A pastor friend recently shared a story about the power of blessing. Although we are the same age, my friend is raising two teenagers, while I am experiencing the joys of adult children and grandchildren.
He is an older and wiser parent who knows the importance of affirming the unique identity of his children and the people he leads. His desire to capture his son’s heart through blessing reminded me of the powerful impact our words and actions can have on family, friends, or just about anyone God places in our path!
Turning 13 years old is often referred to as a “coming of age” when a son or daughter transitions from childhood to adulthood. To confirm the importance of his 13th birthday, my friend took his son to a rugged outdoor location. He presented him with a sword, like that of William Wallace’s in Braveheart. The location and sword represented his son’s step into manhood and demonstrated his unwavering support as his father and fellow brother-in-arms. He finished the day by inviting other influential men to speak love, affirmation, and destiny into his son’s life. It was a pivotal moment for his son that won’t be easily forgotten.
The story so moved me. What an amazing way to speak blessing into a person’s life. Have you been so fortunate to be surrounded with people who nurture your heart, mind, and spirit with such care?
His story reminded me that we all benefit from blessing, especially when our identity – who we are – is recognized, called out, and affirmed. The ideological differences in our society often create deep divisions and critical hearts. Rather than supporting and raising each other up, people are more likely to criticize others through words or actions. This attitude can permeate families and workplaces, too.
We are fortunate that God has given us the ability to change our culture by speaking life and love to others. You can be a blessing to others by following these three important steps.
- Anchor yourself in the Lord. Before stepping out to bless others, anchor yourself in your relationship with God. Love God and know how much He loves you. We are able to love Him and other people ONLY because he first loved us first (1 John 4:19). Our love can only be given away to others when we receive the fullness of the Father’s love. The more you discover how greatly you are loved in the Kingdom of God, the greater your love will expand for others. I know that my friend is anchored in the Lord and that his relationship with God comes through in all his interactions with his son.
- Speak to a person’s deepest desire. Blessings are particularly meaningful when they speak to our desires. For example, do you want to feel significant to someone, like a son to a father or a daughter to a mother? Your need is fulfilled when someone communicates how much they appreciate your unique personality, a character strength you demonstrate, or the gifts and talents they believe will shape your future. My friend affirmed his son’s significance and worth as he presented a sword and gathered many men to surround his son. He blessed his son and captured his heart as he initiated his journey into manhood.
- Chose actions that match your words. People receive love in many different ways depending upon their personality and love language. Positive words are important to some people. Service or actions matter more to others. If you want to really make an impact, do both! True love is communicated when your words of blessing are followed up by concrete action. The rite of passage into adulthood will only be meaningful to a teenager if a parent follows through with supportive actions.
Ephesians 1:3 tells us:
“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..”
When you believe in Jesus you have access to every blessing available to God’s people. In return, you can pass blessings on to those around us through your words and actions. Your ability to capture hearts and influence your world is immense when you step out in love.
Who can you bless today? Do you a family member, co-worker, or neighbor who you can give thanks for, speak life to, or bless with a simple action? Chose to share God’s love and blessings in a specific way today.
I’d love to hear your story in the comment box below or on Facebook. Let’s encourage others!