Biblical concept of “blessing”
(1) AFFIRMATION: to affirm the worth or identity of another; to honor;
(2) IMPARTATION: to empower to succeed, prosper or multiply; to empower another to successfully fulfill his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God
The first definition relates to one’s IDENTITY; the second, to one’s DESTINY.
The power of blessing
• Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.
• Blessing or honor empowers us in three ways:
– It affirms our sense of self-worth and belongingness and thereby enabling us to accept, appreciate, and respect ourselves.
– It builds confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).
– It helps release our potentials as it gives us confidence to overcome barriers and challenges in relationships and performance.
• FAILING PARENTS ARE PARENTS WHO FOCUS ON THE PROBLEMS THEY SEE IN THEIR CHILDREN, SUCCESSFUL PARENTS ARE PARENTS WHO FOCUS ON THE POTENTIALS THEY SEE IN THEIR CHILDREN.
• DWELLING ON THE NEGATIVE BRINGS OUT THE WORST IN PEOPLE; DWELLING ON THE POSITIVE DRAWS OUT THE BEST IN THEM.
• “If I treat you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that person.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
• POSITIVE CHARACTER IS MORE SUCCESSFULLY BUILT IN A PERSON WITH A HEALED SOUL. BLESSING AND AFFIRMATION BRINGS HEALING TO THE WOUNDED SOUL.
• PEOPLE DO NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT TO BE RESPECTED OR ACCEPTED. IF NOT, THEN NO ONE ON EARTH IS WORTHY OF RESPECT, BECAUSE NO ONE IS PERFECT.
BUILDING A CULTURE OF BLESSING AT HOME
1. Develop the habit of finding ways to affirming your spouse and children everyday.
2. You can start practicing the “Blessing Circle” activity once a month. The “Blessing Circle” includes acts of affirmation, forgiveness, apology, and blessing prayer for one another. The father should take leadership here.
3. The father is encouraged to practice the habit of blessing his wife and children at least once a week, or better, everytime they go to school or their workplace.
4. Forgive, forgive, forgive – up to 77 times (Matthew 18:21-22). People around you are NEVER going to be perfect, just better. Be patient with them as you would want them to be patient with you. For children needing discipline, you may give a 1st warning before implementing discipline.
5. Give allowances for mistakes or failure. People are not perfect, but they can become better if encouraged, inspired and properly guided. Most often what regularly misbehaving or mis-performing people really need is not punishment but guidance and assistance as to how they can successfully change their behavior.
6. Affirm before applying correction. Do the “sandwich” approach to correction.
7. Instead of getting angry, facilitate a learning process from mistakes or failures committed. Use questions to motivate and direct the learning process (esp. for children). You may use the Six Diagnostic-Corrective Questions:
(1) “What exactly happened or what did you do?”
(2) “Why and how did it happen / Why did you do it?”
(3) “What do you think about what happened or what you did – was is right or wrong?”
(4) “Who do you think is responsible for what happened or who should take responsibility for what happened?”
(5) “What do you need to do or what do you think you should do about it now?”
(6) “What are you learning from this experience, so you become better and do better next time?”
8. “Everyone should be be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry; for man’s anger cannot bring about the righteous life that God desires.” – James 1:19-20
9. Allow your children or spouse to express or explain themselves during times of care-frontation or correction and be open to possible mistakes of judgment on your part also, so long as they do it with respect.
10. Develop the regular family habit of praying together and for each other’s needs, at least once a week. The father should take leadership here.
11. Never forget to verbalize sincere appreciation for one another whenever something good or helpful was done by someone.
12. Strive to regularly notice or observe improvements in behavior in your family and give proper commendation and encouragement.
13. Show affection regularly to your family members through words (love, affirmation), touch (hug, assuring or encouraging pats, kiss, holding hands), tokens or gifts, service or giving a helping hand, loving look, attentive listening, and smiles.
14. When you know you’re wrong, take responsibility and admit it publicly and sincerely apologize to the people concerned, without blaming anyone else.
15. Never yell or raise your voice against another unless absolutely necessary. People around you normally have healthy and normal ears that don’t need to be damaged. If you need to emphasize something corrective, just say it firmly and give warning of an impending consequence if it remains unheeded.
16. Hold family conferences, whenever needed, to discuss and collectively solve common or persistent problems in the home and family relationships. Facilitate learning among your children by asking them the Diagnostic-Corrective questions. Blaming or accusing is avoided in the family conference since the focus is on finding solutions together. Solve problems together as a family by eliciting and listening to suggestions and ideas from all family members. Show appreciation for suggestions even if they sound undoable or superficial or even “cute.” Aim for consensus, if possible, and seal a collective agreement regarding solutions to be implemented. Delegate and implement solutions together.
17. Plan regular family bonding times together, at least once a month, where you can enjoy one another or enjoy things or experiences together. (family outing or picnic, watching a movie together, malling together, eat out together, etc.)
EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE WITHOUT ANGER
1. Parents need to recognize that parenting must be INTENTIONAL for it to succeed. Child-training is a full-time job.
2. As parents, discuss and agree on the core convictions and habits you want to build in your children. Establish clear standards of behavior.
3. Agree how you will teach and reinforce these on your children consistently. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
4. Agree on what behavioral consequences (punishment and rewards) should be applied to specific behaviors / misbehaviors. Explain the positive reason why you are implementing them. Implement the consequences consistently and firmly. Be generous with praise but firm in your discipline. Affirm the child even in the act of discipline and after the discipline.
5. Focus on ways to inspire and encourage your children towards the right values and behavior. Never compare them with others in a negative way. Give them a vision of what they can become.
6. Focus on discovering and building the potentials of your children. Always verbally affirm your faith in your children’s capacity to become better and the best. But never measure their worth against their performance. Their intrinsic worth as human beings must always be respected despite wrong behavior or failure to meet expectations.
7. Schedule regular time for family bonding activities and mutual sharing, prayer and affirmation. Practice the “Blessing Circle” every week. Go out as a family at least once a month.