The Bible is a testament to the goodness of God and declares over and over how vast His love is for His children. Jesus won the victory over sin and death, and He reigns supreme. As sons and daughters, we get to appropriate His victory into every area of our lives and follow the ancient paths laid out in Scripture.
By claiming Jesus as Lord and Savior, we choose to stand in faith and agree with the Word of God, speaking words of life. One of these ancient paths is the father’s blessing, a powerful Jewish custom that too few Christians practice today (yes, the Old Testament is very relevant to believers!). In fact, every Friday night, Jewish fathers prayed a father’s blessing over their children. This would be a worthwhile practice to incorporate into our families today!
The Father’s blessing is the conventional transfer of the favor of God for the future, the passing on of divine favor.
Declaring Words of Life and Truth
“I call heaven and earth to witness that I have set before you a choice. Life or death. The blessing or the curse. So choose life. You and your descendants.” – Deut. 30:19
I am often asked to share a father’s blessing, which imparts children with their God-given identity (who I am) and destiny (why am I here). Just last night I had a dream that someone asked me to share a father’s blessing, which inspired the writing of this blog. Of course, there is much Scripture to declare over our children. It is powerful to speak and declare the words of Psalm 139, the blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, and dig into the treasure chest of scriptures filled with identity and hope found in Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Psalm 91, 93, etc.
When I write a father’s blessing, I begin by spending time with the Lord. It’s important that I disconnect from the busyness of the world and thank God for Bryn’s life, turn my heart toward God and Bryn, and receive the immense value and love our heavenly Father has for her. I then pray over my daughter, Bryn, holding her in my heart or looking at a picture of her in the quiet and stillness of the Lord’s presence. In that moment, I ask the Lord to release His goodness and mercy over her. The Holy Spirit moves on my heart and together we write words of life and truth based on the Word of God.
As Bryn often says, I can be intense sometimes, and some of my early blessings were far too long and she was not in a place to receive the words I spoke over her. However, I am confident that seeds were still planted in that season. Keep in mind, I didn’t start blessing my girls in this way when they were young, though I wish I had. Bryn was 18 and in a massive crisis when I learned the power of a father’s blessing from Family Foundations International. Had I started when Bryn was younger, she may have been more open to receiving it when she was older. In time, and through a powerful process of healing our relationship due to my own shortcomings as a father, Bryn’s heart slowly began to receive the words I poured over her.
I never received any sort of blessing from my own father. I had never even heard of it prior to learning about it as a born-again Christian with grown children. Regardless, my heavenly Father is redeeming my past hurts, trauma, and orphan spirit, bringing divine order, blessing, and hope to my family. The blessing destroys the curse!
By speaking blessing over our children and declaring God’s truth in their lives, it empowers them to prosper in Spirit and truth. The blessing destroys the curse. Each time we bless our children, their hearts soften and become more open to receive the truth. (Though, as in my experience with Bryn, it may take time.) It is important to separate identity from behavior. We must continue to call out the truth of their identity regardless of their behavior. We are representing the Father and call out what He says about them.
Never Too Far Gone
God is Father to the fatherless. Regardless of how our earthly fathers may have failed us, God can redeem all things. There is no parent, child, or family too far gone! The more I see God as my Father, as I progress in the revelation of sonship, the more I can be a father to Bryn in the ways of my heavenly father. This process of transformation is possible through the Holy Spirit (see also: Luke 1:17, the spirit of Elijah; the spirit of power and prophecy).
As I have moved in the father’s blessing over Bryn and others, the Lord has connected me with fathers in the faith who have spoken blessing over me. The more I pray for and bless Bryn, the more my time, focus, and attention to her increases and my prayer life grows. And as I progress as a natural father to Bryn, I began to move as a spiritual father to others and become more of a father, leader, and disciple-maker in the organizations I steward.