Through a series of circumstances, Conor had never been baptized, though he became a believer in Christ as a young boy. Last month as our whole family enjoyed a reunion at the family camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where Conor accepted the Lord, he asked me to baptize him in the lake. I have never been more honored to pass on a blessing to anyone in my life.
I was reminded that for 30 years Jesus remained virtually unheard of, until he was baptized, and as he rose out of the water, the voice of his Father said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well-pleased.” (Mt. 3:17) Later, God the Father mentioned the very same words a second time in Jesus’ life in the presence of a few of his followers, with one very profound additional phrase: “Listen to him.” Jesus then went out and became the central figure in world history.
Even the Son of God benefited from words of blessing from his Father. Is it any wonder that perhaps your daughter and son might, too? It’s been said that good parents give their kids both roots and wings. This is one way to do that as a dad, or as an older man in a younger man’s life.
The words of God to his Son demonstrate the key, simple components of blessing:
- Acceptance– This is my son (or daughter).
- Affection– Man, I love him!
- Affirmation– I am so proud of him.
- Anointing– Listen to him! He brings something to the table.
Men, I urge you, even if you are not a father, think through who would benefit from hearing words like that from you? Your daughter? Your son? Another man? A grandchild? A sibling? Your wife?
Please don’t hesitate; it does not need to be complicated. Jesus’ Father used one sentence. Those words changed the world.
My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, their daughter Gemma and son Calvin. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I’m convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.