And Esau broke down and wept (Gen. 17:38)
One of the most heart-wrenching scenes in all the Old Testament.
Esau, first-born son to Isaac, was looking for his father’s blessing and I’m thinking, What child does not need…
A Father’s Blessing?
Most of the social problems we face today could be fixed by…
A Father’s Blessing.
I’m a Dad. A proud one, too. A step-Dad as well. And, equally, as proud.
I had a Dad, just as you do. Or, did. My Dad unexpectedly died many years ago now and, if he did anything, he gave to my brother’s and me…
A Father’s Blessing.
What does it mean to have the blessing of your father? It means…
1. To be treated equally…to be treated the same, a lesson Isaac, father to Jacob and Esau, learned too late. Custom or no custom, first-born or no first-born, father’s make a huge mistake whenever they show favoritism to their children. Children are all different, as any parent knows who has more than one child. But children are smart, too. And, they know whether or not you favor one over the other. Love them all. Love them equally.
2. Teach them the way. That means, give them boundaries. But don’t be harsh toward them when they push at them. And, they will. They should. How else does one grow without resistance?
3. Give them room to screw up. This, they’ll do, too. Plenty of times. Don’t beat them; believe in them instead. Forgive them, too. Show them how. And, remember, you’re one big screw up yourself. Show them how to forgive others by how you forgive others and how you forgive yourself for your own mistakes.
4. Know they’ll catch from you far more than they’ll ever learn from you. Preach at them all you want, but it’s your practice that they’re watching. Don’t tell them all people are created equal and then expect them not to be prejudiced like you when they hear you make racial slurs or ugly, unkind comments about people who are different from you in color, creed, or lifestyle. You’re the hypocrite. Not them.
5. Fill your home with laughter. Play. Play. And then, play some more. I don’t give a damn how tired or busy you are. You brought those children into the world. Spend time with them. Get into their stuff with joy, spontaneity, laughter, and excitement. They’ll love it. You’ll love it. They’ll grow up happier, healthier children, too.
6. Pass along your faith to them but give them room to forge their own faith experience. You’re their spiritual guide. You’re not their religious dictator. The surest way to have them reject your faith is for you for force it down their throats.
7. Teach them to question everything, even the stuff you tell them to believe. You want your children to grow up healthy and internally strong? Independent and strong enough to make their own decisions? Then, give them room to disagree with you when they think differently. Give them room to grow. Keep the lines of communication open, instead of using your position or authority to cut off discussion.
8. Make your home a SAFE PLACE for them. You create a security inside your children…the internal feeling of safety, not by arming your home with AK-47′s and hand-guns out the ass, but by loving them…by ending the drama that goes on between you and your spouse…the constant yelling and arguing. You know what I’m talking about. End the put-down’s. Calling your children “Losers” or saying things like “You’re a dumb ass!” or “You’re stupid!” may be some of the most damaging stuff you could ever say to your children. Damaging to them when they hear you say things like this to each other, too. How disrespectful. You tell them to treat the neighbor kids fairly – so the neighbor’s parents will think you a good parent – meanwhile, you talk to your children’s mother like she’s a piece of shit. Shame on you. Never should a day go by but what your children see you and your partner hug each other, say loving and kind things to each other. And, never should a day go by but what you hug your children and tell them you love them. You children will grow up feeling secure when you’re there for them through the thick-and-thin of it. No matter what they face, don’t ever let them face it alone.
9. Bless them everyday. Not for the stuff they do but for WHO they are. They may question many things but they’d better never question whether they have your blessing. Isaac’s stupidity as a father, blessing one child and not the other, set in motion a conflict between these two brothers, Jacob and Esau, the effects of which are still being felt in the present. What you do for your children…what you fail to do for your children…what you say, or do not say…what you do, or do not do…has eternal consequences. You bet it does. For the most part, your children will grow up to BE just like you. So, take a hard look at yourself this morning in the mirror. And, remind yourself, just as you needed your father’s blessing, so YOUR children do, too.
10. So, here are the three “BLESSINGS” you should give your children every day: “I’m here for you.” “I’m proud of you.” “I love you.” Do this. Mean it with all your heart. And, watch your children grow up, not as the next American Idol or star of the NBA, but human beings who know how to love, to live, to laugh, and so leave this world, as you intend to leave it, better than how you found it.
A Father’s Blessing.
What could be more important?