My eyes perused our front porch.
Scattered throughout sat men and their families. From all backgrounds and walks of life, these men symbolized the legacy and heritage of time well spent. Men of discipline, men of character, men who invested time in our son over the last eighteen years, prepared to share in a special time of blessing over him.
This gathering time provided a tangible opportunity for their life-giving words of affirmation to mark a significant, life-changing gateway to manhood, while casting a Godly vision for his future.
Brothers, cousins, uncles, grandparents, coaches, small group leaders, and family friends – all mentors in some way – shared in this time of celebration.
Throughout scripture, we witness the power of the verbal blessing upon God’s children. Not just confined to the Old Testament, Jesus’s ministry began and ended with blessings.
Proverbs 18 also reminds us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. It wields power.
A single comment, a single sentence, a single conversation can stay with us for a lifetime. Many of us can pinpoint a single exchange, whether for good or evil, that has stayed with us through the years.
Words. Powerful words. Used as either a blessing or a curse.
As our son prepared to step into his next season of life, our desire to plan an evening where words might be used to cast vision became an evening where men spoke life into our son. While exhorting and affirming the man he is becoming in Christ, they also challenged him to rise above the cultural norm and cling to the only one worth running towards. Sharing from their experience and life lessons learned along the way, they asked God’s special favor on his next season of life and also reminded him of the community of which he is a part. My prayer is that when our son’s world and life view is tested, when his faith is challenged, he clings to the truth of scripture, remembers the blessings prayed over him, the community available to him and stands strong in the midst of adversity.
I know firsthand the significance which a simple, verbal blessing creates in one’s life. Nearly every day as a child, I either woke or went to sleep with a verbal blessing from my father. This tangible reminder was not just a prayer of faith on my behalf, but also a constant affirmation of my worth in the eyes of the Lord.
My dad prioritized this time. He set apart time in the midst of his hectic day to bring his daughter before the throne and advocate on her behalf. I knew I was valued and loved by my father, and this in turn profoundly affected how I viewed my heavenly Father. What a rare, treasured gift I was given, one which I desired to pass onto our children.
I don’t take this significant opportunity lightly. Whether it’s planning an intentional evening of blessing to mark an important rite of passage, tucking them into bed or writing a note in their lunch, the power to wield words of blessing for the kingdom impacts generations. It’s a humbling privilege to know that in the midst of my mess and struggles as a mom, the Lord uses this simple offering.
Most nights, I lay my hand on my daughters’ heads and sing the simple blessing found in Numbers 6:24. Then the blessing becomes more personal as I turn to areas pertinent to their own lives.
I use simple words with a simple message. No theology degree needed. Just a heart to use the scripture to pour truth over our children, spouses, friends and loved ones.
Words matter. Words mark. Wield them well and begin a new generational legacy.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through His grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
What words have marked you? What words have been a blessing in your life?
Authored by Jen Schmidt, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Host of the Becoming Conference