Our youngest son, Drew, turned 23 a few days ago, and he requested a family pizza party at home, followed by ice cream cake. After the meal was finished and packages were opened, Drew eagerly sat up straight in his chair, cleared his throat and stated, “Now it’s time for my strength bombardment,”
We first began strength bombardments when our children were very young. Doing this exercise meant we would go around the table and tell the “birthday person” what we loved and liked about them. The person receiving the complements could only say “thank you” or something equivalent, but could not refute what had already been stated. Sometimes tears would be shed as we talked, while other times uproarious laughter would break out. In the end the goal always remained the same — the person receiving the positive input was built up and encouraged.
“I love the way you love my children, and how you’re such a good friend to me.”
“You’re my best friend.”
“I love how we have so much fun together.”
“I think you’re a really great father to your kids.”
“I think you are a very wise young man.”
“I can tell you anything and know you won’t judge me for it.”
These are just a few of the feelings they will share with each other. Who knew this simple verbal exercise in encouragement would lead to such priceless moments?”
Seeing the anticipation on Drew’s face as he announced it was time for his strength bombardment, caused me to realize the deep significance of our family tradition. It was the power found in speaking words of life! Words affirming his character and confirming his value and worth, as well as his significance to his siblings and parents. Witnessing the power of this moment deepened my conviction regarding the scripture in Proverbs.
“…the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” NLT
Drew’s birthday celebration began with pizza and cake, but ended by tasting the fruit of words containing the power of life!
Loving words bombarded his heart and resulted in strength!