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Archive for July 27th, 2015

The blessing

from JO’s sermon tonight:

as parents, we have the ability to impact our children like no one else can.  while the mother’s role, nurturing, caring, is vitally important, without the father’s approval and validation, the child will feel a void. every person needs the blessing from their father. many adults still struggle today, with low self-esteem, working all the time, trying to prove that they’re good enough, all because of their father’s lack of affirmation. their father never told them, “I’m proud of you,” he never made them feel approved, so they’re still trying to measure up, gain this approval that can only come from a father. fathers, we have something to give our children that nobody else can give.  other people can tell them how great they are, how special they are, but when you tell them, it carries a whole new weight.

as the father, you have the God-given authority to bless your child. every time you say, “I’m proud of you, I love you, you’re beautiful,” God releases strength into your child, value, confidence, security. those are not just nice words, it’s what the scripture calls, “the blessing”; you are propelling your child toward their destiny. we’re all busy, it’s easy to get sidetracked, or even at odds with our children, “they’re not doing right, when they straighten up I’ll be nicer, when I’m not so busy I’ll spend more time with them” or, “they know I’m proud of them, I told them 14 years ago when we brought them home from the hospital.”  no, they need to hear it again and again; you’re the father, you carry the blessing. don’t withhold your love, your affection, your approval.

you may not have received this blessing from your father; he wasn’t around growing up, or maybe he was there but all he did was correct you, tell you what you were doing wrong, didn’t show affection, make you feel valuable. don’t let that negative cycle get passed to the next generation; you can be the difference-maker, you can set a new standard. start blessing your children, start calling out their seeds of greatness, telling them what they can become, prophesying their future. let them know you’re their #1 fan. when you see them in the morning, give them a hug; don’t let them pass by without showing your affection. sometimes, we were raised to think, “we’re men, we don’t express our feelings, we don’t hug, we don’t say nice things, that would make us look weak.” it’s just the opposite; when you show your feelings, you’re strong. real men hug their children. real men show affection, make their children feel valuable.  real men go out of their way to approve, validate, encourage.

fathers, our children have been given to us as a gift;  do you know how many people would love to have kids? they’re going through infertility treatments, spending thousands of dollars, enduring pain, suffering; they’d do anything to have children like ours.  God has entrusted you with His most prized possession; He’s counting on you as the father to give them the blessing. your approval, love, affirmation, carries more weight than any other man’s. without your blessing, your children will struggle in areas that they did not have to struggle in.  there’s a reason people are insecure, angry, overly competitive, promiscuous; many times, the root cause can be traced back to they never got the blessing from their father. 

what a difference it would make if the father would just pick up the phone and say, “Son, have I told you how proud I am of you, how I think you’re amazing, how you mean the world to me?” it seems so simple, yet it carries so much weight; it fills a void that only the father can fill, something we were all born with. even as little children on the playground, there can be 20 other adults, people that we know, but we’re constantly saying, “look at me Daddy, watch me run, jump, watch how fast I am”; we long for our daddy to watch us, to say, “that’s good, you’re strong, you can run really fast.” we can have our babysitter watch us, our cousin watch us, our neighbor watch us, but when it’s our dad, it takes on a whole new meaning. this longing for our father’s approval was put in us by our Creator. 

your children may be 50 years old, but deep down, they’re still saying, “watch me, Daddy, look at what I’m doing, look at how I’m raising my children, excelling in my career.” they still long for your approval. fathers, here’s the good news; it’s never too late to bless your children. you may not have done it while your kids were growing up, that’s not the way you were raised, but I wonder what would happen if you picked up the phone, called your son, daughter, they may be 30, 40 years old, you hadn’t spoken to them in a while, but you call and say, “I just want to tell you how proud I am of you, how much I love you, how I think you’re amazing.” your approval, even later in life, can be a turning point for them. your validation of their family, their success, their accomplishments, can put an end to issues they’ve been struggling with, can bring healing and wholeness, set them on a whole new path. 

the father holds a blessing that is a strategic piece to our puzzle.  maybe you haven’t been there for your children, they’ve had struggles and issues, and now you think, “my children don’t need anything from me, I’ve made a lot of poor choices, they’re doing better than I am”;  no, they still need your approval. don’t withhold your blessing. sometimes we think, “they know I love them, they know I’m proud of them, I don’t need to tell them”;  no, a blessing is not a blessing until it’s spoken. people don’t know what you’re thinking; they can’t read your mind. even though it may seem minor to you, as a father, when you tell your children you’re proud of them, it can do something major in their life. the blessing of the father carries so much weight, it can help release them to a new level of their destiny.  there’s a reason that people are secure, confident, feel valuable; it has a lot to do with the blessing from their father.

maybe you’re a father in a single parent situation; you don’t have your children with you all the time. that’s ok; you can still give them your blessing. don’t take the easy way out and make the mother do everything; your children need your love, guidance, support, mentorship. if a young lady doesn’t get the approval from her father, many times she’ll try to get that approval from other men; she’ll go from relationship to relationship, not valuing who she is, because she has not been valued by the most important male in her life, her father. your daughter, as a little girl, she looks up to you as her hero;  she admires you, she thinks you can do anything. she’s not going to feel good about herself until she knows you think she’s the greatest thing in the world. you’re teaching your daughter how other men should treat her; she’s learning from you what love is. she’s felt her mother’s love, but you are her first male love, you are her first boyfriend. it all starts with you. it’s going to be compared to the love that you show her. 

that’s why it’s so important, fathers, not only to treat your wife with honor and respect, but to treat your daughter like she’s a queen; you’re setting the tone for how she will allow other people to treat her.  if you’re harsh, rude, condescending, don’t have time for her, you’re teaching her, “that’s how men treat women, that’s ok, find somebody like that.” but when you treat her with respect and kindness, value her, make her feel loved, important, honored, that’s the standard she’s going to set.  a father sets the standard. don’t be harsh on your children.  don’t be too busy for them. if you don’t tell your daughter how beautiful she is, don’t be surprised if she finds a young man to tell her how beautiful she is. if you don’t make your children feel special, they’ll go out and try to fill that void with something or someone, a void that you can fill as a father.  let’s set a high standard.  this is your legacy, what you’re passing down. more than your money, success, accomplishments, values, principles, what you believe in, that’s what’s going to live on.  I’m asking you to model excellence, integrity; give your children the blessing. let them know that they’re made in the image of God, that they’re extremely valuable, that they have seeds of greatness on the inside. 

in the scripture, there was a father named Jesse; he had 8 sons. when the prophet Samuel came to his house to choose one of those sons as the next king, Jesse’s youngest son, David, was out in the shepherd’s fields. Jesse didn’t even invite David in;  he thought, “he doesn’t have a chance, he’s too young, inexperienced.”  when Samuel looked at the other seven boys:

1 Samuel 16:10-12 (NIV)

10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

Jesse had a king in his house and he didn’t recognize it; he had one of the greatest men that would ever live, but he didn’t see it. he just looked on the outside;  he saw his size, ability, experience. he couldn’t see the seeds of greatness on the inside. he didn’t see the giant killer, the army general, the skilled musician, the history-maker. don’t do like Jesse, and have a king, a queen, in your house, and not recognize it. you don’t know the gifts that God has put in your children; you could be raising the next giant killer, army general, David, history-maker. all they need is your blessing, encouragement, to know that you believe in them, that you’re cheering them on, that you’re their #1 fan.  fathers, when your children know you’re watching them, you believe in them, you’re cheering them on, that’s going to give them an extra boost to rise higher, go further, accomplish things they never thought they could accomplish.

I realize, not everybody got this blessing from their father. some people lost their father early in life.  half of the children today are being raised in fatherless homes. maybe your dad was around, but he wasn’t a good influence, he made it harder on you; notice, with David, even though his father didn’t believe in him, that didn’t change David’s destiny. what God had planned for David’s life, could not be stopped by how his father raised him. don’t use this as an excuse; “I didn’t get the blessing, now I know why I’m stuck, can’t accomplish my dreams.” no, what you did or did not get is not a surprise to God. you may not have had a father involved in your life growing up, but God said:

Psalm 68:5 (TLB)

5 He is a father to the fatherless

God will be your father. He will watch over you in a special way. He’ll get you to where you’re supposed to be.  many single mothers are doing an incredible job raising their children without the help of a man; God said He will be your husband, He will help you raise your children, He will give you wisdom, He will provide for your needs, He will take care of you and your children.  a lot of people today grew up without fathers; I wish that were not so, but if that’s you, let me tell you; your father is Almighty God. He’s chosen you, called you, set you apart; you didn’t get here by accident, you didn’t just happen to show up, God breathed His life into you.  you have a destiny to fulfill, an assignment only you can accomplish. 

maybe your father has not been involved in your life as much as he should have; you feel a void on the inside, a longing for that approval. I believe right now, that void is being filled: healing is taking place, wholeness, value, confidence. your heavenly Father is giving you the blessing; He’s saying, “I’m proud of you, you’re amazing, valuable, you’re going to do great things in life. some of you have a father who is no longer with us, he’s in heaven; you hear people say, “I wish my dad could see me now.” even when we lose our fathers, deep down there’s still a part of us saying, “watch me, Dad, look at what I’m doing.” the scripture talks about:

Hebrews 12:1 (CEB)

12 … we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us

people that have gone before us, that are cheering us on. in the grandstands of heaven right now, looking down, watching you closely, is your father, fathers that have gone before us.  you know what they’re saying? “look at my son, my daughter; look at how amazing they are. look what they’re accomplishing.” they may not be here in person, but you can rest assured, they’re proud of you, they still think you’re amazing, they still give you their approval.  we can look up and say, “watch me, Dad.” we’re just getting started; there are a lot of great things still to come. life is short;  make sure you give your children the blessing. it’s never too late; you can pick up the phone, call a son or daughter, tell them how proud you are of them.  if you didn’t get the blessing, your earthly father wasn’t around, God is your Father;  He put his blessing on you. because of that blessing, you’re going to rise higher, you’re going to accomplish your dreams, you’re going to set a new standard for your family, your children are going to be mighty in the land.

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