When someone I just met tells me to ‘have a blessed day’, I know I’m most likely speaking to a believer. There is something very spiritual about the word; blessed, or blessing. Many families, mostly Christian, pray a blessing at mealtime. Rare to see that in public today. But pronouncing blessings is good on any occasion. This week at one of our Fathers Forums, I spoke on ‘The Blessing’. The dads seemed to respond to the subject and offered great insights during the discussion time, and one or two shed a few tears. So, what is a ‘blessing’? Webster’s defines it this way. “The act or words of one who blesses. Approval or encouragement.” To bless is “to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word.”; “to involve divine care for ‘; “to confer prosperity or happiness on”; “protect, preserve”; “endow, favor”. I conclude from my study and experience it is ‘to transfer something that is binding’.
Not by chance, the very first time the word shows up in Scripture is in Genesis. God formed mankind in ‘Their Image’ and gave four commandments, actually a joyous work list. “Procreate, fill the earth, subdue it and rule over it.”And in order to carry these out obediently and successfully, he did this right before the commands. “And God blessed them…” He endowed them with all of the terms set out in Webster’s. God knew that man could never do it alone, independent of his blessing. God actually spoke life into them. He provided them with hope that they could fulfill their task. Don’t we all need hope? You bet!
We are hope dispensers
My conclusion from all this is, we fathers are like our heavenly Father (in His Image); we are God’s ‘hope dispensers’ for our children and grandchildren. And how best to ensure it; through our blessings. Adam had no idea what lay ahead of him and his new bride, Eve. And neither do your children. See, God sees our lives from the end to the beginning and he makes provisions and a way to navigate life well. After the Fall, we became subject to trials, some large, others small. And dads, your children need your blessing. There is simply nothing that can replace it, nothing. Reflect again on the second paragraph.
At the Forum we shared that the best scriptural model is the Father’s words to Jesus right after his baptism. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. (Mt. 3.17b ESV). Ever heard those words from your dad; and equally important, have you ever spoken and/or written them to your own kids? We shared a short testimonial video of Bodie Spangler about his father’s continual blessing on him and his sister. (See attached). Then Bodie shared this. Four things he heard and challenged us to repeat.
I love you
I’m pleased with you
I’m for you (in your corner)
God has a plan for you.
Sound like what Jesus heard? The Father knew his Son was about to face the hardest three years of his earthly life. His Father wanted him to be assured he had what it took to accomplish his life mission. Your sons and daughters need that same confidence; through your spoken and written blessings. It will launch them to incredible heights, able to fulfill their life purpose ordained by God. You are simply the instrument of blessing for the Lord. It is his power that you are bestowing on them. What a joyous privilege!
Speak blessings over your children
A few suggestions might be these. There are many more.
No boy can ever know he is a man until another man tells him he is a man, and it best comes from his father.
John Eldredge tells us this. Say to your son—‘you have what it takes’; and to your daughter—‘you are lovely’.
John Roper shared when his son turned twelve, he had a blessing ceremony and friends and family spoke words into his son’s life, some using scripture. Very emotional.
At birth of any child or grandchild, as high priest of your family, place your hand on their head, bless them and give them back to God for his glory.
Write sticky notes, texts, poems, letters and cards.