The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26, ESV)
Fathers, do you and other men in your church regularly speak blessings over your children? Do you wish that you did, but perhaps need some help getting started?
Pastor David Michael started blessing his daughters every night when they were 7 and 10 years old. He had seen The Blessing, a film featuring Gary Smalley and John Trent (copyright©1991, Thomas Nelson), and was inspired and challenged to be a blessing to his family. As he considered the calling and responsibilities of fatherhood, he felt moved to pronounce Aaron’s blessing from Numbers 6 over his girls. The following excerpt from A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children tells about that first blessing time in his home:
I turned first to my eldest, placed my right hand on her head, looked into her eyes and said:
Amy, may the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face shine on you,
and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
and give you peace. Amen!
This blessing came as a refreshing three-fold reminder that the Lord is the source of all blessing. Although I was painfully aware of my potential failure to be a blessing to my children, there came the assurance that I could look to the One who has no potential for failure—the One who could be for my daughters what I could never be in the flesh. After repeating the blessing over my younger daughter, I resolved from that day forward to make “The Blessing” a regular part of our bedtime routine.
Nine years have passed since that night. The after-supper wrestling matches, bed-time stories on my lap, and airplane rides into bed are either impossible or no longer “cool.” I am now looking into the eyes of two emerging young women, who still happily anticipate their father’s blessing before falling asleep.
Pastor David’s girls are now young women, and he and his wife Sally have grandchildren, too. Over the years, he has seen firsthand that pronouncing blessings upon his children has been a powerful way to plead for God’s grace upon them and to give them a vision for what he hoped they would become.
To help other fathers start this important tradition in their own homes, Children Desiring God offers a booklet titled A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children, providing a biblical understanding of blessing, the fathers’ responsibility and authority to bless, and suggestions for blessings based on biblical texts. This resource also includes two sets of blessing cards.
Note: You might want to come back to this blog on Monday, June 9 for a special offer on this resource.