As we look forward to celebrating Father’s Day this Sunday, I was drawn to write about the importance of fathers and the power of a father’s blessing.
Fathers play such a critical role in the lives of their children. It is primarily the father who instills in a child a sense of security, identity, and destiny. Security tells a child where their value and worth comes from. Identity tells a child who they are. And destiny tells a child why they are here and where they are going. Fathers instill these qualities into their kids from childhood.
As Benjamin was being born to the patriarch Jacob, his dying mother attempted to give him the name Ben-Oni, which means “Son of My Sorrow.” But Jacob insisted on calling him Benjamin, which means “Son of my Right Hand.” As his father, Jacob established him in his identity, not allowing him to be marked with a negative name that was not consistent with his destiny (see Genesis 35:16-18).
None of this diminishes the invaluable role of mothers in any way. Mothers and fathers both play crucial parts in the upbringing of children, and God’s design is for children to receive the influence of both. But a father can set the course of a child’s destiny in a way that has a dramatic impact.
There is power in the blessing of a father. Jesus Himself was empowered and released into ministry under the blessing of His heavenly Father. Matthew 3:16-17 records this:
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
When Jesus came up from the water, two momentous things happened. First, the Holy Spirit came upon Him to anoint and empower Him for ministry. And second, He received the blessing of His Father in heaven: “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” What is important to note is that God the Father declared His love and approval for His Son before He started His ministry. Before one sermon was preached, one sick person was healed, or one demon was cast out, Jesus received the Father’s blessing.
Jesus was not working for the Father’s love but from the Father’s love. There is a huge difference between the two. His ministry was not an effort to gain approval, but an outflow of His intimate relationship with the Father. He did not need to perform in order to be loved; He was perfectly loved already. Love was the foundation for what He did, not the thing He strived to gain. This is the power of a father’s blessing.
Fathers, I encourage you to be intentional to bless your children. (And while this article is directed to fathers, much of it can apply to mothers as well).
It’s so important to speak words of life, encouragement, and blessing over your kids. Think of ways to genuinely encourage them. Call out their gifts, strengths, and achievements. Let them know that you love them and that you are for them. Let them know the security of being valued and loved, just for who they are.
Find ways to bless your children in a more “formal” way as well. When I was growing up, my dad started a tradition called the “Birthday Blessing.” When one of my siblings or I had a birthday, he would take special time to pray over and speak a blessing over us. This was very meaningful, and is a tradition that I have kept going with my own children. Consider some other ideas:
Let the Holy Spirit lead you in creative and meaningful ways to bless your kids. Be intentional about this and ask God to give you His Father’s heart for your children. Fathers, our kids need to know that we love them and approve of them. They need to know that they have our blessing. It makes all the difference in the world!