Before you read on, don't forget to check out Hope at Home 2014, September 26-27. Registration is open!
Blessing. It is the simplest of things to do, as are so many of the things I forget to be intentional about in the daily swirl of parenting!
I love to tell my daughter, "You are just amazing! I love who you are and I love it that I get to be your mommy."
It is a joy to say to my son, "What a strong young man you are! It is just plain fun to be with you."
Who of us does not desire that kind of approval?! I still see, after these many years later since our children first came home, that the need for blessing in our adopted children is even more key to their wholeness and identity than with our biological children.
Father God spoke powerful words of blessing over His Son:
And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight! (Matthew 3:17 AMP)There is a lot in this short scripture for us!
- The voice that spoke the blessing was the Father. There is something powerful about a daddy's blessing. We mamas can and should bless too, for we have a voice of significant influence, but you fathers have a unique and powerful role in blessing your children.
- "My Son"--find ways to speak belonging, relationship, and connection. Father didn't say, "this is the son." He said "this is My son." I just love that!
- "My Son"--never grow tired of speaking sonship to, with, about, and over your adopted child. A son or daughter is not an orphan. I see my children's perceived need of this truth to come and go over the 14 and 12 years they have been home, but I am absolutely convinced that they always are hungering for this declaration. Even now as young adults, maybe even more so actually because they are going through the sometimes complicated process of making sense of their identities, they sometimes struggle with what it means that they are no longer orphans.
- God spoke this defining blessing out loud where others could hear. I love speaking words of affirmation and blessing to my children in the hearing of their siblings, peers, and other adults. Sure, they may act embarrassed at some stages, but I can see they really love it underneath! For all of us, it just plain feels good when someone speaks of their pleasure in us. We are empowering our children when we bless them in front of others.
- "My Beloved"--we find ways to highlight that this is not just our son or daughter. Not only a child who was adopted, and so now has a familial connection to us. No! This is a much loved child. Oh how our children need to hear this. This reality may not be true for your children, but for ours, the fact is that they know from experience that not all sons and daughters are much loved.
- "My Beloved"--again, notice that Father God highlights the personal connection with His son. Jesus is not merely a beloved son, he is my beloved son.
- "In Whom I Delight"--I love how God doesn't stop at familial relationship as He blesses Jesus. It's like He is saying, "There is even more than that! I like him--a lot. I enjoy him. He pleases me." Find ways to show your approval. Even, and especially, in those times when it is hardest to find something of which to approve!
And you know, God spoke these power words over His son before Jesus had done any miracles, or fulfilled His destiny, or made the choice to yield to the Father's will of death on the cross. We also can and should bless our children, not based on their performance, but on their identity--even and especially when their actions don't reflect the truth of who they are as a true son or daughter.
So my fellow parents, let's be intentional in speaking these kind of powerful words of approval and blessing and life into, about, over and with our children. I am seeing the fruit of it in our 4 adopted children who are now 19, 19, 21 and 23-- there is very little more satisfying than that for this mama!