, and then he can learn the song and be blessed by its message over and over! As you speak or sing the truths of God’s Word upon children, you sow seeds of truth into their hearts and lives.
A woman from North Carolina shared this testimony: “My father blessed each one of us eight children when we were born. He wrote a song of blessing for us. He would look into our eyes and sing a catchy little tune using the meanings of our names, with an exhortation he wanted to come true for our lives and a related Scripture verse.
“He has continued to sing our special songs to us throughout our lives. . . . Now that I am older, I can recognize how motivating this blessing has been for me. Also, I recognize that I cannot fulfill this blessing in my own strength, so I have begun praying for the Lord to build those qualities in me.”
May God bring to pass each blessing that is spoken in His name, according to His Word, for His glory!
This article is adapted from a book by Bill Gothard, The Power of Spoken Blessings.