You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to recognize that spoken words are powerful, though the subject can be studied in depth from Genesis to Revelation. But the reality is that simple human observation can uncover this important truth.
For example, you can undoubtedly remember certain words that were directed at you that impacted your life, for good or for bad. Consider the child who struggled in school and was best known for his fistfights in the classroom with fellow students. When his teacher declared in frustration, “Tommy, you’re going to end up in prison just like your father, if you don’t change your ways…” All the child heard and remembered was, “…you’re going to end up in prison…” Spoken words (especially from authority figures) are powerful.
I have observed many people speak negatively with the hope of getting a positive result. This is common among parents who are trying to “motivate” their children to change their behavior. I recently witnessed a mother who was trying to convince her child to leave a place that the child wanted to stay. After multiple attempts to cajole the child without any result, the mother resorted to saying, “Alright, then I am just going to leave you here,” and stormed off in the hope that walking away would change the child’s behavior.
Instead of getting the result she wanted, the mother induced fear of abandonment in the young child, who burst into sobs at the idea of being left behind. The mother returned, picked the child up and carried her to the car. Had the mother done that after the first refusal to obey, she never would have needed to resort to the threat of abandonment. We must be very wise about how we speak to our children (especially in moments of frustration) because our words can do emotional and long-term relational damage!
The Bible teaches that words can be used to speak life or to speak death, to bless or to curse. Deuteronomy 30:19 exhorts us to choose the wiser option:
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)
The implied truth in this verse is that there is a direct relationship between our words and the quality of our lives and the lives of our children. If we choose to speak life and blessing, both ourselves and our descendants will “live.” We need to learn how to speak a blessing over ourselves and our children.
Maybe you have never had anyone speak blessing over your life and therefore don’t know how to do so with your own children. This is true of many people who were raised in homes where the parents were not believers. Others may have been raised by Christian parents who did not understand the power of this profound truth. Don’t be discouraged, you and your children can receive the blessing God intended for you by simply believing the Word of God.
There is a specific passage of scripture that gives us the exact words of blessing that God Himself wants you to speak and to experience. It is found in Numbers 6:22-26.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
This passage of scripture is often referred to as the “Priestly Blessing” because God had his High Priest, Aaron, speak these words over the children of Israel. Some may argue that it does not apply to us as New Testament Christians, and only belongs to the children of Israel. But allow me to remind you of the New Testament promise that was written by the Apostle Paul (who was called the Apostle to the Gentiles) in the third chapter of the book of Galatians:
And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29 (AMP)
So as a spiritual heir of Abraham - this powerful promise of blessing found in the sixth chapter of Numbers belongs to you! And we are also part of the “royal priesthood” mentioned in 1 Peter 2:9 –
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
As part of this “royal priesthood” you have the right to pronounce the “priestly blessing” over your family. I strongly encourage you to take the words of Numbers 6:24-26 and declare them over your children each night. Imagine how powerful it would be for a father to tuck his children in each night and speak the words, “The Lord bless you and keep you, and the Lord make His face shine upon you…” What an impact there would be on hearts and minds if those blessings were the last words heard by your children each night. It would change everything!
If you are a single mother or a widow, you can stand as the “priest” of your home because you have the leadership authority under Christ Jesus, who is our High Priest according to Hebrews 3:1
…consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus…
Now take a look at this powerful blessing from Numbers chapter 6 as it is written in the Amplified Bible and observe the rich meaning of this blessing:
The LORD bless you, and keep you [protect you, sustain you, and guard you];
The LORD make His face shine upon you [with favor],
And be gracious to you [surrounding you with lovingkindness];
The LORD lift up His countenance (face) upon you [with divine approval],
And give you peace [a tranquil heart and life].’
Can you see the comprehensive coverage this blessing provides? It speaks of supernatural protection, provision, favor, mercy, grace, lovingkindness, divine approval and peace (freedom from fear and anxiety). I encourage you to take this powerful blessing and speak it over yourself, your spouse and your children. It is the only prayer of blessing found in the Bible that was written by God Himself and He gave this explicit instruction… This is the way you shall bless the children… Say to them… The LORD bless you, and keep you… And since God wrote it – you can be assured that it will come to pass!