Book Review: The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley

 Would Be Much Better If It Were More Christo-centric and Less Anthropo-centric

The Blessing seeks to be a corrective and preventative guide for parents so that they will foster a high sense of self-esteem, security, and develop children that feel blessed and filled with hope via the loving and positive communication at the heart of God the Father’s love for us. The book is based on the biblical story contrasting the blessing received and not received by the sons of Isaac, and the consequences good and bad thereof.

These are good objectives. According to the author’s this happens best by using meaningful and appropriate touch; spoken words of encouragement; adding value through unconditional love; building in them

Trent and Smalley suggest five vital factors to giving a blessing: Meaningful and appropriate touch; a spoken message; attaching high value to the one being blessed; picturing a special future for him or her; and an active commitment to succeed by fulfilling the blessing you have bestowed upon them.

I experienced all that the author’s talked about from my own parents – for which I am extremely grateful. However, my largest concern about this book isn’t so much what it says – but what it doesn’t say. It is a book that can be equally beneficial to the Christian and the non-Christian (not necessarily a bad thing). What I mean by this is that it is not ultimately helpful in that it is not ultimately Christo-centric in its approach, but behavioristic in its approach. I believe that what children need more than anything else is to know Jesus and to be Christ-centered and not self-centered. The danger of this book is that you make your children and children make you, or themselves an idolatry. I would like to see more balance along the lines of what the author’s suggest with more biblical, theological, and Christo-centric gospel driven focus. A much better approach is offered in Ted Tripp’s “Shepherding A Child’s Heart.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”