Bless Your Kids Tonight
Put away the s’mores, hang up the beach towels, and lock up the pool, Summer break is over. I’m sure this is read with some mixed thoughts and emotions. On the one hand, we’ve enjoyed the extra time with our kids, on the other hand, it’s been exhausting! My hope is that through the busyness of it all, you’ve been able to enjoy some much-needed family time and have created some lifelong family memories.
You have a very unique opportunity tonight to bless your kids/teens the night before they start this school year. The word “bless” has been diluted in our culture. We say, “God bless you” when someone sneezes, we ask to be blessed in our prayers, or we even use this word to excuse a person’s unfortunate blunder: “Bless their heart.” For these reasons, and probably more, we have lost sight of what it means to bless our children.
A new school year ushers in an array of thoughts, hopes, anxieties, questions, and concerns. So many of our students are going into this next school year with a new set of challenges and obstacles. Some are exciting and eagerly anticipated while others are stressful and fearful. As parents, we have the tremendous privilege of speaking truth and blessings over our children/teens. I want to encourage all of us as parents to be a blessing to our children/teens in a practical and tangible way tonight before they go off to school tomorrow.
First of all, speak a scripture verse of encouragement over them. God’s word is chalked full of blessings and encouragement! This might be Numbers 6:24-26: “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.” It might be Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know that plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Or it could be one of my favorites, Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” My wife and I have chosen Colossians 4:5-6 as our theme verse for our kids this year: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Once you have spoken a verse of encouragement to your child/teen, individually, but with everyone in the room, affirm and encourage him/her. Let your child/teen know how you see God in his/her life and how you are praying for growth in this new school year. Affirm them and let them know that you are advocating for them on their behalf seeking God to reveal to you who He’s created them to be.
Finally, grab your child’s/teen’s hand or put your arm around them and pray. Pray the verse that you selected to speak over them. Pray for their protection. Pray that they make wise choices. Pray that they choose to do everything as unto the Lord. And pray for you as their parent to lead and model all of this to them.
Let’s be both intentional and strategic in our parenting. Bless your child tonight!
Ben Schoening, Ed.D.
Pastor of Marriage & Family Ministries
Silverdale Baptist Church