June 21, 2020
I woke up today sincerely grateful. It isn’t that on other days I am less grateful but today especially there was something uniquely noticeable about the day. It’s Father’s Day. It’s a day I am grateful that while I do not have a perfectly fashioned Father, I have a Father who was present and I KNOW that he loves me.
That got me to thinking of the many many many who did not have a Father present as they grew up or may have had a Father present but never experienced the love, intentional blessings, non-verbal affirmations, and spoken blessings that come from a Father. In a world where Fatherlessness is prevalent and the effects of such is just as obvious, for these reasons I write this post.
What is a blessing anyway? Have you truly every asked yourself that? What is a blessing?
First, a blessing is a public declaration of a favored status with God. Second, the blessing endowes power for prosperity and success. In all cases, the blessing serves as a guide and motivation to pursue a course of life within the blessing.
The blessing of a parent is so powerful that the longing is so deep in the inner man that it might never go away for many people who have never received such a blessing. The blessing of a father is a vital key that unlocks future prosperity. It secures the confidence within a person no matter their age. This is why there is power in a father’s words. In some cases, the lack of a father’s blessing has had a negative impact on marriages, and a sense of loss in personal value and purpose in the adults life.
In the midst of our anxieties, wounds, and failures, our good Heavenly Father speaks a blessing of inexhaustible love. The Scriptures repeatedly speak of God as our Father, a reality reshaping the distorted father images we might have from poor experiences here on earth. God, our eternal Father, has “lavished on us” perfect love, making us “children of God” (1 John 3:1). Our identity as God’s sons and daughters grounds us in an uncertain, fear-inducing world. “We are children of God,” John says, even though “what we will be has not yet been made known.” Facing ever-present challenges, all we can truly count on is that our Father loves and provides for us and never stops. When everything is said and done, God says through the inspired words of John, we can be certain we’ll be like Him. A patriarch’s final blessing was so important in biblical times as a practical matter of inheritance rights. In addition, some final blessings included prophetic statements that reveal God’s supernatural power at work through the men of His choosing.
It’s vitally important fathers that you give direct eye contact to confirm that you mean what you’re saying, and a hand on his/her shoulder or on his/her head, or a hug to convey intimacy as well as importance. Show that what you’re doing is not a trivial gesture, but one that transmits your deep love and acceptance. Show that even in the midst of not having learned how to be tender, caring or expressive that your love for your child supersedes your lack of prior education. The literal lack of experience from fathers becomes a repeated cycle from generation to generation if permitted. It is very difficult to give to another that which we have never personally received. Since most of our own parents also did not have the knowledge or experience of blessing while growing up, they were neither able to provide us the experience of blessing at critical times in life, nor to raise us in a culture and lifestyle of blessing. As a consequence, it is very difficult for those of us who are now parents (or about to be) to give to our children something (blessing) we have never received ourselves. But there is still hope!
There was a time prior to me becoming married that I strongly desired to be blessed by a Father. While I have a Father, what I needed at the time my biological Father was unable to offer me. So I prayed and sought the counsel of the Lord. After hearing, I asked a man of God that I respect, admire and love to bless me as a father would. I asked him to stand in as a loving, father figure and offer a blessing over me. The blessing asked forgiveness for the ways a father can hurt his children by setting expectations that are too high or being distant or failing to offer tender presence and affirmation. It also pronounced delight, admiration, and abundant love. As he shared the blessing verbally, I wept, he wept, heck we all wept! But I had finally received a father’s blessing and I felt washed, healed and valued.
Dad, don’t wait. Do it early and do it often. Even if your kids roll their eyes a little or don’t seem to “get it” at first, don’t let that stop you. They will thrive on your blessings, and over time you will make memories that will become a reservoir of comfort and confidence that they can draw from as they mature. Children no matter how old they are cry out for a blessing especially from their Fathers.
People often learn to pray by hearing others pray. And since many didn’t not have fathers who prayed blessings over them, you may be wondering, “How does a prayer of blessing sound? What should I say?”
I don’t want to give you a script for your prayers, but let me give you an example. Now before you say this, I encourage you to ask for forgiveness where you can and give forgiveness where you can. For those who are fatherless, I encourage you to forgive your father regardless if he has ever asked for it. There is a powerful freeing result that occurs when you release that which has kept you bound. You could say something like this:
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you tonight for my son “Josh”. He is such a delight to me, and I am so happy to be his dad. I ask for your blessing to be on him. He is your child, and I know you have great plans for him. May his eyes always seek your wisdom and his heart always be sensitive to your leading. May he love your Word, your presence and pursuing you. As he grows, lead him in your ways so that he will honor you all his life. Thank you for Josh and how he has brought so much joy to my life. Thank you for teaching me how to be more like you as a father. I ask your forgiveness and thank you for it also. I express my love to my child today and ask that you seal it within his heart forever. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Happy Father’s Day to those natural fathers who were present and did the best they could and to those spiritual fathers who have carried the Cross in the absence of many absent fathers. May God bless you profusely.