When our children were small, my husband read a book by Gary Smalley entitled The Blessing. It influenced Gene deeply and thereafter he made a practice of blessing our three children each night as they headed to bed.
Blessings always had great significance In the Old Testament. Jacob cheated his brother Esau out of his blessing at Isaac’s deathbed. Jacob blessed each of his own children before he died. Moses blessed the twelve tribes of Israel as he concluded his ministry. He also instructed Aaron to carry on the practice and use the following blessing for the nation:
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.
In Mark 9:33-37, the disciples were arguing which of them was the greatest. Jesus reached for a child in the crowd, lifted the child into his arms and replied, “Whoever receives a small child like this in my name, receives me.” In 10:13-16, parents brought their children to Jesus, and he blessed them by laying his hands on them. Unlike the Jewish leaders, these children were not out to trap him. They weren’t prepared to debate him on theological issues. They offered him no monetary benefit. Still Jesus noticed small children and he felt they were important enough to deserve his time, his attention and his touch. He blessed them.
Those parents brought their children to Jesus and he blessed them, lifting them in his arms and laying his hands on them. All people, even small children, have value in his eyes…so do you.