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Fathers, bless your children

When my children reached the age of graduating high school and going out into the big, bad world, I knew that of all the graduation gifts I could give them, nothing was more important than my blessing.We invited our closest friends over to the house and one by one, they spoke a blessing over them…
By Seth Barnes

When my children reached the age of graduating high school and going out into the big, bad world, I knew that of all the graduation gifts I could give them, nothing was more important than my blessing.

We invited our closest friends over to the house and one by one, they spoke a blessing over them. When it was my turn, I had written it out like a letter.

I said things like, “I’m so proud of you. Your peers look up to you; you have set good examples for them. Whatever you do, I know you’ll succeed.” (Email me and I’ll send you a copy if you’d like.)

I could feel the emotion rising in me as something spiritual was transacted between us.

Children need their parents’ blessing in a daily sort of way, and they also need it sacramentally and publicly. It’s a way of validating their identity before others. God showed us how it’s done with Jesus: “This is my son in whom I’m well pleased.”

When finished, everyone clapped and cheered. Our children weren’t just finishing a course of study, they were becoming adults and being praised for the good choices they’d made. April and May is a season of graduation. Send out your invitations soon for not just a graduation party, but a celebration of your parental blessing of a child in whom you are well pleased.

Here are some tips on blessing your kids from Henri Nouwen:

“To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly.
Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their
wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of
curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings.

“We forget so
quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our
world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness
and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with
gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed
lives.”

A final thought: Before you bless them, you may need to go to them in private and repent for ways in which you failed them. This blog shows you as a parent how to repent to your child.

Also check out this blog on fathers saying the sacred “Yes”

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