A Spoken Message
Next, the second element involves a spoken message. Today, words of love and acceptance are seldom received in many homes. Sometimes, parents assume that simply being present communicates the blessing. However, a blessing fulfills its purpose only when it is spoken verbally.
For a child in search of the blessing, silence communicates confusion. Children who are left to fill in the blanks when it comes to what their parents think about them will often feel insecure. Spoken or written words at least give the child an indication that they are worthy of some attention.
I learned this lesson on the football field.
When I began playing football in high school, one particular coach constantly pointed out my mistakes. After I missed an important block in practice one day, this coach stood one inch from my face mask and chewed me out. When he finally finished, he sent me to the sidelines.
Standing next to me was a third-string player who rarely got into the game. I can saying, “Boy, I wish he would get off my case.”
“Don’t say that,” my teammate replied. “At least he’s talking to you. If he ever stops talking to you, that means he’s given up on you.”
Within counseling, we see many adults interpret their parents’ silence in exactly that same way. Their parents may provide basic needs. However, without actual words, there is uncertainty of how much they are valued and accepted.
To see the blessing grow in the life of a child, we need to verbalize our message. Good intentions aside, good words — spoken, written and preferably both — are necessary to communicate genuine acceptance.