Fathers are very important. They can be blessings or curses.
Fathers, do you bless your children? "Blessing" is an old word, that's used hundreds of time in the Bible. It always means: to praise; to compliment; and to appreciate. A formal blessing included two things: encouraging words and a loving touch—a hand on the head or a hug.
In the Old Testament, the father's blessing was very important and it was usually given to the eldest son. Esau was devastated when he believed he had missed his father, Isaac's, blessing. "And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept" (Gen. 27:34, 38).
Later, a grandfather's blessing was considered important for all the sons. "And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them" (Gen. 48:8-9).
Then, the Scriptures say that David blessed his entire family. "And David returned to bless his house" (I Chron. 16:43).
In the New Testament, Jesus blessed the children—both boys and girls. "And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them" (Mark 10:16).
So, how can you bless your children? One writer had a formal ritual blessing that he repeated each night to each child.
Another family reserved these formal blessings for special occasions—birthdays, anniversaries and major life transitions like graduations or marriage.
Still others have a regular formal blessing on a weekly basis—at a meal on Saturday nights or Sunday noon
Some blessings are given in public. A Youth group had such a meeting for young people just before they left for college. A group of parents and sons and daughters met for a meal and then each father declared his pride in his child. He mentioned accomplishments and expressed appreciation and love. Most ended in tears with the words: "I've never told you this before?" This appreciation night had a profound effect and was recalled years later by these young people as the high point of their lives.
Fathers, are you blessing your children with kind words and loving touches? If not, they're being cheated.
Your blessings may be more informal—a pat on the back; an, "I'm glad you're my kid"; a smile; a nod; a wink; a listening ear; or a comforting hug. These are all blessings.
Do you praise more than criticize? Do you express more approval than complaints? Do you spend time together? These are essential elements in a child's life
Yes, fathers are important. Charles Adams, a nineteenth century political figure kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my I son–a day wasted."
His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day he wrote: "Went fishing with my father—the best day of my life!"
Time is precious. It must be used wisely. You see, Charles Adams thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son; but his son saw it as a blessing.
Our children are only young for a very short time and parents are the most important role models in their lives. So don't waste these precious years. Bless your boys and girls with words and deeds. This is your greatest responsibility and your greatest privilege.
(Word Count 642)
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