Elements of Love
Everyone in the world would love to know that there is someone out there who cares and loves them unconditionally. Consequently, as people grow up, they begin to crave for the attention and love of their parents. According to various studies, those people who do not receive love and attention from family members or those whom they value in life are often angry and display a negative attitude towards life. Some of these individuals not only feel empty but also detached to the world around them. One way in which a person can demonstrate their love for someone they value is by blessing them. For instance, parents bless their children every day to show their affection and care. When this happens, the children go out feeling confident because they know that there is someone out there who cares about them. On the other hand, before marriage, parents give their children their blessings as a way of showing their approval of the relationship. It means that the act of blessing not only reveals value for someone but also helps in rebuilding relationships among people. Smalley and Trent (1990), in their book titled “The Blessing,” elaborate on what a blessing means and its various elements. They present extensive information on the common situations at home where the elements of blessings can be applied. The following is a report of my personal application and experience with a blessing that helped enrich my relationship with my friend.
In life, it is important to identify the needs and feelings of other people and do everything possible to help them feel better. The Bible stresses about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. The concept of loving another can be applied in relation to blessing the people close to us. The term ‘blessing’ implies various meanings among different people. For instance, blessing can mean helping someone with something which one does not need or extending a hand to someone who is need. On the other hand, a person can be blessed by what someone says or speaks about them. In an attempt to explain in detail what blessing entails, Smalley and Trent (1990) outlined the five elements of blessings, namely a meaningful touch, spoken words, words of affirmation which are of high value, picturing a special future for an individual, and being committed towards ensuring that a blessing is fulfilled.
My personal application and experience of a blessing involved my nephew. He was the one who received my blessing, and I applied all the five elements during the experience. Max is a 10-year-old boy who is sweet and loving to everyone around him. He brings joy to those around him through the way in which he talks and behaves. He is a true reflection of a child with a pure heart since he does not get angry easily. He is also very forgiving. Due to his amazing virtues, I became inspired to be a blessing in his life. As a senior to him, I decided to conduct a meaningful touch by kissing him on the cheeks to assure him of my love and appreciation of his good character towards me and other people around him.
According to Smalley and Trent (1990), physical touch is an act of love that children highly value. My physical touch was also meant to convey encouragement and affection towards the little man. However, the physical touch was not enough to assure Max of the love that I had towards him. I, therefore, decided to use spoken words as an element of blessing to make it clearer to him that he was special. This enabled me to extend my affection in a different way. I reassured him that, in time, he would be a blessing to people, just like how Joseph was a blessing to the people of Israel when they needed him during the drought period. My exact words were “May God make you to be more like Joseph, and may He bless you and guide you in every step in life.” While reading the story of Joseph, it is easy to learn that apart from being a blessing to the people of Israel, he was a resilient person who managed to overcome several trials. On the other hand, in the book of Genesis 49:22-26, Jacob mentioned that Joseph was a fruitful vine, meaning that he was prosperous in his life. I understood that life has different challenges and only resilient individuals are able to stand firm and emerge prosperous just like Joseph. At the same time, I understood the importance of being loyal to God for Him to help build and raise someone up amidst the struggles. I used these words of affirmation to show Max that I cared about his future and that I was praying for him to excel in life.
I also had to attach some value to my spoken words and touch elements of blessing. I had to use word picture which would prove to Max that I valued him as a member of the family and also as a friend. For instance, I informed him that he brought so much joy to us. I requested him to continue bringing joy and light to everyone he comes into contact with. I also advised him to maintain his integrity by avoiding life pressures such as peer pressure that may sway him away from God or the people that matter in his life. The fourth element of blessing that I used during the event was picturing Max to a special future by connecting his potential in school and traits with a bright future and opportunity. I appreciated Max’s potential since he has been performing well in school by using words of affirmation like “You will be a great teacher just like your father.” I saw the smile on his face all through the experience which showed me that I was truly being a blessing in his life by speaking powerful words over his life. The Bible states that the tongue has the power to bring life or death, and in this case, I was speaking life over Max’s future.
The last method of blessing Max was through expressing my active commitment towards seeing him blessed. I declared my intention by promising to help him with his school work to enable him become a great teacher in future. I also promised to be a guide in his life by helping him overcome life pressures through advising him on what he should do. I also promised him that I would help in attend to his interests in life to ensure that he turns out to be a great person who is worth respect. I had to keep up my promise to him by developing trust and being a true blessing in his life as I had anticipated. By paying attention to him, I would be meeting his need for love, thus enabling him to walk through various crucial stages in his life, such as adolescence and married life.
The experience with Max was comfortable and turned out positive because he was a smart and brilliant young man. However, there were some instances when I felt that Max did not understand me as I expected, which made the communication process slightly challenging. For instance, he would pay more attention to the ball on his hand and ask me funny questions during the process when I was speaking about a blessing over his life through words of affirmation. Nonetheless, as a Christian, I knew that there is power in words that we speak over people’s lives, and this gave me the courage to press on with my blessing towards Max. Some of the ways in which I intend to adopt blessings in my family life in the future is by placing my hands on my children’s head as meaningful touch, speaking words of life and value as they leave the house, picturing them as important individuals in the society in the future, and ensuring that I am present in their life to see them being a blessing to the society. It is important to speak blessings over people’s lives. However, it is also important to adopt various strategies to ensure the effectiveness of the message.
Smalley, G. & Trent, J. (1990). The blessing. New York: Pocket Books.