I have a regular practice of saying to my sons that I love them, like them and am proud of them. During our recent holiday adventure, I faced my son and held him on his shoulders. I looked intently into his eyes and said, “John, I want you to know that I like you, that I love you and that I am very proud of you.” I continued, “John, I also want you to know that I like being your dad, that I love being your dad and that I am proud to be your dad!” At one time he looked away from me. I stopped what I was doing. We made eye contact once again and I said, “John, this is important. Don’t look away. I want you to receive this blessing!” and with that, I continued to bless my son and speak life into his being finished with giving him a huge bear hug.
My nephew who came along with us, he jumped out of his chair asking, “Uncle Craig, will you do what you did to John, to me?” So I took my nephew by his shoulders, looked him in his eyes and said to him, “I want you to know that as your uncle, I love you very much, I like you very much and I am very proud of you. Not only that, I want you to know that I like being your uncle, I love being your uncle and I am proud to be your uncle.” I also want you to know that God likes you, that God loves you and that God is proud to be your God. As I was blessing him, I felt my hands go red hot. I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit flowing into the depths of his soul. And he pressed into me, giving me this almighty bear hug.
It grieves me to the core when I see fathers, mothers, and those in authority speaking death into the lives of those they are called to love and build up. Why is is that in our culture its so easy to speak destruction to those around us. I see a generational curse at work in this regard. Parents have never had life spoken into them. Their parents had no life spoken into them. And so the trend continues from generation to generation. I have been reading and pondering the chapter of Isaiah 61. This chapter begins with perhaps one of the best known passages of Scripture, the one where Jesus begins his ministry. stating that the spirit of the Lord is upon him.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
When we continue reading this passage, we see that those Jesus ministers to will be called “Oaks of Righteousness.” We read that these Oaks of Righteousness are called by God to rebuild the ancient ruins. Restore the places long devastated. And that they will renew the cities long devastated for generations. Our cities, our communities, our families are devastated and ruined by the destructiveness of words that have been said and not said. As for me – I want to be one who helps build up and restore life. I want to be a man who will proclaim good news. I want to be a man who binds up the brokenhearted. To set free those bound by the binds of poor choices and sinfulness. And in doing so – partner with God, as he releases his people to bring restoration and renewal of our nations, cities, communities and families into the ways of God.