“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.” Numbers 6:24-26
About a year ago I was graduated from counseling. I had spent some time dealing with issues from my childhood and early adult life and it was no accident that a particular book came into my life at just the right time. I thought it would be a good complement to the other Christian-based parenting books I had, but had no clue how much it would single-handedly change the way I communicate with my children and also accept Christ’s unyielding, unwavering and undying love for me.
First, a little background: I was raised in a Christian home, my parents were followers of the Biblical law, but I was never taught what it was like to live in relationship with the Lord. My parents didn’t really know how to live in relationship with me, in all honesty, and I spent most of my adolescence seeking their affirmation and approval. What I didn’t realize at the time was what I was really hungering for was their blessing over my life. And just as Esau begged his dying father for a blessing, knowing it had already been given to Jacob (Genesis 27:38), I, too, would never receive my blessing from my parents. I spent a journey of over fifteen years searching for acceptance and approval in relationships only to find heartache and disappointment instead. Reading this book made me come face-to-face with what left a gaping wound in my heart and allowed the Lord to not only heal it, but teach me to avoid inflicting the same wound on my children.
The book is called The Blessingand it is aptly named since it teaches you how to give the biblical blessing, not only to your children but to your spouse, to your neighbors, even to the cashier at the grocery store. It begins with the history of the Biblical blessing in accordance with Jewish law, but then extends to the five elements(meaningful touch, spoken word, expressing high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment), what to do if you were withheld the blessing (as was in my case) and how to receive healing and God’s blessing over your life now so you can extend it to those around you. I thought I was giving the blessing to my children before reading this book but it really showed me how to bless them from a place of purity and love, not just so I could say I did for them what was never done for me.
While this book has radically changed the way I feel towards and relate to my parents, it was not always an easy read. It hurt. There were moments where I had to stop and grieve what was my reality. In a particular chapter the authors talk about about giving the blessing to your parents and how we have been commanded to do it. I had to put the book down and let that idea sit for a few weeks as the Lord softened my heart. He gave me the grace and the courage to finish it, bless my parents and in doing so I felt His blessing pour over my life, which strengthened me to go out and be a person of blessing.
On a battlefield where we know the enemy is fighting tooth and nail for our relationships with our children, this book is a must. Studies have shown that children and youths who participate in disobedient and deviant behavior are doing so in response to the relationship they share with their parents. While this book is not a fix-it for all your parenting concerns, it will arm you with the knowledge and the desire to give your child a healthy sense of well-being, and also let them know how much they are loved by you and also by their heavenly father.