“… because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.” Genesis 22:17-18 (The Message)
I’m not sure exactly how many years ago it was that I was introduced to this tradition, but our family has been putting it into practice ever since and I want to encourage you this morning to consider starting it with your own family.
Kent Julian is someone whose blog I follow. You can find him here: https://liveitforward.com/. He offers a lot of wisdom from both a businessman perspective as well as a Christian husband and father. He spoke on his blog several years ago about how he writes a “birthday” letter to each of his children once a year – highlighting some of the accomplishments from their previous year as well as praying blessings and instilling wisdom for the year(s) to come. I thought that was a great idea and being someone who loves the written word, I decided to start that tradition in our home as well.
Since then I’ve been introduced to another variation such as buying a blank journal and writing one blessing each day for either your husband and/or each one of your children and then presenting it to them at the end of the year. However, that seemed too complicated so I’ve stuck with a birthday letter each year. My theory is the best tradition is the one that speaks to your heart and the uniqueness of your family.
Who doesn’t want to be encouraged? In today’s society, especially with the access of social media 24/7, wouldn’t your children benefit from the written words of your encouragement? Something they could pull out and reread from time to time, seeing in black and white their unique gifts and talents that you notice? Maybe it’s something as simple as you noticing the kindness they show their “kid brother or sister” and that encouragement will spur them on to act in the manner in which you caught them – building more acts of kindness upon each other until it becomes second nature. Maybe it’s the encouragement they need to know that their mom and dad believe in them… so that when they are tempted to take a detour from the right choices they normally make, they will remember how much confidence you have in them and that alone will stop them from heading in a direction that would be difficult to move away from.
I just wanted to take the time today to remember the power of encouragement. The power a blessing holds in the life of a child from their parent. The power of speaking respect and honor to our parents. The power of showing kindness to a friend and even kindness to a stranger. The power of the positive word from one human to another.
Words hold power. There is power in speaking blessings over those we love.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017