The Shame Game! Blessing And Cursing In The Family


I was reading this morning in The Book of Jeremiah and ran across a verse that puzzled me at first.  I was  prompted by the Holy spirit to dig into God’s Word in finding some answers.  I also found in my library a small book by Craig Hill, that gave insight into the verse in Jeremiah regarding the blog’s topic: “The Shame Game! Blessing and Cursing In The Family”.

“Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, OLD WAY is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it!”  (Jeremiah 6:16–Amplified).


Reading in Genesis 12:1-3, about the Abrahamic Blessing, we can see God’s purpose in Jesus’ coming was to bless all the families of the earth. And if you’re wondering–you and I are part of the family of God. We haave THE BLESSING.

(3)  “And I will bless those who bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].”


“Know and understand that it is [really] the people [who live] by faith who are [the true] sons of Abraham”  (Galatians 3:7–Amplified).

Blessing is God’s primary mechanism of imparting His message of identity and destiny into your life. Therefore, it’s important to understand the meaning of the word “blessing”.

Smalley and Trent define the blessing that should come to us through parents as containing  the following five key elements:

“The family blessing” includes:







If you are a grandparent like myself, this topic about the family doesn’t exclude you listening to the words given.  The Hebrew word for BLESS, BLESSED, BLESSING; according to Expository Dictionary of Bible Words is, BARACK: Inherent in the idea of blessing is the invocation of special favor on a person or object that is held in high esteem. The Hebrew verb to bless is “BARUCH”. So simply put, “to bless” means “To empower to prosper in every area of life”. A good definition of cursing would be “To disempower from prospering”.  What does “prosper” mean? In our culture the first thing that comes to mind is “money”.  But a better description of, “to prosper” is to thrive, succeed, or do well. In the Hebrew language, this word primarily means:  “To have a pleasant fulfilling journey”.


Parents and grandparents, with their words, attitudes, and actions possess the ability to bless or curse the identities of their children and grandchildren.  One empowers the child to prosper, while the other cripples and disables.  “Blessing imparts God’s message of identity and destiny, while cursing imparts Satan’s message of the same.”

“JOSHUA AND THE HAMBURGER” a story by Craig Hill

Many times we inadvertently curse the identity of those who are the closest to us without ever realizing it.

Craig Hill’s story begins:

I sat in a restaurant with my family, attempting to get my four-year-old son to eat his hamburger.  Joshua and I had come to an irreconcilable stand-off regarding the hamburger.  We had gone to the restaurant after church on Sunday, and he had wanted a hamburger for lunch.  However, when the meal came, I noticed that the hamburger was much too big for Joshua to eat without it being cut.  So, I simply reached over with my knife and fork and cut his hamburger in half.  I then said, “There, now it will be much easier for you to eat it.”  Joshua looked at me with an anguished look of shock and disbelief.  With tears starting to roll out of his eyes, he said, “You ruined it!  I’m not going to eat it. Fix it, Daddy.”  “I can’t fix it, Josh,” I replied.  “What do you want me to do?  Get some super glue and glue it back together?”

Craig says he tried for several minutes to convince him that the hamburger would taste the same whether it was cut or not. But his ‘brow-beating’ wasn’t going to work this time. He even offered to get a new hamburger to no avail.  Since neither bribery nor threats seemed to motivate his son to stop crying and eat, it suddenly dawned on Craig to pray and ask the Lord how to solve the problem.  “How can I get Joshua to eat his hamburger?”

The answer that came back from prayer was, “Repent and ask your son’s forgiveness”.  And Craig Hill’s response to the answer is much like we respond when we are told “you are wrong in your thinking”. 

“Why should I repent? I am right. I can’t repent, if I’m the one who’s right. He should eat his hamburger, and I was right to cut it, because it was too big for him to handle.” — Oh, oh…sound like selfishness to me.

Then the Holy Spirit reminded Mr. Hill, as He reminds you and I of a well-known scripture when Jesus told his disciples,

“Do you not yet discern or understand? Are your hearts in [a settled state] of hardness?  Having eyes, do you not see [with them], and having ears, do you not hear and perceive and understand the sense of what is said?”  (Mark 8:17, 18).

The Lord then spoke to Craig’s spirit right there in the restaurant.  “You are just like these disciples.  You think you’re talking about a hamburger, but that is not the issue.  When your son said to you, ‘You ruined it,’ he wasn’t talking about the hamburger. He was talking about his value to you as your son. His identity was cursed by you, and his value as a person, in general, and as your son, in specific, is what was ruined, not the hamburger. However, you have had no eyes to see or ears to hear the real issue.”  BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, BOUGHT THE TEE SHIRT!

Craig was beginning to see something here but needed more clarification.  The Holy Spirit continued speaking into his spirit,  “When you reached over and cut the food on Joshua’s plate, you didn’t extend to him the courtesy of communicating with him your intentions before just treating his plate as your own. Then when you reacted, you continued to treat him as if he were the one with an attitude problem and didn’t acknowledge his feeling on the matter at all. You treated him as if he had no feelings or as if his feelings didn’t matter. How would you like it if someone uninvited reached over to your plate and began to tinker with your food?”

Craig got the message loud and clear, and as I look back as a father on the raising of my children, I get the message too. ‘Better late than never’.

“Joshua, have I made you feel as though you’re not very important to me?”  He answered, “Yes.”  “Did you feel that Daddy got in your space without asking first?”  “Yes” Joshua exclaimed.  Then Craig said,  “Joshua, I’m sorry. I can now see that I was very wrong to treat you that way. I should have talked to you before I cut your food. Will you forgive me?”  He replied, “Yes, Daddy.” He offered to get Joshua another hamburger but Josh agreed with his Daddy that the burger WAS to big to eat it without being cut. Besides, it would taste the same either way.

Craig Hill’s story about his four-year-old son is just a beginning conversation. The idea and basis of the story can be applied to not only your children and grandchildren but to your wife, your husband, your boss, a friend, a church member.

Discussing next in PART II, the results of hardness of heart and ‘The Shame Game’.

Proverbs 28:14 tells us that “he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity“.






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