A Father’s Blessing

A Father’s Blessing

Several years ago, I taught a series of classes called Men’s Life: Authentic Manhood. Several things surprised me about that experience. First, the incredible turnout! There was a real hunger among men to understand God’s view, not the world’s view, of what a real man is supposed to be. 

Here’s another amazing realization: I was astounded at how many men had never—or rarely—heard their fathers say, “I love you.” They might often quickly add, “I KNEW he loved me…but he could never say it.”  

So, among the very first things I taught was the power of the father’s spoken blessing: “I love you. You belong to me. I’m proud of you. I notice the good things you do.” This blessing is based on the words of God the Father over his Son Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:5: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The Father spoke these words over his son as he neared the end of his earthly ministry. 

Interestingly, God spoke virtually the same words over Jesus during his baptism, near the start of his ministry. So, the earthly ministry of Jesus is bracketed by the powerful, affirming words of his heavenly father. Love, belonging, pride, admiration. 

I was surprised that so many men had never heard those life-giving words from their own fathers in part, I suppose, because I ALWAYS heard those words from my dad. He spoke them regularly. He still does! And it still blesses and empowers me. 

I passed that on to my own son (and daughter!) Nearly every night, I would kneel beside their beds, pray with them and close with words of blessings: “I love you; you belong to me; I am proud of you; I notice the good things you do…(and I would name their specific accomplishments that day!) 

Imagine my joy and delight to see my son, Cooper, pass this on to his daughter, Cici. Every time he drops her off to stay with us…every time!…he will not leave before he enfolds her in his arms, smothers her with kisses, and tells her, “I love you, I’m proud of you, and you are such a great basketball player… (or golfer…or colorer…or whatever activity she has undertaken that day.) She squirms impatiently to escape his smooches…but I know this: she will never forget her father’s blessing…and it will shape her sense of identity forever. 

If you have/had a father who speaks words of blessing, thank him…or thank God for him. If that was not modeled for you, men, it’s not too late for you to start empowering your children with your words. And most of all, on this Father’s Day, let us all, men and women, boys and girls, rest in the certainty that our perfect Heavenly Father proclaims love, belonging, pride and affirmation over YOU as his precious child. 

Pastor Mark 

P.S.—Sweetheart Church, as we approach the end of our fiscal year, I want to be transparent with you about our financial situation. We currently face a $28,541 giving deficit. Like any responsible family, we’ve tightened our spending while remaining steadfast in our commitment to give generously…dedicating 25 cents of every dollar to benevolence. This includes 10 percent to local and global outreach partnerships, and 15 percent to our “Beyond These Walls” fund, which aligns with God’s call for us to make disciples, send leaders, and love our neighbors.

Ministry thrives through your support. Even though we’ve planned and budgeted conservatively, we seek to finish this fiscal year strong. Philippians 4:19 reminds us, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” We believe God is urging us to maintain our momentum in caring for our community, creatively sharing the gospel of hope and salvation, and preparing the next generation to follow Jesus and become leaders themselves.

Would you prayerfully consider reviewing your giving here and contribute as you feel led to help us meet our goal? Your generosity enables us to continue the incredible work God is doing among us. I am deeply grateful for your faithfulness and support.

Pastor Mark