Mark 10:13-16

There are many reasons we love children. Here are two of them:

For weeks a six-year-old lad kept telling his first-grade teacher about the baby brother that was expected at his house. One day the mother allowed the boy to feel the movements of the unborn child. The six-year old was obviously impressed, but also looked a little uncertain. And after that day, he stopped telling his teacher about the impending event. The teacher finally sat the boy on her lap and said, “Tommy, whatever became of that baby brother you were expecting at home?”
Tommy burst into tears and confessed, “I think Mommy ate him!”

One day a little girl was watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair in contrast to her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?”
Her mother replied, “Well, every time you do something wrong and make me cry one of my hairs turns white.”
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “MOM, can you explain why ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”

Is it any wonder that we love children?

Jesus loved(s) children too and He is still in the business of blessing children. I believe His statement, “Let the children come onto Me and hinder them not,” bespeaks His knowledge that research bears out today if we don’t reach the children before they reach the age of 18 their chances of becoming His followers diminishes greatly as 80% of those who claim to be Christians today say they made that decision before the age of 18.

And so Jesus continues to bless His children today; through parents and grandparents and guardians (whom I am addressing today) and He also blesses them through His Church.

I feel badly for parents today; so little time.

According to Time magazine, the most recent report of the US Dept of Agriculture indicates that for parents starting out in 2017 it’s going to take $233,610 to get that child to the age of 17. 1 That’s just milk and diapers and cribs and baby food and toys and child care and clothing and medicine and school supplies and hair cuts and doctors visits a computer, a mobile phone, a car and insurance for it!

Is it any wonder that in most families, both parents have to work? Is it any wonder that by the time they spend 30 minutes on the road pick up the kids at day care, get supper on the table and clean the kitchen that they are exhausted? And it’s just about all they can do to give the kids a bath and get them into bed before collapsing.

It’s the really committed mom and dad who after dinner take the time to sit down with their child and read or play a game or otherwise spend meaningful time with them. And it’s the really thoughtful compassionate and committed parent(s) who do what it takes to bless them in some way.

By blessing them I am referring to an action that communicates to children that they are genuinely loved, valued, accepted and appreciated. All children long for the blessing of their parents. When we bless them, we empower them to live happier and more fulfilled lives. One of the greatest things that we can do for our children and grand-children is to give them a blessing.

I want to touch on three ways we can convey blessings upon our children and grandchildren?

First, we impart blessings by speaking words of blessing into their lives.

A tragic misconception many parents have is that simply being present communicates blessing. Nothing could be further from the truth. The major thing silence communicates is confusion. 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 words of praise and appreciation assure children they are valuable. It is not enough to provide a roof over our children’s heads or to provide them with food and the material necessities of life. Without spoken words of blessing they are left unsure of their worth.

In his book, The Blessing, Gary Smalley writes,

Telling children they are valuable can be difficult for many parents, especially if the parents never heard such words when they themselves were young. Besides, that just-right time to say such important words can get crowded out by the urgent demands of a busy schedule. Some children do hear the obligatory “I love you” during holidays or at the airport, but it seems stiff and out of place.
Other children may hear an occasional word of praise, but only if they perform well on a task. When words of value are only linked to a child’s efforts to obtain a blessing, the child retains nagging uncertainty about whether he or she ever really received it. If his or her performance ever drops even a small amount, that child may ask and ask again, “Am I loved for who I am or only for what I can do? 2

This book gives many helpful examples of how we can impact our children in wonderful ways through the words we speak.

Writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Ted Kruger writes:

“I have many memories about my father and about growing up with him in our apartment next to the elevated train tracks. Late at night, my father waited alone for the train that took him to a factory where he worked the night shift. On one particular night, I waited with him in the dark to say good-bye. His face was grim; I had been drafted and would be shipping out the next morning while he was at the factory. He placed his hands on my shoulders and said, “You be careful, and if you need anything, write to me.” Suddenly we heard the roar of the approaching train. He held me tightly in his arms and gently kissed me on the cheek. With tear-filled eyes, he said, ‘I love you, son.’ The train arrived, the doors closed, and he disappeared into the night. One month later, I received word that at age 46, my father died. I am 76 as I sit and write this; I’ve had a life full of all kinds of experiences. But the memory that lingers is the night my dad said, ‘I love you, son.’” 3

Oh, the incredible power of a father’s or a mother’s blessing.

Second, beyond speaking a blessing, we can bless our children by writing them a blessing.

Writing out our thoughts gives us more of a chance to really think through what we wish to convey to our children.

And better yet gives our kids something to hang on to that they can pull out and re-read when they are going through emotionally difficult times.

I save written blessings for the times I get down.

If you need some help with this I encourage you to visit two websites:

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY . . . blessing your children.

FAITH PASSED DOWN . . . blessing your children.

Third, we impart blessing by participating with them in the church.

Luke gives us our only glimpse into Jesus upbringing as a child. In the 2nd chapter of his gospel he informs us of two things:

  • His parents took Him to the Temple on a regular basis
  • “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and with man” (Luke 2:52)

I don’t think it is any coincidence that His parents regularly took Jesus to the Temple and that He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God.

I encourage you to bring your children to this place where what you teach them gets reinforced; so that they learn what it is to worship the Lord. so that they have an opportunity to learn about the faith, so that they have the opportunity to be loved by their older Christian brothers and sisters, so that, in short, so that they will be blessed by God.

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite all the children to come up front and receive the blessing of Jesus today through the ministry of His church.

A Blessing of the Children

Leader: The innocence and love found in the face of
child; this is a reflection of God.
Congregation: Of such is the kingdom.

Leader: A tiny baby named Jesus came into our broken world and changed everything; this is a reflection of God.
Congregation: Of such is the kingdom.

Leader: Oh God we come this day to celebrate and bless the children among us.
People: Thank you God for blessing us with children.

Leader: Help us God to honor our children and to raise them up according to your divine goodness.
People: Thank you God for blessing us with children.

Leader: Help us God to be intentional and loving towards all the children or our community.
People: Thank you God for blessing us with children

Leader: Help us to be good parents, grandparents, guardians, role models, mentors, and servants for our children
People: Thank you God for blessing us with children.

ALL: As we worship You this day, we ask Your blessing upon the children among us. As You hold them close to You dear God, protect them and watch over them. As “ Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” may these children be so blessed through our humble efforts and the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Before we conclude by singing two songs today, may I remind all of us that offering a spiritual blessing to another begins by receiving the blessing from God.

We can’t give something away we have not received ourselves.

There was a farmer who had toiled over a bumper crop of grain , a badly needed crop that was going to pay off many creditors and secure the family for another year. But just a few days before it was due to be harvested a freak wind and hail storm ravaged the property, and the harvest was lost. The man stood with his little boy looking over the fields of destroyed grain. The boy wasn’t sure just how his father was going to react; he half expected his dad to bemoan his misfortune. But instead his Dad began to softly sing: “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Years later that boy, grown into manhood, said: “That was the greatest sermon I ever Heard.”

But he never would have heard it at all unless his father had previously given his heart in faith to Christ.


2 Samlley, Gary and Trent, John. The Blessing; Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance. [Nashville, Tenn. Thomas Nelson Publishers, © 1986] pages 99-100.

3 Canfield, Jack. and Hansen, Mark. A Fourth Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul; 101 More Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit. [Health Communications, © 1997] pages 109-110.