When someone sneezes do you say, “Bless you”?
Or perhaps, “God bless you”?
It’s a habit isn’t it.
Here’s a new habit to start:
Bless your child every day.
Don’t wait for a sneeze!
What does it mean to bless a child?
A blessing is defined as a formal act of approving. (As in: “She gave the project her blessing.”) The word “blessing” comes from the Latin word benedicere or benediction, meaning: speaking well, or saying good things of someone.
Since the our kids in Sunday school at FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI have been learning about prayer, the type of blessing I had in mind is more like a prayer; it is praying (out loud), saying in your prayer, good things for someone.
Yes, say the blessing out loud. Your child needs to hear you say the words. Moreover, they need to hear you say it in front of others. It’s showing how you value them; it’s displaying your trust in God’s provision for your child.
What sorts of words?
This is your chance to remind your child that God loves them! There is great power in your words; they can have a lasting effect! Henri Nouwen has written:
To give a blessing is to affirm, to say “yes” to a person’s Belovedness. And more than that: to give a blessing creates the reality of which it speaks.
Can you give me some examples?
- You may choose to use a blessing from the Bible such as this recognizable one from Numbers 6:24-26.
- Pray a blessing at bedtime: ___(insert child’s name)___, may God’s love and peace be with you this night.
- Or as your child leaves for school: ___(insert child’s name)___, go boldly, with confidence of your goodness, for you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
- Or for something special: ___(insert child’s name)___, there is no one else on this earth like you. You are special, uniquely created by God. God has given you skills that the world needs. You have a very bright future in the service of God, called by God to do good.
- Once your child understands the concept of a blessing, it can be as simple as saying: God bless ___(insert child’s name)___.
Plant a treasure in your child’s heart.
Say (pray) a blessing today!
A sneeze by by Zhao !, originally licensed on Flickr under Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0), however it appears to no longer be available.