One of the most significant and defining events in our children's lives occurred every night at bedtime. My husband would take our children, Sarah and Jacob, aside and have a time of prayer with them. At the end of the prayer time, he would lay a hand on each bowed head and pray a blessing over them. Throughout the years, on good days and bad, each day ended with a tired father calling out to God to bless his children.
It was amazing to see how that blessing time served to calm troubled hearts and reconcile broken relationships. The impact on both father and children is immeasurable. Our children treasured that special time with their dad. Just imagine starting a bedtime blessing routine when your children are born and continuing until they are 18 years old. That's approximately 6,570 blessings! Just imagine what God might do through the short but earnest pleas of a father, calling on the Heavenly Father to do in the lives of his children what only He can do!
So it was a bittersweet day when my husband pronounced his last official nighttime blessing over our daughter. It was her wedding day. After she and her new husband said their vows, my husband went up and placed his hand on her bowed head one more time and spoke the words of blessing that she had heard and memorized since she was a little girl. It was a beautiful moment! But the story doesn't end there, because now there is a little boy named David—our grandson. And every night before he goes to bed, his daddy lays his hand on David’s sleepy head and prays a blessing over him.
The excellent resource that my husband used to guide his blessings is A Father's Guide to Blessing His Children by Pastor David Michael. This guide and companion resources have been prepared with the hope that speaking a word of blessing or benediction will become as common in the Christian home as it is at the end of many church services. As a father of two daughters and a long-time pastor of next generations ministry, David Michael is convinced that a regular pattern of blessing is a powerful way for fathers especially to plead for God's grace upon children and to give them a vision for what we hope they will become. Each blessing in the booklet is based on a biblical text and flows from a father's heart for his daughters and a pastor's heart for the children in his church.
"In the very act of blessing, we become part of the means by which God blesses the person that we’re speaking to," says John Piper. "So, the relationship that such a blessing forges is part of the blessing that God imparts. This is why it can be so powerful with our children." (Desiring God, "How do I bless my children before bed?" podcast)
I cannot recommend A Father’s Guide to Blessing His Children highly enough!
The booklet provides a vision for blessing children as well as suggestions and blessings based on Scriptures to help dads get started. See booklet sample.
Kindle e-book available
Blessing Cards are also available.
The Blessing Cards…
- Are based upon Scripture (they are 29 individual blessings)
- Foster a spiritual, God-ward bedtime routine
- Give fathers a special opportunity to shepherd their children in a unique way
- Promote peace, reconciliation, and prayer at the end of the day
- Are easy to use yet profoundly impactful
- Nurture a lasting legacy and tradition to be passed on to the next generation
- Are extremely affordable and durable (a great gift for Father’s Day!)
You can find out more about this wonderful resource here.