It took a while before I got hold of the copy of The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley. I have been waiting for it for months until I decided to contact Thomas Nelson and opted to have the E-Book copy instead since there was no hint that the hard copy was to arrive anytime soon. It must have something to do with our local postal system and its infamous inefficiency. The Blessing is one of the best books I have read to date. Definitely another book to add in my growing list of favorites.
It was in our first year of marriage when we read Gary Smalley’s If Only He Knew, The Language of Love and another book on marriage which I forgot the title of. We lost them to Ondoy three years ago. The books were part of the library my pastor uncle shipped to us from the States. Reading through those marriage books during our devotional time as a young couple helped us a great deal. It allowed for a sturdy marital foundation that we both were not privileged to know growing up.
After several years of not reading Smalley, here he comes again impacting my heart through The Blessing. I have cried quite a bit of times as I read it, not because it was a tearjerker of a book. More than that, I was able to relate to the insights Gary Smalley and John Trent shared. Unlike the previous marriage books we have read by the author, this one is more of a parenting one. How parental approval easily becomes the driving force to do the things we do in our lives. Unconditional love is what every person longs for. The lack of it can bring about a whole lot of unresolved issues in our humanity. While we can surely depend on God’s unconditional love any day, we are encouraged to give it to the very people that the Lord has given us… starting with our children.
Not only marriages, but individuals – and particularly children — suffer from the lack of a verbal blessing. Without words of love, acceptance and encouragement, children often grow up traveling one of two roads that lead to unhealthy extremes: The Road of Overachievement or the Road of Withdrawal.
The blessing goes beyond parent-child relationship. Its results spill over into our and our children’s every other relationship througout our lifetime. These are the five elements of The blessing:
1. Meaningful and appropriate touch
2. A spoken (or written) message
3. Attaching high value to the one being blessed
4. Picturing a special future for him or her
5. An active commitment to fulfill the blessing
You totally have to read the book to get a grasp of the principles behind each element. Needless to say, this is one of my highly recommended books on parenting. Even if you are not a parent, this will surely pull at your heartstrings and maybe have you understand yourself more. This, aside from the book’s challenge to impact one child’s life through “blessing” him/her. This could even bring about reinforcement for families undergoing healing therapies. This book will also benefit teachers, pastors, managers as well and every other person who wants access to a life of quality filled with real joy. Precisely the abundant life God has in mind for us to live.
Children who are left to fill in the blanks when it comes to what their parents think about them will often fail the test when it comes to feeling valuable and secure. Spoken and written words at least give the child an indication that he or she is worth of some attention.
I’m giving The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley my highest recommendation.
Disclosure: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.