There are a lot of practices from biblical times that I think we can all agree we’re grateful that they are no longer a part of our everyday life (animal sacrifices springs to mind as perhaps the most prescient example.) However, there are other historical traditions that we might be a little sadder to see past. For me, one of these is the concepts of blessings, not the pray-before-your-meal kind, but the purposeful commissioning by an elderly parent. After all, this was a time where a father could send forth his children with an insightful and meaningful word for their lives which would hopefully guide their conduct when their parent was no longer with them. Unfortunately, nowadays people are often more interested in the amount of wealth that they will receive as an inheritance, instead of the amount of wisdom. Perhaps, as a rsult, we need this practice of a blessing even more.
When my daddy went home to be with Jesus, he left too quickly to extend a formal blessing on his kids. However, I must admit that I don’t feel exceedingly deprived of this experience because my dad lived a life where he regularly imparted wisdom to us. He didn’t need to have a “final word” because my dad had the final word every day he lived, and he was intentional about making sure he blessed us with it.
One of the greatest blessings that my dad gave me was only realized after he left this Earth. Like many, after my dad went Home, it was important to me to live a life that my dad would be pleased with. The blessing came in the fact that I realized that the life that would please my Earthly dad, is the same one that would please my Heavenly One. And although he didn’t have the chance to “send me off” with these words, they resonate with my soul just as much as if he had. His blessing to me was his regular, intentional instruction to live to make God happy, and in doing so, I know that I would also please him. This was the way my daddy raised me. Until I see him again, I know that’s how I should continue to live.
In the Bible, people received all sorts of words of blessing from their dad. Some of them were promised prosperity, some of them were promised descendants. While all of these are great, and I wouldn’t mind them, I can’t help but think that my blessing is the best.
Postscript – As I’ve written before, when my dad passed away, many parents shared with us that they wished their children thought of them as we thought of my dad. The best way I know to do that is to bless your children as my daddy blessed me. If that hasn’t been your mindset, I hope you’ll consider changing that today. If you do, you and your kids will be forever blessed.