Book Review – “The Blessing; Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance” By John Trent and Gary Smalley

Life has been totally crazy for me over the past few months, transitioning from pastoral ministry into church planting ministry, which has occupied most of my waking hours, so it’s taken me quite some time to make it through my last book from Thomas Nelson. So after a few months of trying I finally managed to get through the book The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley. In the past I have read and benefited greatly from the writings and seminar materials, though I maintain a healthy skepticism of some of their positions believing them to be formed more from modern self-help psychology than from the teachings of scripture.

The primary focus of the book can be summed up on one word… Blessing

“The Blessing” as defined by the authors is a way to bless others and make them feel valuable and give them a sense of worth. We should bless our children and we often can bless others in our lives in this way.

“The Blessing” has 5 elements:

1. Meaningful touch

2. A spoken (or written) message

3. Attaching high value

4. Picturing a special future

5. An active commitment

John and Gary explain in great detail the importance of giving your child special blessings as they are growing up. A blessing is the giving of unconditional love and acceptance that can transform the future of your child. The book is one that doesn’t have a hyper-focus on the academic but instead is focused real-to-life world of the common person. They include stories of life for those who didn’t receive any of these five things from their parents and how to get past it. They show the pros of having the blessing and the cons of not having it. The authors are direct in their presentation yet remain loving and compassionate, they speak the truth in love, which is something that we’re all called to do.

The authors believe that, when given the gift of these five elements, children will become stronger, more well-balanced adults. I appreciate the fact that each of the five elements is broken down for better understanding, replete with examples of the anticipated positive outcome, as well as examples of homes that withheld the blessing. Everything is explained thoroughly, including steps for a written blessing, with frequent scripture references.

Overall this book was a good read and I would recommend it for all parents especially to those who didn’t grow up in a Christian home. An added bonus to this revised addition is the activities and video clips that you can watch online at the book’s website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their “booksneeze program.”

I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions and views expressed here are my own.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



About Jim

I'm currently the Communications Director for Missouri Operation for Vigorous Evangelism [MOVE] A Church planting ministry located in Jefferson City, MO. I believe that the church is the primary means through which God works in a community to love and redeem it. Here at MOVE we’re discovering new ways to be used for this purpose as God leads us and lights His path for us. As God forms this organization and shapes it for a new kind of world I want to be right in the middle of what He’s doing, traveling on this road of a disciple’s journey.

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