The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance

By John Trent, PhD & Gary Smalley


Genesis 27, the story of twins—Jacob and Esau—reveals a deeper story about the impact on one’s life when he receives, or he misses the blessing of his father. This book is a timeless call to action to take the blessing challenge. If Jacob’s and Esau’s lives aren’t adequate motivation, then The Blessing starts with four reasons why the blessing is an agent of life for your child and you. First, it is countercultural; we live in a broken and beaten down world where negativity flows more naturally. Fight these norms. Second, it lays the foundation for your child’s faith journey. When your child hears your blessing, it opens their heart to what God wants to bless them with. Third, it can heal past wounds your child (and you) have suffered. Finally, it is what we are called to as believers in the faith. The blessing is a living, breathing reflection of our faith. Are you ready to take the challenge?


If the book’s preface wasn’t convincing with its four reasons to take the blessing challenge, there are three full chapters to further support its case. With its mixture of scriptural base, real-life examples and inspirational verbiage, Trent and Smalley create a sense of urgency to see the value of the blessing here-and-now. And truly, there is no time like the present. Maybe it is time that you bestowed the blessing upon your child. Or, the first roadblock may be overcoming the withholding of the blessing in your own childhood. Whatever the case, a blessing-less life can lead us to search desperately acceptance and affection. When the blessing is given and received, it opens up doors to deeper, authentic relationships and connections just as God intended. It starts with you, as a parent, healing from your past and starting afresh in your parenting journey.


If you have never received a blessing, all of the Biblical and modern-day examples up until this point in the book may be in a foreign language. This is the section of the book that VERY clearly breaks down what the blessing is. No more guesswork or translating. In five easy-to-read chapters, Trent and Smalley break down item-by-item what is included in the blessing, as described in Scripture.

  1. Meaningful and appropriate touch (Chapter 6)
  2. A spoken message (Chapter 7)
  3. Attaching high value to the one being blessed (Chapter 8)
  4. Picturing a special future for him or her (Chapter 9)
  5. An active commitment to fulfill the blessing (Chapter 10)


It is likely that your heartstrings were plucked at the very beginning when the withholding or lack thereof of the blessing was introduced. Whether it occurred in your household growing up, your spouse’s or is a present reality, when the blessing doesn’t happen the ramifications can be deep and long-lasting. Chapter 11 provides five specific and clear examples of what a home withholding the blessing may have looked like. Sound familiar? Chapter 12 dives into homes that possibly only half-blessed due to the circumstances of the system (i.e. divorce, death, adoption, blended family). Maybe you experienced parts of the blessing but not the whole enchilada or not consistently? Finally, chapters 13 and 14 call you, the reader, to apply the scenarios without the blessing to your personal life. IF the blessing didn’t happen, chapter 13 lays out the present-day opportunities you may be facing in your parenting and overall relationships. But rest assured, chapter 14 closes this part of the book out with the hope that the curse can be reversed. You do not simply have to be a byproduct of your past. There is hope. And there are practical action steps and Scriptures to dive into to guide you on this path to healing and help. 


After more than 200 pages of definitions, examples, Scripture, and practical steps you are better prepared and ready to put it all into action. First, start with a written blessing. Taking the time to sit down with pen and paper allows the thoughts to come together into a cohesive, meaningful writing. These are words that can stay with your child for a lifetime, imprinted in their minds, hearts, and ways of living. Chapter 16 summarizes the five aspects of the blessing with a final biblical and real-life example of each. These are historical and living testimonies of the power of each element of the blessing. Now it is your turn to be a living testimony of the blessing in your’s and your child’s life…keyword—LIFE. This is not a one-time exercise to feel better about yourself or a parenting. This is about a fresh perspective and transformed way of parenting. And this lifetime commitment will pay off in dividends with a lifetime of positive change and influence. Take the blessing challenge today, tomorrow and forever after.

NOTE: “SNAPSHOT” is an attempt to give you a quick, but informative, look at a book that may be a good resource for you. We don’t endorse everything written in any of the books covered in “SNAPSHOT” but strive to pick books we believe will help parents win!