A Biblical Tool for Attaching High Value to Your Child
By John Trent On April 25, 2013
Then look for a STRENGTH (or two, or three) that your child or loved one demonstrates as you see them do life. And once you’ve identified that strength, then help them "get the picture" of why they're so value to you!
That’s what one father (Isaac) did to help his son (Jacob) “get the picture” of how valuable he was to him. He did it by saying,
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"See the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed." Gen. 27
Now, before you run down the hall to wake up your son or daughter and say, “Jimmy, wake up! I just wanted you to know that you smell like those garlic fields we drove by in Gilroy, California. Remember? We were driving home from our vacation and it was right after the fields had been harvested. Remember? And remember how terrible it smelled? That’s what I think about you!”
That may be a modern equivalent of what Isaac said to Jacob - but please keep reading just a bit further.
What Isaac was “picturing” for his son wasn’t a back-handed way to criticize his personal hygiene (Like we’d say, “Honey, I love you, but you smell like the soccer field – Go take a bath!). Isaac was indeed saying his son “smelled like a field” – but it was so that his son would “get the picture” of how valuable he was to him! He was using a biblical tool we call an “emotional word picture” that helped his words Attach High Value to his son. Let go deeper to understand this.
Forget for a moment that (most of us) grew up as city dwellers. Let’s say you grew up on a farm. Even a farm in Gilroy, CA. If your family’s livelihood and their blood sweat and tears went into the planting, harvesting, weeding, watering, and protecting of those fields, the harvest would MEAN a great deal. All those hours at night fighting to keep the crop from the frost or keeping pests away from eating the young leaves. All that effort, now ready to pay off with a huge harvest. In scripture, “The smell of a field that the Lord has blessed” is a picture of a field with a record harvest.
To a farmer... a record harvest being brought in is an incredible smell.
It “smelled” of a celebration, finally coming after all the months of hard work in preparing the field. It pointed to a time of being able to sell off that crop to pay off bills. Perhaps even have a little money left over for special things for the family as well.
In short, when Isaac “blessed” Jacob, he gave him a word picture that Attached High Value to him – and Jacob as a farmer's son - “got” the picture! He had been part of planting and farming all his life!
Here’s how a modern day father or mother might use this picture today with his farmer son,
“Jacob, I’ve been wanting to tell you how much you mean to me. So here’s a “blessing” picture I want you to remember. You know how you smell like the harvest from head to toe after working so hard work to help us bring in the crop? Well I want you to always remember that smell. And when you do, son, remember that’s a smell that pictures several things I really love and appreciate about you.
“Jacob, that smell of the harvest is a smell of hard work. And that’s what you are, son. A super hard worker. And not only that, but it’s the smell of someone who’s been faithful for months to protect and nurture and see those crops grow. And now, at harvest, it’s the smell of someone who has helped provide for our whole family, and others as well.
So, Jacob, every time you smell that smell of the harvest, remember that I think you’re a hard worker. That you’re a faithful, responsible son. And that you’re a wonderful provider, for our family and for others. That I think the strengths God has given you today will make you a great husband and father one day. And that’s smell of the harvest, is the smell of the Lord’s blessing on your life, Jacob. Remember when you smell it, that we are blessed to have you as our son, and know too that you have today - and always - our Blessing as well."
Just think about hearing words like that from YOUR father.
Then think about the next time you smelled that “smell of the harvest.” Even long after your Dad had gone to be with the Lord, it would bring back an incredible memory. In fact, it could give you a positive picture that God could use you and Bless you in the future. And that each day, you carried your father's Blessing inside your heart as well.
That’s what we mean by, Attaching High Value to someone. It’s helping them “get the picture” that you think they have great value to God and to you. Or, as Dr. Tony Wheeler, my partner in The Blessing Challenge likes to say to his wife and children, “To me, you’re hot stuff.”
And helping to carry that message was a “picture." Again, something we call an emotional word picture. (My good friend, Gary Smalley and I wrote a whole book about these "word pictures" called The Language of Love if you need more help or examples. You can find that book in the store). A biblical tool for Attach High Value that was used time and time and time again in scripture. By a parent or grandparent or spouse or friend - and always to link that person’s spoken words and "high value" with their Blessing.
And you should use it too. Don’t say you aren’t “creative.” Coming up with a “word picture” isn’t as hard as you think. You just pick a strength your son or daughter demonstrates. Something they do today that blesses others and shows a “hint” of how God can use them in the future. (Like they’re compassionate to a hurting friend, or kind to a sibling, or sharing with someone at school, or brave to stand up to a bully who is hurting a weaker child, or patient and willing to help a friend who isn’t getting it in math). Look for their STRENGTHS - not just at their weaknesses. And then link that strength with a picture – and you’ll be shocked how powerful your words of Blessing can be in their life. Today and even for days or years to come.
One last thing.
If you’re ready for some more inspiration, then head to Music That Blesses Others. (www.musicthatblessesothers.com). Shon Stewart is someone who has had a mother and father who have ALWAYS, from the day he was born (with severe complications), CHOSEN to see great “strengths” in their son. He was a fighter, just to survive. But he was also given a gift by the Lord to be able to sing. And he’s had a life-long desire and ability to sing for the Lord and inspire others.
So take a look at this month’s featured video, and the special guest artist for April.
P.S. If you do not see this month's theme song on the home page when you go towww.MusicThatBlessesOthers.com then just click on "The Blessing Challenge" button on the menu bar, and then on "Monthly Theme Songs.” That’s how you can find the most recent song and artist at the top.
©John Trent, Ph.D., 2013, www.StrongFamilies.com
Dr. John Trent is a bestselling and award-winning author, and one of the nations most sought after speakers on marriage, parenting and family relationships.