The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

( 32 )

Overview

The best-selling classic that helps children thrive today and experience a special future tomorrow. Now revised, updated, and enhanced for a new generation!

Children of every age long for the gift of “the blessing” — the unconditional love and approval that come from a healthy relationship with their parents. This life-changing gift, essential for instilling a deep sense of self-worth and unshakable emotional well-being, contains five essential elements: meaningful touch, a ...

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The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

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Overview

The best-selling classic that helps children thrive today and experience a special future tomorrow. Now revised, updated, and enhanced for a new generation!

Children of every age long for the gift of “the blessing” — the unconditional love and approval that come from a healthy relationship with their parents. This life-changing gift, essential for instilling a deep sense of self-worth and unshakable emotional well-being, contains five essential elements: meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment.

Offering solid, practical advice and a fresh perspective on making this gift a bigger part of our families, The Blessing powerfully communicates these biblically based elements as necessary to prepare children for positive future relationships, including their relationship with a loving God.

But what if we’ve missed out on the blessing in our own lives? The book includes hope for “reversing the curse” and helps readers find blessing in situations of divorce, death, desertion, adoption, and blended families.

New to this updated edition are practical ideas, questions, exercises, and links for online resources — plus practical advice for planning a blessing event for a child, preparing a written keepsake blessing, and living out the blessing every day of our lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780849946370
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 183,050
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. John Trentis president of StrongFamilies.com and founder of The Institute for the Blessing at Barclay College. John is a sought-after speaker and an award-winning author of more than twenty books, including six books for children. He has been a featured guest on numerous radio and television programs and leads The Blessing Challenge, a joint partnership with Focus on the Family and StrongFamilies.com. John and his wife, Cindy, have two grown daughters, Kari and Laura.

Dr. Gary Smalley, one of the foremost experts on family relationships, has written or cowritten more than sixty books and thirty-five videos, selling more than six million copies. With more than forty years of experience, he is a best-selling and award-winning author and has appeared on hundreds of local and national radio and television shows. He and his wife, Norma, have been married more than forty five years and have three grown children, all in full-time ministry.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

1 To Change a Life 1

Part 1 Why Is the Blessing So Important?

2 The Lifelong Search for the Blessing 17

3 "Bless Me-Me Also, O My Father!" 24

4 A Life-and-Death Choice 32

Part 2 Understanding the Blessing

5 A Clear Path for Every Parent 43

6 The First Element: Meaningful Touch 52

7 The Second Element: A Spoken Message 75

8 The Third Element: Attaching High Value 94

9 The Fourth Element: Picturing a Special Future 115

10 The Fifth Element: An Active Commitment 133

Part 3 When the Blessing Doesn't Happen

11 Homes That Withhold the Blessing 157

12 Half-Blessed 178

13 If You Missed the Blessing 188

14 Reversing the Curse 202

Part 4 Living the Blessing Challenge

15 First Steps: A Written Blessing 223

16 Next Steps: Five Pictures That Point the Way 239

17 Last Words: Living the Blessing for a Lifetime 250

Afterword: An Invitation to Take the Blessing Challenge 253

Appendix: Becoming a Blessing Champion 255

Notes 259

About the Authors 263

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First Chapter

The BLESSING

Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance
By John Trent Gary Smalley

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 John Trent and Gary Smalley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-4637-0


Chapter One

To Change a Life

The writing of every book has its own story. For me, the story of this book is one that changed my life.

It has now been more than thirty years since two intensely personal experiences collided on the same day. It began on my first day as an intern at a psychiatric hospital. It ended with the Lord opening my eyes to the life-changing power of a simple relational tool called the blessing.

That day at the hospital, I spent a full shift sitting next to a young man on twenty-four-hour suicide watch. He was tall, handsome, well mannered, and an excellent student. In fact, he had been a straight-A student in high school and for three years of college. When he caught the flu the first semester of his senior year, that all changed. In a required PE course he had put off until then, he missed so many classes that his instructor gave him an automatic grade reduction to B for the semester. When the young man found out that there was no extra credit, no way to substitute other classes, and now no way to change his grade or drop the course, he fell into instant despair. He left the teachers office, went back to his dorm room, and tried to take his life. He would have succeeded had his roommate not unexpectedly and providentially returned.

As we sat and talked, and as I tried not to stare at his bandaged wrists, this young man poured out his heart to me. His story included a brilliant, demanding, engineer father who had gotten straight As himself and demanded nothing less from his oldest son. It highlighted how hard he had tried, all his life, to gain his fathers favor. And it ultimately led to how his failing to get an A in a tennis class brought the death of a dream—and nearly his own death as well.

This young man desperately yearned for something he couldn't quite define—something that was always in sight, yet somehow never within reach. His heartbreaking tale left a haunting, indelible impression on me. I went home late that afternoon and shared the events of the day at length with my wife, Cindy. While I was still pondering and processing what had happened, the second of two dramatic events took place.

It was nighttime when I finally sat down and began working on a message for a couples Sunday school class. While I'm sure you would never do such a thing if you were the teacher, I was just beginning my message—for the next day—and kicking myself for letting school, work, and family crowd in so much. Looking back, I can see how Almighty God had his hand in the timing: after sitting down for hours next to that hurting young man, I now sat down and opened my Bible to Genesis 27.

Genesis 27 tells the story of twins: Jacob and Esau. I had read of the struggle between these two brothers countless times in the past. My plan was to speed-read through the passage and throw together a few inspired thoughts. Yet that night, with each word I read, time seemed to slow down. It was as if I saw, for the first time, the intensely personal story of how these two young men struggled so mightily to receive the same gift.

In fact, that night, it wasn't just words that I saw. It was like I could see each boy's face. The ear-to-ear smile and unbridled joy in Jacob's eyes when he walked away with his father's blessing. The crushing look of shock and loss on Esau's tormented face when he realized he would never receive that gift.

When Esau lifted up his voice and cried in anguish, "Bless me—me also, O my father!" I suddenly saw not only Esau's unfulfilled longing and broken heart but also an echo of the tears and desperate cries I had heard as I sat next to the heartbroken young man in the hospital. And at that moment, it was as if the Lord put tangible words to the intangible something that young man had longed for all his life.

He missed his father's blessing ... That's what broke his heart!

As that thought washed over me, I read Esau's pitiful, heartbreaking, repeated cry, "Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!" (Gen. 27:38). Just as suddenly, I had words for my own pain and hurt. For all my life I, too, had longed for something I had never received from my own father—his blessing.

Long into the night, I studied and thought and remembered and prayed, and the next day was the first time I taught a group about the blessing. In a small basement classroom at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas, Texas, on a rainy Sunday morning, twenty couples heard about Jacob's gain and Esau's loss. They were the first people I ever asked whether they had received this life-changing gift from their parents.

The impact was incredible. The nodding heads. The tears in too many eyes. The discussion in the hallway, long after class. The calls that came for days afterward from people who felt as if Esau's cry was their own—and from just as many who wanted to make sure they were giving the blessing to their children.

"Can you tell me more about that blessing?"

So began a personal, now thirty-plus-year study of the blessing. It became the subject of my doctoral dissertation and the basis for this book. (The original edition was written with the incomparable Dr. Gary Smalley, who continues to support our blessing ministry in many practical ways.) It also launched seminars and talks I've done and continue to do on the blessing at churches and even stadiums across the country. Rather than adding layers of dust to a stale concept, years of teaching about this amazing Old Testament concept has caused interest to mushroom, not diminish.

When this book was first published, the Internet was reserved for high-end computer users in major universities. Today, blessing messages go out as tweets and e-mails or text messages sent from BlackBerries and iPhones. Yet with all the advances in technology, the challenges of raising children in a world haunted by terrorism and social upheaval has drawn people—more than ever—to want strong, loving families. In that search they keep coming back to God's Word ... and to the blessing.

Perhaps you are reading this book as a third-generation Christian and have personally benefited from a long tradition of blessing children. If that is the case, you may well find yourself saying, "So that's why our family has stayed so close all these years!" Or perhaps you are like my wife, Cindy, and me: first-generation Christians from difficult backgrounds—hers an alcoholic home, mine a single-parent home—each wanting to pass on to our children more than we received. This book can put into words what you missed as a child as well as provide practical, hands-on ways of communicating unconditional love and acceptance to your children and loved ones.

Hardly a day goes by that I don't get an e-mail (and, yes, "snail mail" too) from a joyful, now-grown child whose aging parent finally gave him the blessing for the first time—or from a child who went out of her way to return the blessing to her father or mother and changed their relationship for the better. I hear from athletes and students who never received the blessing at home but who found those life-changing actions and words modeled by a coach, teacher, or youth leader. And I get to read or hear about the excitement and commitment of new fathers and mothers determined to give their newborn child a gift they missed themselves.

Which leads us to today, to this very special edition of The Blessing—an ancient, relational, biblical tool whose time has come.

A Call to Action

Every so often, there comes a unique time, opportunity, or experience. I believe all three happened when you picked up this book.

Today is indeed a unique time for you to take part in a significant challenge that launches with this book.

Along the way, you will learn about an unparalleled opportunity to create a radically positive experience that can be nothing short of life changing for you and for a child in your life.

This new edition of The Blessing trumpets a call to action for a huge gathering of parents—literally one million of them—from every corner of our country and world. Men and women who know it's time to go counterculture and do something truly great in this age of just getting along.

What is that something great?

Changing the life of just one child.

And how will it get done?

You guessed it—through the blessing.

A powerful relational tool, whose elements were first shared in the Bible, The Blessing continues to be reconfirmed in both ongoing and completed clinical studies, providing a model for a strong, thriving family. It's a way of helping children (and adults) experience at the deepest level of their hearts the certainty that they are highly valued and forever treasured by someone incredibly significant in their life stories. And it lays out a simple path to follow—five specific actions parents or other caring persons can take, no matter how busy their lives or challenging their circumstances.

The Blessing is not just for children, of course. As we'll see, the principles in this book can transform marriages, friendships, and adult-sibling relationships. Grown children—even those whose parents refused to accept and affirm them—have used these principles to reach out to those very parents in blessing. But because childhood experiences are so powerful in shaping lives, the primary focus of this book is helping adults, especially parents, to give the blessing to children or, as we have said, to just one child.

We all have heard (and by now have mostly grown numb to) television commercials that tug on our heartstrings and implore us to "help the children"—meaning poor kids out there in a different part of town or another country. That's a valuable message, but it is not the message of this book. Instead it's about reaching out to that one child within your reach and letting your blessing become an agent of life for him or her.

Before we get specific about how the blessing works and how you can give it, let me share with you four reasons why taking the blessing challenge can be so absolutely transformational.

The Blessing ... Fights Back Against a Toxic Culture

What we are asking you to do in this book runs counter to our dominant culture in these crazy times. With adults working so hard to make ends meet—and some simply preoccupied with their own agendas—there seems to be less and less time for children, and children suffer as a result.

Many children struggle today with what experts call attachment disorder. That's the failure of children and young adults to create significant bonds with their parents or others as they get older. They stumble down a road toward broken relationships. They enter young adulthood—and later marriage—with a deep desire for connection but without the understanding, modeling, experience, or confidence that they really can build loving, lasting relationships for themselves. They step back from what they want most because they've never seen what it looks like to have someone step toward them.

These are kids who need to experience the blessing in loving homes right now.

Can the blessing challenge reverse this trend?

My experience tells me it can make a big difference—by offering you a strategy for redeeming some of your precious time with your children and strengthening your bond with them. The blessing provides a parenting path that is so practical, so clear, so gently sloped, that if you will just start it, you will soon find yourself gaining momentum in terms of capturing closeness and caring with your family. It offers a way of reclaiming connection with your child no matter how many hours our culture (or your boss) tries to carve out of your month!

The Blessing ... Can Open a Child's Heart to a Lasting Faith

According to a recent survey, fully eight out of ten parents report that passing a strong faith to their children was "important" or "very important" to them. Yet while a majority of Americans want these benefits to be a part of their children's lives and futures, studies also show that it's not happening. Depending on which study you choose, anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of children who sit in a second-grade Sunday school class at church today won't be attending any religious services or meetings when they reach their high-school years. In fact, they won't be claiming any kind of growing faith at all.

To understand why this is, it's crucial to understand how a living faith in Christ is successfully transferred. It doesn't happen by teaching a set of rules or customs or passing along a set of traditions, though many think of religion this way. Christianity is and has been primarily about a relationship. And the blessing is all about building relationships. When we give children the blessing, we are laying an incredible relational foundation that not only helps them connect with other people but can also prepare their hearts for a relationship with Jesus.

Those are two crucial benefits of taking the blessing challenge. You'll have a tool—no matter how busy you are—to help you battle the cultural phenomenon of attachment disorder with genuine connection. And in learning to give the blessing, you will also be opening a child's heart to a living, lasting faith. But there's also a third benefit.

The Blessing ... Can Help Heal the Hurts from the Past

Let's face it. Even those who grow up in the best and most loving of homes can come away with a degree of hurt or disappointment. So how do we cope? Even more important, what can we do to move past the significant damage that a difficult childhood can cause? How can we prevent a painful past from having a negative impact on our present and future relationships? The blessing can make a surprising difference by offering an alternative to damaging self-protective mechanisms we may have developed over the years.

Children simply don't have the maturity or understanding to deal with hurt and pain, so they tend to grab on to anything they can find to protect themselves and help them cope. Whatever works—athletic prowess, academic success, good looks, even drugs or alcohol—they want to repeat. By the time they grow up, they may have created layer upon layer of self-protection.

The trouble is, self-protection has a shelf life! Success is fleeting. Looks fade. Addictive substances and activities can bring dramatic life-long damage. More important, none of these self-protective mechanisms offer real, unshakable, lasting confidence and connection—which is exactly what the blessing offers.

Instead of having to wrap themselves in self-protection, children who receive the blessing can be freed to pursue God's best in every area of their lives. And adults can too! My colleague Tony Wheeler and I have seen this again and again in our workshops. As grownups learn to give the blessing to their children, they also learn how to move away from their own hurtful, self-protective pasts.

Imagine not having to live in fear of wrinkles or slowing down. Imagine not having to worry about acquiring all the "toys" someone else has. Imagine moving beyond issues that have held you back for years and finally making peace with your past. That's another life-changing part of experiencing the blessing from God and others—and a third great benefit of taking the blessing challenge.

Here, then, is one last benefit ...

The Blessing ... Is Part of Your Call to a Real and Radical Faith

A number of Christian books and messages today call young (and old) believers to a "sold out" life of faith. For example, in reading books such as Crazy Love and Radical, you find a much-needed call to pursue a Great Commission lifestyle as a real-life goal. But adopting a Great Commission or "missional" lifestyle doesn't mean leaving your important relationships in the dust as you seek to win others for Christ. In fact, if you are not living out a crazy, radical faith and love for Christ with your family and own children first, you have missed a huge first step!

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The BLESSING by John Trent Gary Smalley Copyright © 2011 by John Trent and Gary Smalley. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 32 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Written with pure love and talent! John Trent and Gary Smalley

    Written with pure love and talent!

    John Trent and Gary Smalley is one of he country's best-known authors. I think this book is very good for people who haven't been living like christians and who don't necessarily want a lot of biblical quotes and chrisitian teachings, it also convinced me to start going to church and other things. This book is a must for anyone serious about making the commitment to either get married, or to strengthen their marriage.


    The books mentioned previously are good, but if you come out of this with a clear definition of Honor and Genuine Love. you will really come out a better and it will be worth the the wait! This book did give some very useful insights as to how to work on yourself and improve yourself. The Blessing offers simple steps that God can use to restore hope and make a positive difference in all aspect of relationship. I would really going to buy several copies for some of my dearest friends.

    The authors concept is the centerpiece of his best-selling work. While his list of felt needs may not apply precisely to every man and woman, he does present a very accurate picture for most men and women in our society today. I think every one need to learn to accept and learn the type of true love that we have to give, rather than for us to learn to love them in the way they understand. In this book, John Trent is teamed up with best-selling author Gary Smalley, who has written some very successful books on relationships.

    This book, as well as others in the "The Blessing" have enjoyed such wild success is a testimony to their effectiveness.Keep this book on your shelf or bedside table as a quick and useful resource for the relationship challenges in daily life. It is a great book and I would highly recommend it to anyone in a committed relationship, whether it is in turmoil or not because it teaches a lot of principles that would be. Great book love it!!!!!

    I got this for free on Booksneeze.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley has been a great ass

    The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley has been a great asset to my blended family and newest addition coming in June. It helps guide parents or adults in how to have children feel unconditional love. It contains five elements: 1. Meaningful and appropriate touch, 2. A spoken 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.
    Each step is carefully laid out with examples of how the authors have approached this in their own lives. That is invaluable to see how other families have used this method in real life situations.
    I would highly recommend this book to friends and family whether they have children or are thinking about children.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    a must read Christian parenting book

    I read through the book easily, it's full of true stories excerpts from chapter to chapter. I really felt guided by the practical examples of practicing the blessing at home. I think this book is a must read for every Christian parents!

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lessons for a Lifetime

    I recently had the opportunity to read and review the revised and updated edition of The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley. The Blessing is a parenting book unlike any other parenting book I have bought or read before. I didn't find any chapter titles to turn to that address my whining child, my disobedient toddler or my over-achieving firstborn child. Instead I found myself evaluating my words and actions toward my children. The lessons I found within the pages of this book are far more practical and valuable than anything I have read previously. The lessons within this book are lessons for a lifetime. The steps within this book can help me to create a lasting legacy for my children and the generations to follow.

    John Trent and Gary Smalley describe their perceptions of the importance of the blessing based on biblical examples of the blessing. They describe in detail the five elements of the blessing which include: meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future and an active commitment. They provide help and healing for those who may have missed the blessing and offer a challenge to their readers to begin living the blessing challenge and pouring into our children's hearts our blessing over them. The book offers additional resources and online tools to assist readers in living the blessing challenge.

    I am excited to recommend this book to friends. The information contained in this book is hopeful, helpful and encouraging along the often daunting task of parenthood.

    I received this book for free from Booksneeze for the purpose of this review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    Good Parenting Book

    The Blessing by: John Trent PhD and Gary Smalley is a good book for parents and future parents to read. The book has some real interesting thoughts about how to lead your children into having a high self-esteem, security, and a feeling of being blessed. This book helped me realize how amazing my mom was to instill a lot of these values in me growing up. This book can sometimes be hard to "stick with" and read, but it is worth it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    YOU must read this!

    I was blown away by some of the contents of this book. Right from the first Chapter, The Blessings has so much to offer. As I read, some the stories used to illustrate the points are really heart wrenching and some are quite funny and I ended up having tears coming down my cheek at one emotional story and a smile at another wonderful story. At the end of certain sections, there are opportunities and guided notes for readers to reflect on the points mentioned for that section.

    Parents - in my opinion, this is THE parenting book to read. You can forgo all others and just concentrate on the 5 points mentioned above and you will be amazed by what you learned and what you have been missing out.

    But then, reading about a book won't be of much use if you don't make it real and active. The authors talked about 'The Blessing Challenge' and being a 'Blessing Champion'. However, you don't have to take up such initiative but just impart the blessing message to your family and your friends and church and this world would benefit greatly from it.

    If I have a 'must read' category to recommend readers, this would be on top of the list.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Great tool

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I think growing up a lot of teens think they have the worst life and worst parents ever. I know my parents and I didn't get along really well when I was a teen. However, reading this book, I now realize that my parents did a great job raising us. We knew we were loved and important. We were blessed, my brothers and I. I have been challenged by this book to not only spend more time blessing my own children but to take this concept further, and learn to speak blessing on others in my church and community. I love that this book is a "how to" manual with real life examples.



    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Must Read

    Can you imagine the feeling of being accepted fully, forever, no matter the circumstances? Can you imagine knowing that who you are makes someone else happy?

    I recently read The Blessing with a handful of other moms in my community. We met twice a month and discussed our thoughts and reactions to the section of the book we read. I found myself thinking more about my own childhood than for my kids and you'll see why if you read the book.

    The Blessing begins with explaining the biblical origins of giving someone a blessing. Trent and Smalley use the Old Testament narrative of Jacob and Essau as a scriptural background for this idea of blessing our children.

    The idea is that speaking a blessing over our children was modeled by God and others in the Bible as a way to speak life into particular areas for that child. General and specific details of that blessing are unique to that child and can be spoken over him or her during times of prayer- such as bedtime- or other precious times.

    Trent and Smalley write to say that we, as humans, are born with a desire to be wanted, to grow and to make those that love us proud. What happens when someone is raised in a family where their blessing is never given or the idea of blessing another is unknown? What happens if you are a part of a family that receiving that blessing- the knowledge that you were wanted and loved no matter who you turned out to be- was not an option when you were a child, or even now? Is it possible to be "blessed" as an adult?

    Lastly, Trent and Smalley provide a skeleton with which one can build a blessing for their child, friend, spouse or family member. This is super helpful, especially for those that have not had personal experience with hearing a blessing spoken over them or someone else before. I was glad this section was included in the book. A several page list is included in the back of the book that describes what many people consider a blessing handed down by their parents- again, very helpful.

    I mentioned before that when I read this book, I found myself thinking more of my own childhood than my kids. Parts of this book stirred emotions in me that were surprising. I found myself wanting something, then I felt God opening my eyes to show me how he had so beautifully provided what I lacked. Over and over again I have heard statements of blessing spoken over me- by people I couldn't have brought into my life on my own. God provides where there is insufficiency- time and time again.



    I was provided a free digital copy of this book by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. Get a copy ASAP and read it. Read it if you have kids. Read it if you have grandkids. Read it if you don't have kids. Read if it you are married. Read it if you aren't married. Read it if you have heartbeat.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Will Bless Your Relationship with Your Children

    "This book can put into words what you missed as a child as well as provide practical, hands-on ways of communicating unconditional love and acceptance to your children and loved ones."
    -Excerpt, pg. 5, The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

    I am a parent. I want to be a good parent. I don't think this knowledge just comes naturally. Parents need tools and education to be that guide down the path that God has planned for their children. In the book, The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance, John Trent, PH.D., and Gary Smalley demonstrate a biblically- based plan for blessing your child, and helping them to become everything God created them to be.

    There are five elements of "The Blessing," including meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment. The Blessing is divided into three parts that include "Why Is the Blessing So Important?", "Understanding the Blessing", and "When the Blessing Doesn't Happen." Each of these three sections elaborates more on the five aspects of "The Blessing" and shows why it is so important.

    This is a very important book in my opinion. The Blessing is focused on the parent-child relationship, but it will benefit other relationships as well. "The Blessing" can be applied to a relationship with a spouse, a friend, a co-worker, and anybody who you feel compelled to help achieve God's very best for their life.

    I liked this book very much. I cried frequently while reading it. I could see where "The Blessing" had been missing in my own life, and where I needed to work on applying "The Blessing" with my children. I recommend this to everybody. If you want to improve your relationships with people, this will be helpful to you. If you want insight into your own behavior, this book will help you as well, because you will be able to see where "The Blessing" was missing in your own life, which might bring some healing to your soul.

    Many "Blessings" to you as read.


    Disclaimer: I receieved this book free from the Booksneeze. I was not required to give a favorable review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Everyone should read this book!

    Wow! What an applicable book! The Blessing is about showing unconditional love to the people in our lives. Mainly it is written from the perspective of a parent to a child, but it can be applied with any relationship in our lives. There are five essential elements that the authors touch on: meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment. Essentially, how do we give the blessing? What does that look like? They also speak on when the blessing doesn't happen and how to reverse the curse.

    Trent and Smalley show how giving the blessing is scriptural and back it up with plenty of references. They also give lots of personal examples on how people give and receive a blessing and how a blessing can be withheld. I believe that this is a must-read book for everyone; whether you have children or not. This can be applied to your relationship with your parents or your spouse. What did I learn from this book? To be more deliberate in my relationships in what I say and what I do. To let those I love know that they have value; not only through spoken words but through meaningful touch. I loved this book and recommend it to everyone I know! Two big thumbs up!

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an inspiring reprint...

    'Blessing' seems to be a simple word, but do we really know what it actually means? This book by John Trent and Gary Smalley, aptly titled "The Blessing", attempts to make the concepts of this word clear, backing up their statements with appropriate Bible passages to make it all the more easier to keep in mind and take to heart.

    The Blessing gives more focus to the responsibility of a parent in providing blessing to their children. And how this is a Christian duty and responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. Highly recommended to parents and those who are thinking of having kids in the future, as well as all rest of us who feels the need to find a semblance of purpose in our lives. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

    I got an ARC of this book through Booksneeze.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    A must-read for parents, an awesome read for anyone else!

    This is a fantastic book. I am a while off child-rearing, but I still found it so enlightening in many ways.

    First of all, this book is well organized. First, readers learn what exactly "The Blessing" is and 5 different steps in creating a blessing for others. Later, readers can learn about homes that have withheld the blessing and what this does to those who don't receive a blessing. Also included are different ways to be a blessing to others even if you have no kids of your own (a part that really stuck out to me).

    In reading this book, I realized that there are tangible ways to be a blessing to children (and even friends and family) and this book enriched my understanding of past experiences in my life. If you want to be enlightened and motivated to help others, this book provides tangible ways to be a blessing to others. I got so much out of this book; more than I'd thought, and I'd definitely recommend it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from the publisher from the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program, but these opinions are all my own and I was not required to write a positive review. I'm disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Technical yet practical

    "The Blessing" by John Trent & Gary Smalley - Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

    This book was a biblical and scientific study on the effects of giving "the blessing" to your child. The authors explained that there are five parts to fully blessing your child: meaningful touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future, and an active commitment. They profile the benefits of a child receiving the blessing from their parents but also spend a lot of time on the effects on a child when the blessing doesn't happen.

    I found this book to be written in a very unique format in that the premise of the blessing is based on science, the Bible and case studies from their counselling practice. Although the book was full of great insights I found it to be too technical and very long. The authors were obviously writing to a parent who has not given the blessing to their children but I had to wonder "how many of the parents who blessing-deprive their kids would actually go out and buy a long book like this?" As I read the book, I felt like I was in a trial hearing lists and lists of evidence being presented without an emotional break.

    As a parent who has given the blessing to my kids, I found the book to be a good tune up and got a lot of great ideas for how to communicate the blessing even better to my children. Throughout the book the authors included tips and questions to consider which I found interesting.

    I would recommend this book to someone who didn't understand fully how powerful "unconditional love and acceptance" are to their kids; however, I would make sure that they had at least the desire to communicate that to their kids or else the book would be too much to take. A parent who does not believe in the blessing would be in over their head reading this book as the volume of data about how not giving the blessing will hurt your kids is overwhelming.

    BookSneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    Read this book soon!

    What a wonderful book! This is an updated version on a book first released in the mid-80's. I have no idea how I have missed this book all these years. I guess I have finally grown up enough for this kind of book to appeal to me. This is not a book about being a blessing. This book is all about how to give a blessing to your child, or to anyone else within your sphere of influence. As in Old Testament patriarchs blessing their children; we are called to do the same. The authors explain why the blessing is so important and what people, real life examples, who grow up with or without the blessing, turn out like. Like me, I am sure you will recognize many of the characteristics of those who grow up without the blessing in friends, family, and within yourself. There are five elements that make up the blessing, a formula of sorts, to guide you in giving the blessing to your loved ones. There are questions and suggestions in asides throughout the book to help you think about what you have read and apply it. There is also a website that has extra info and short videos that go along with the book. Also through the website, the authors are trying to gather a million people to join the Blessing Challenge. Go to their site to check it out. I have learned a lot from this book and will be reading it over again soon and will be passing along ideas to those I minister to. If we all took the time to really give a real blessing to our family members we could change the world! This book was provided by BookSneeze from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Must Read

    We all need the gift of the blessing - the unconditional love and acceptance of our parents. In this updated version of "The Blessing", John Trent and Gary Smalley offer a fresh perspective and insight to help us give that gift to our children. Using both modern day and Biblical stories mixed with practical advice, we are shown how we can instill self-worth and emotional well-being into the lives of others through the five elements of the blessing: touch, a spoken message, attaching high value, picturing a special future and an active commitment.

    This is one of my favorite books on parenting and family to date. Based on the idea of family blessing illustrated in the Old Testament, we are shown how each element of the blessing is essential in giving the life-changing gift to our children and others in our lives. Whether or not they receive the blessing from us will affect how they view themselves and their relationship with others.

    The book emphasizes how the choices we make as parents impact the lives of our children not only now but in the future. I was challenged to look at how well I was doing, realizing there are some elements that I do quite well at and others that I need to be more intentional in doing. I am committed to giving the gift of the blessing to my girls.

    The authors also offer hope to those who missed out on receiving the blessing from their parents so that they may heal and be able to pass the blessing on themselves.

    I highly recommend this book to everyone. While the focus is on passing the blessing from parent to child, this book really provides valuable insight that applies to all relationships.

    I received this book for review from Thomas Nelson Publishing through BookSneeze.

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Valuable information

    The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley is a book about passing on blessing to your children or really anyone that is close to you. It is based off of blessings given in the Bible, specifically the blessing given to Jacob and its effect on both him and his brother Esau. It discusses the positives of those receiving the blessing and the damaging effects it has on those that don't receive it. It then shows how you can pass the blessing on to loved ones around you This was a good book about how vital the parents' role is in bringing up a child and how any interaction can have lasting impact with a child. It reminds you that you always have to be mindful of what you say and do around your children. I was a little concerned that it placed so much emphasis on human parents and thought that the authors were going to leave out the Heavenly Father, but they got around to it towards the end as a hope for those that have missed out on the blessing. I thought it was an interesting book and got you thinking about the daily interactions that you have with people and how they can have a lasting effect. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    A Definite Must Read

    My thoughts: I'm 20, enjoying complete singlehood, and God doesn't seem to have any plans in the near future for that to change. So why would I want to read a book that seemed targeted at parents with children? I guess (from past experiences) I knew that it would also hold interesting insights that also extended to relationships outside of parent-child relationships. And that proved correct. Even though the book put a lot of stress parents giving the blessing with the child(ren) (and vice versa), it also repeatedly pointed out the fact that the lessons shared could go towards enriching any relationship. From The Blessing website: "It's a powerful way to move past self-protection and toward freedom, life and fulfilling relationships!" Perhaps this is groundbreaking material? (Or, rather, was back in 1986 when The Blessing was first published). Imagine: us having to work towards successful, fulfilling relationships, instead waiting for them to always come to us! In skeletal form,The Blessing is logical and very reader-friendly. It's doesn't use heavy technical terms, or 'powerful language' to convince the reader of the importance of giving the blessing, but rather does it through the sharing of different people's testimonies and telling of different studies done. =>A personal opinion on this: ((I believe that biblical teachings are powerful enough in themselves without having to do this. However, I am currently reading a non-fiction book and the author's approach of this book is more or less the author's opinion based on her own experiences. The result is actually rather narrow-minded in some cases, so I'm able to reflect back on reading The Blessing and appreciate its approach.)) I did notice some things while reading that might be a turn-off to some people. First, the exhaustively long introduction. Perhaps it wasn't meant as such, but what that's how it came across. Mostly the authors spend a huge chunk of the beginning of the book, saying this is what you'll should expect from the blessing, and gave a short intro, and then leave off with the promise of 'telling more about later in the book.' This was actually very frustrating, and a tad annoying and I thought on more then one occasion, 'just get on to the point of things!'. Also, I noticed and wondered and disliked that The Blessing didn't put a a whole lot of pressure on taking a prayerful approach to giving the blessing. Which, to me, is odd, because good intentions are certainly not good enough, and we can read this book and go all out putting it into practice, but without God-given strength, patience, and wisdom, it can hardly stick. These things however, kind of faded when I got to chapter 10 (all the way to chapter 10!) where it starts talking about the fifth element: an active commitment. There my questions concerning a prayerful approach, what I myself can do concerning giving the blessing to those around me, ect. were answered.So, if you can hold on all the way to chapter ten, and then all the way to the end, this will prove to be a very worthwhile read for you. Overall, I found the book very thorough. Through it all, it didn't leave out much, (including making a comment on how the book wasn't meant to make you realize what you had been missing and make you all bitter towards your parents, but rather show what you can do to give the blessing.) I appreciated this, as I was actually wondering if whether or not the book would do that to some p

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    A Must Read (I don't say that often)

    The Blessing is one of those books you wish every parent would read. Not just parents but anyone that works with children and youth. And not just them, but just about everyone. It's good for any relationship.

    A blessing instills a deep sense of self-worth and a stable sense of emotional well-being. The blessing involves five elements: meaningful and appropriate touch, a spoken message, attaching high value to the one being blessed, picturing a special future for them and an active commitment to fulfill the blessing.

    This updated and revised edition contains practical ideas and exercises, questions to ponder, and links to web video. The book also contains a challenge to individuals and churches to be apart of a movement to spread the blessing to children.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    WE ARE BLESSED TO GIVE THE BLESSING

    I was reading THE BLESSING by John Trent & Gary Smalley and became fascinated by the idea of not only blessing my children but being able, by my words, to bless others. I found myself nodding in agreement as I read, everything made sense to me as I compared the words on my Kindle with my experiences as a child. What a great book for parents who want to learn the significance of their words from a biblical perspective. As I devoured every page it occurred to me that this is what the concept of validation really means.
    Often I have heard a person say she needs to be "validated". What this person is saying is "I need him (her husband) to appreciate and accept my opinions and decisions by allowing them to be activated". After reading this book I realize validation is just a secular term for blessing which translates to accepting. We all need to be accepted first and foremost by our parents. Taken a step further blessing is a unique form of encouragement which will aid in launching the individual into his or her destiny; the process is explained in detail in this book: "THE BLESSING".
    There is added benefit should the reader should decide to participate in the suggested next steps which requires putting the book down for a while and going to the website. This additional learning tool bolsters the readers knowledge of blessing. I definitely recommend this book to my readers.
    This ebook was provided to me free of charge from BookSneeze in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Must read for anyone wanting to make a difference

    The Blessing [Revised and Updated] by John Trent and Gary Smalley
    The Blessing powerfully communicates biblical truths on how to instill self-worth and emotional well-being into others based on these five essential elements:
    . Meaningful touch
    . A spoken message
    . Attaching high value
    . Picturing a special future
    . An active commitment
    In The Blessing John Trent and Gary Smalley shares countless true life stories of men and women and their personal examples of "the blessing." While some have received a blessing, there are also some disheartening stories of those who are still seeking the blessing. The Scripture references are effective in illustrating the use of each of the five elements for extending the blessing. Also found throughout the book are the many practical suggestions serving as examples for blessing others.
    Being a mother of small children, I found The Blessing to be both enlightening and informative. I can now apply what I have learned to make a difference in not only in the lives of my children, but also my husband and my friends and family. I highly recommend The Blessing to parents, teachers, spouses or anyone seeking encourage those around them. (You will be encouraged to learn it is never too late to give or even to receive the blessing, and there is no age limit!!)
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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