The first key to the blessing is this: Bless who they are not what they do. We need to separate identity and behavior. Remember, when we bless our child or our spouse we are blessing them for who they are—a child of God created with infinite value, dignity and worth—not for what they do.
I love the fact that that the first time we hear God speak audibly in the New Testament, he gives a public blessing to his son.
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
I love that God chose this moment. It was a before moment not tied to performance. Before Jesus began his earthly ministry he was blessed by his father. Before Jesus performed any earthly miracle he was blessed by his father. Before Jesus began the journey that would change the course of history he was blessed by his father. In the heart of every child is a cry for approval.
Something happens when a father says to his son, “Son, you have what it takes, I believe in you.” Or when a husband holds his wife by the hand and says, “You are lovely and worthy just the way you are.”
In our house at night, as part of our bed time routine I routinely ask our kids two questions before bed:
1. If I had every kid in the world lined up do you know who I would choose? Yes –you! Do you know why? Because you are my child.
2. Do you know I love you? Why? Simply because you are my child.
When I speak a blessing over them I am reminding them of who they are in God’s sight: “For you were made in my image.” (Genesis 1:27) “I chose you when I planned creation.” (Ephesians 1:11) “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) “For you are my treasured possession.” (Exodus 19:5)
As a parent or a spouse we can influence our family to become who God created them to be by watering the seeds God has already planted by blessing who they are not what they do.