You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.
Luke 3:22 (NIV)
The Big Story of reality begins in Genesis, chapter 1. Not only are we told that humans alone, among all of God’s creation in the universe, have been made in His image, but what’s more, we are precious to Him. To demonstrate the significance of that unchangeable truth, the first thing God did after His final act of creating Adam and Eve, male and female, was to bless them. Here’s what is recorded in Genesis 1:27-28…
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’
If this was important enough to God to have Moses record it, would it not be reasonable to conclude that speaking blessing over one another, especially our children and grandchildren, could be a powerful tool for communicating the high value God has given to each of them? He created them in His image, and a blessing affirms that value and unique purpose He has for them.
Grandfathers, I hope you understand the destructive impact the cultural lies about identity and happiness are likely to have on your grandchildren. They need to hear words of blessing and hopefulness rooted in God’s truth… from you. I am fully convinced that the giving of a father’s and grandfather’s blessing is enormously powerful in a child’s life.
This is especially true in a time of identity crisis for our children, starting at a very young age. Your grandchildren are growing up in a cultural context that has largely discarded any truth about what it means to be human—made in the image of God. I believe, as a blessing giver, you can counter that identity crisis by speaking God’s message of value and purpose into their lives.
How do we do that? Here are four suggestions…
1) Intentionally speak words of truth and grace. The spoken blessing, like the Father’s words spoken over his Son, Jesus, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, communicate high value, purpose and hope when spoken genuinely and with a commitment to stand behind what you say. Practice saying a blessing over your grandchildren regularly. Numbers 6:24-26 is a good pattern to follow.
2) Being quick to listen and slow to speak. Your grandchildren will know you value them when they know you care about what they think and feel. They will know you care when you take time to listen instead of telling them what they ought to do. Only then will you be able to speak into their lives.
3) Look for opportunities to remind them of who they are as image-bearers of God. For example, if your grandson plays sports, attend some of his games if you are able. If they lose a game, remind him that winning or losing—in fact, this sport—is not what identifies him or gives him value. Speak words of encouragement and value that uphold integrity, excellence and serving others. For your granddaughter, leave sticky notes on her mirror when you visit that speaks words of blessing about her beauty both externally and internally, or that recognize some quality you see in her.
4) Celebrate milestones in your grandchild’s life with a special blessing. Use this time to speak a blessing over them. Write it out as well, and frame it, so it will be there as a reminder.
If you need some examples of milestone events, or you don’t know how to do a spoken blessing, this link will take you to a free download, Creating a Legacy of Blessing, I have prepared to help you do it.
A grandfather’s words have power to bless or curse. Use them wisely… for the sake of your grandchildren, that they may know with certainty the truth about who they are as God’s image bearers, and not buy into the lies of the cultural norms around them.