The Blessing

Information from: The Blessing, by John Trent, Ph.D. and Gary Smalley

We all want to have acceptance—to feel like we measure up and that we are valuable to someone. We yearn for approval, intimacy, and affection in our relationships. For most people, the quest for approval begins with our parents, and what happens in this relationship can affect how we view ourselves as well as our future relationships. We desperately want approval—we want “the blessing.”

What is “the blessing”?

  • The knowledge that someone in this world loves and accepts us unconditionally
  • The blessing incorporates five basic parts:
  • Meaningful touch—we need to feel that we are loved through the act of touch
  • A spoken message—we need to hear that we are valuable from someone else
  • Attaching high value—we need to know that we are valuable to someone else
  • Picturing a special future—we need to see that we have a special future
  • An active commitment—we need to be able to trust that the blessing will come

How do I receive the blessing?

The fact of the matter is that we have to receive the blessing from others. Ideally, we would have all received the fullness of the blessing from our family. Sadly, this is not always the case. However, we still have hope to receive the blessing from other individuals and bodies of believers who exhibit the five elements of the blessing in how they live and interact with others. God has equipped and empowered people to communicate His love to others and to impart the blessing in your life.

How to pass the blessing on to others:

Just as we receive the blessing from others, we have the challenge to bless others. We are all surrounded with people—with family, friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers—and we can pass the blessing on to them. We can do this by being the blessing. We can communicate acceptance, love, and approval for people through: giving meaningful touch (hugs, pats on the back, or even handshakes), speaking a message of high value (saying, “I value __ about you”) and a special future (communicating that God has a plan for their life), and by showing them that you are committed to seeing this blessing come to pass (investing time and effort into your relationship with them).

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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