Friday, June 21, 2013

The Blessing: Thanks, Dad

Within the past month I read a book called The Blessing by Gary Smalley & John Trent. It's nothing new - it's been around since 1986. I stumbled across it, and after reading the jacket I thought it sounded like something I might want to pass along to someone else. But I never do that unless I've read the book myself first.

So I started reading it with the intention of skimming through it just enough to know if it would be a good fit for my friend. I quickly realized it was a book I actually wanted to dig into myself. I read every word and loved it. I recommend it to everyone! Its a book about relationships, mostly between parents and children, but it applies to spouses and friends as well.

Smalley and Trent take a detailed look at the five elements of a blessing that parents should give to their children based on Biblical parenting models:

1. Meaningful Touch
2. Spoken Words
3. Expressing High Value
4. Picturing a Special Future
5. An Active Commitment

The book discusses how to check if your parents have given you this blessing and how to give it to your own children. If you missed out on receiving the blessing from your parents, the book discusses what to do about it and how its not too late to receive this blessing from your Father God.

Finally, Smalley and Trent talk about how to give the blessing to your spouse, friends, and parents - whether you've received the blessing from them or not. No matter what kind of relationship you have had with your parents and/or children, this book is filled with relevant application for everyone. Whether you have broken relationships that need healing or are just trying to build healthy ones, its a great tool for both.

The biggest impact the book had on me was the confirmation of how my parents have indeed blessed me with each of those Biblical elements and how they have modeled for me how to do the same for my children. It also left me feeling hopeful for people that I love that have missed out. It's not too late!


A couple of weeks ago my dad got laid off from his job. It was kind of a shocker to our whole family. I went to visit him the next evening and on his table were the boxes of his personal items from his office. I laughed as I pulled out frame after frame of our old school pictures from growing up. Then I pulled out one very special frame. One I'd given to my dad many years ago as a gift and had completely forgotten about. 



It obviously didn't take The Blessing book to make me realize I've been blessed by my dad. I've always known he is a godly, loving man.

With Father's Day approaching, I wanted to give my dad something special. To again show my thanks for being the blessing giver that he has always been. But there's nothing money can buy that can do that. Not even a bottle of birch beer, dark chocolate truffles and chocolate covered cherries from Atkins Farm. ;)

I just kept coming up empty with meaningful gift ideas. So instead I feebly attempted to put together some words of thanks to show him how he has blessed me and to commit to give this same blessing back to him. I share it here because I want to publically honor him.

To my dad, on after Father's Day.  :)

Dad, thank you for your meaningful touch. For the arm around my shoulder followed by a little squeeze when you are proud of me. For the kiss on my forehead every night after you tucked me in and prayed for me. And for the hugs you still initiate every time you see me.


Dad, thank you for always expressing to me in spoken words what is on your heart. For speaking the truth in love. For your gentle answers that turn away wrath.  And for diligently teaching me God's Word. Your spoken words have always been an encouragement.


Dad, thank you for always telling me that Jesus loves me and you do too. For encouraging me in my gifts and talents. And for using words like "precious," "important," and "special" to let me know I am of high value to you and to God.


Dad, thank you for always reminding me about my eternal future in heaven. For always being hopeful. And for never saying or doing anything that would stop me from pursuing my dreams or cause me to feel limited in my abilities or options here on earth.


And most of all - thank you, Dad, for your continuously active commitment to me. For working so hard during the week to provide for my needs and beyond. For delaying your home ownership for two decades to pay for my education. For dedicating your weekends to being with us kids growing up - taking us with you on errands and bringing us on outdoor adventures. For still being available whenever we need you and being actively committed to your grand children. Thank you for your persistence in modeling Christ-like love and sacrifice.

 
 
Dad, you truly have given me The Blessing. I'm so thankful to God for the model you and Mom have set for me so I can in turn give this type of blessing to my children. I pray I can return the blessing to you as well. Happy Belated Father's Day. I hope this was worth the wait!

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