As a biracial family, I love taking some of the beautiful things from my Mexican heritage and adapting it to our multicultural family. One of those cultural things I have always loved is the tradition of speaking a blessing over your children.
In Latin America, the word “bendiciones” is regularly performed as children leave their homes to go about their day. This word means “blessings”. Parents give a “blessing” to their children and if parents forget kids ask for it. It consists of prayer, verse, or words of wisdom. What makes this ritual so powerful is it’s spoken on a daily basis.
I grew up hearing a “blessing” from my mom every night before we headed off to sleep. This simple ritual was one that still echoes in my heart. She would come into our room to check on us and then she’d say “Sueña con los anjelitos.” as she headed out. It was a part of our nighttime ritual.
I have taken this Hispanic ritual and adapted it to fit into our family. As we try to live out the basics of a Christ-centered home I strongly believe in speaking scriptural affirmations over my children. I haven’t always done this, I mostly just prayed for my kids when they were babies but when I did start it made a world of a difference.
So years ago, I started praying scripture over them, I would do this in the mornings as I talked to God. This was a good thing but I also wanted it to carry over to speaking affirmations over them that they could hear me say and hold onto throughout their day. Well, the crazy demands of the morning would leave me doing everything but that.
Our morning challenges became more frequent so after a series of lots of negative and frustrating mornings, I knew some things had to change. I began sharing the responsibility of morning tasks with my family instead of trying to do it all. This helped ease the morning stress for me and my kids were no longer leaving our home with my last words being a reprimand and my frustrated mom face.
That’s when I started my morning blessing and speaking scriptural affirmations over my children. Through the years I have learned what works best for our family and my personality. I’m going to share with you what worked for us so you may find that this “format” doesn’t fit your family and that’s fine. But don’t let the format keep you from doing what’s really important and that’s speaking scriptural affirmations over your children.
So on our morning ride to school, I pray with them before I drop them off. I like to pray scripture over them. So this is what the scriptural affirmation of Mark 12:30 may sound like when I pray, “Heavenly Father, May Ethan, Aiden, and Mateo love you with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength as they go about their day, walk the halls and enter their classrooms when no one is looking and when they are around others.”
A Morning Blessing
As each child gets out of the car or leaves my house in the morning each of them gives me a kiss on the cheek and then I speak a blessing over them. I took one of my favorite passages in Isaiah 43: 1-5 for their blessing. This is what I always start off with, “You are loved. You are known. You are precious in God’s sight. I love you!” If I forget they remind me. They know it by heart. My prayer is that when they get older they will hear God’s word echo in their heart and sing over them when they need to remember the truth of His love and our love.
Scriptural affirmations and blessings remind our children who God is and who they belong to. They can be prayers or blessings that speak truth from God’s word about who they are and what you hope for them to become as men of Christ.
If you want to do the scripture affirmation and blessing all at once you can combine it. The biggest difference between a blessing and scriptural affirmation is a blessing isn’t necessarily scripture (but it can be) and it’s the same phrase repeated over and over again. A scriptural affirmation has to be scripture and it affirms who they are in Christ and who God is. And it can be a different verse each time.
Construct Your Own Scriptural Affirmations
Here are some verses you can use to construct your own scriptural affirmation and blessings.
You will give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Mark 12:30
He will equip you with all you need for doing his will.
He will produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him. Hebrews 13:20-21
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:17
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Psalm 118:6
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Eph 3:18
I will walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:19
I rejoice in the Lord always even if my circumstances are good or bad. Philippians 4:4
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater (stronger) than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1
How to do it
Choose if you want to speak a blessing or scriptural affirmation over your child or you can do both. I change it up just depends on how awake I am because I do this in the morning. Choose a time that works best for you but keep it consistent and daily. You can do it on the way to drop them off in the car that’s when it works best for us. At breakfast, while they are in bed as you wake them up or at night.
My kids can count on me speaking the same blessing over them each morning. When I’m fully awake I add a scriptural affirmation prayer or combine it. See how I do this using 2 Tim. 1:7
- The blessing by itself (come up with your own)—> “You are loved. You are known. You are precious in God’s sight.”
- Combined blessing & scriptural affirmation —> “You are loved. You are known. You are precious in God’s sight.
Ethan, You are a child of God. He has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control. ” <— the scriptural affirmation
- Scripture affirmation prayer on its own—> “Heavenly Father, Ethan, Aiden, and Mateo are your children. You have not given them a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-control. Holy Spirit remind them of this as they go about their day, walk the halls and enter their classrooms, when no one is looking, and in the quietness of their thoughts. In your name, amen.
- Scripture affirmation spoken directly to your child—> Ethan you are a child of God. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self control.
I would encourage you to take it a step further and have your children memorize some of these scriptural affirmations so God’s word is in their hearts.
I’m thankful I can share my cultural roots of “bendiciones” (blessings) with my children through God’s word. Though I need to get better and help them make the connections between our rituals and our faith and culture.