Many men, for whatever reason continue to search for their father’s blessing. Whether we lost our dad at a young age, had a broken relationship with him, or he was just absent (physically or emotionally) as we grew up, our need to be affirmed by our fathers runs deep.
Receiving a father’s blessing is vital to wholeness. Completeness. There’s something about a father’s blessing that makes us feel safe. Protected. Affirmed.
According to former NFL pro football player Bill Glass, what sons need is someone to say to them, “I love, I bless you, I think you’re terrific, and I’m so glad you’re mine.” And Glass says, “It’s got to be said out loud. It’s got to be stated. The blessing is also unconditional and continuous. If it’s conditional, it’s not love; it’s a negotiation.”
The power of a father’s blessing goes back to Old Testament times.An Old Testament blessing of a father to his sons included words of encouragement, details regarding each son’s inheritance, and prophetic words concerning the future.
For example, Isaac’s blessing on Jacob (which was meant for Esau) gave him the earth’s bounty and authority over his brother. It also promised that those who blessed Jacob would be blessed, and those who cursed him would receive a curse—words that echo God’s promise to Abraham. 
According to Glass who is now retired from football and spends his days doing prison ministry, most of the men he meets with have broken relationships with their fathers. They’re angry, bitter and hurt, often seeking out a gang to fulfill their need to belong, to find acceptance.
Glass believes whether our father is alive or dead; whether he was a good dad or an absent dad we need to make peace with him, find a way to receive our father’s blessing. We owe it to ourselves.
Glass was only twelve when his father died. In an effort to deal with his loss, Glass pushed himself at football trying to receive approval from his coach as a way of seeking a substitute father’s blessing. In a recent interview Glass had this to say about the significance his coach played in his life:
“My coach was told that I had lost my father and that it really hit me hard. So every day after workout, he’d stay out with me, and he’d teach me how to play football. He would walk with me after workout to the dressing room with his arm around me. He’d ask me to sit beside him on the bus going out to the game, and he’d just talk to me. Then at noon he’d meet with me, and we’d lift weights for about an hour. I moved from being the slowest, smallest player on the team to, within a year, being unblockable, because I learned good fundamentals. And I didn’t even like football then. The only reason I played was because I wanted my father’s blessing.”
Like Glass I lost my father to cancer when I was young, only sixteen. He was a good man and I know he loved me, but I don’t recall him ever saying he approved of me, that I was a good man, that he was proud of me. I don’t remember him touching me physically and bestowing his blessing upon me.
And so, for some thirty-eight years I’ve longed for his blessing, his touch, his words of affirmation and approval.
Those words finally came to me from a spiritual mentor I meet with monthly to help me discern the movement of God in my life. After a recent dream, which I shared with my mentor, he helped me discover the power of the dream as my father reaching out spiritually to me to extend his blessing. After sifting and sorting through the dream’s significance together, my mentor stood up, placed his hands on my head, asked me to close my eyes and then spoke these words to me:
“Receive my blessing son. Know that I love you. I respect you. I am proud of you. You are a good man and I love you with all my heart.”
The dream, the words, and the physical touch of my mentor’s hands upon my head, became the substitute blessing I had longed for and was ready to receive. Interestingly, I had just that week finished publishing my second book, Life’s Toolbox…Blueprints Included that I had dedicated to my dad. I guess we both found a way to bless each other.
If you’re a man seeking your father’s blessing, I would encourage you to acknowledge the importance of that need, not to run from it or resist it, but to let it speak to you. And if your father is still alive and you are able, seek his blessing, ask him for it. Boldly. He may be waiting to bestow it upon you, in your time, in your space.
If your father is deceased, then consider finding a man to bless you, a dear friend, a coach, a spiritual mentor; someone who knows you at the level of the heart. And then receive that blessing. Let it shape, mold and inspire you.
If you are a father, I invite you to bless your children, as often as you can. Consider tracing the sign of the cross on their foreheads each time you part, telling them you love them.
We never know how much our lives teach and inspire each other, but they do, they are the hands of God reaching out across the ages to let us know whose we are, that we belong and we are loved.
 Genesis 27:28-29.