It was Thanksgiving Day, 1982. Candice and I were spending our first married Thanksgiving with my parents. After the meal, Dad gathered us all together and gave the following blessing to his children, daughters-in-law and son-in-law. (He later expanded it to include his grandchildren.) The blessing was read at his funeral last Wednesday, and it was hand-written in my father’s Bible that we brought home with us. It says all you need to know about how my parents thought about their responsibility in raising children and their release of us as adults to find our own path to grow into the people we are.
Blessing for our Children
Your mother and I give you:
Unconditional love, and to each one of you we give all our love. Love expands to meet the need.
Unconditional acceptance based on who you are – our sons and our daughters – our sons-in-law and our daughters-in-law and our grandchildren. Not on what you do or don’t do.
Release to be the person God intends for you to be. Release to do what you think God would have you do – to try and to do and to be free to fail and try again.
We give you our affirmation and support as you work out your understanding of God’s purposes in your life.
We love each of you and thank God for you.
Dad took the emotional risk to express this blessing to our family. However, my parents not only said this one time, they lived it everyday.
The knowledge that we were loved and accepted unconditionally certainly shaped the person I’ve become and – I hope – the way I approach my life with Claire and Andrew. Of course I’ve fallen short, but I’ve had the freedom to fail and try again.
I can’t begin to express my thanks.
More to come…