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Father Time

Welcome to Father Time Blog. This is a collection of questions and answers that have come during our conferences this past 15 years of travel, preaching and coaching. If you have subjects you would like to have included please email me at: fathers@mac.com. We are committed to praying and seeing your family healthy, growing and full of love.

WEDDING DAY BLESSINGS

WEDDING DAY BLESSINGS

"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

I am often asked about how to bless sons into manhood and daughters into womanhood. But rarely am I asked how to bless one's son or daughter on the day of their wedding. This question was posed to me recently by someone I had blessed at a recent conference, and with my oldest daughter's nuptials just around the corner, I found it a very fitting question indeed.

A Real Blessing

The challenge with blessing your kids at major life events is the temptation to wax poetic and make it more about sounding good than the reality of your relationship to your child. You know what I'm talking about. Everyone wants to give a great toast, or pick just the right quote for the occasion. The problem with this type of thinking is that your kids know the truth. If you aren't really speaking the truth, they'll know it and this often does more damage than not saying anything at all.

Your kids want and need a real blessing, which can only come from a real relationship. You can read a lot more about this in my latest book, The Father You've Always Wanted. If you don't have the heart of your kids before their big day, any flowery words you deliver will just end up bouncing off the ceiling. Words don't have any magic in themselves. You may impress a few of the guests, but you definitely won't impress your child.

So let me ask you this, Beloved - Do you have the heart of your kids?

If you're not sure, or if your answer is no - then we have some recon work to do. Your blessing may not be a welcome presence at their celebration. Not to say they don't want your blessing, but you'll need to have their heart before they'll receive it. Read on for how to win back the hearts of your kids before their big day.

re·con·nais·sance: a preliminary survey to gain information

First step in this reconnaissance is to realize your kids aren't the enemy :) Just kidding, but it is a good thing to start with a heart check, a survey of your own heart. Are you frustrated with your kids? Have your kids or their significant others pulled away from you?

Very often our kids (especially our daughters) have distanced themselves from us because we've attacked their choice of partner or lifestyle, or expressed our disapproval of their decisions. What you may have meant as council or just your opinion could be a world of hurt that has separated you from being a voice in your child's life presently. Think it through.. have you been harboring skepticism, mistrust or disapproval toward your kids or toward their betrothed? Or perhaps you're just offended that your child didn't follow your advice?

These are hard issues Beloved. As parents, we want the best for our children. But at some point they're going to start making their own decisions.. some of which we may not agree with. So how do you make it right?

The Heart Exchange

Once you've had a chance to survey your own heart, you need to make it right with the Lord. The only way you're going to be able to gain back your kids trust and start pursuing them is if you have the right heart first. The beautiful thing about being the Beloved is that you don't always have to be right. It's ok to admit you've made some mistakes in the past and are looking to the Lord to make them right. Your kids may not get that right away, but if you've made peace with the Lord, He'll keep working on them..

That's the second part of your mission, Beloved. In order to find out where your child's heart is at, you're going to need to approach them with that same humility. I spent a lot of years telling my girls what I expected of them, and if that didn't work, I tried using God's name to further present my case. Let me tell you, it just doesn't work that way!! Approach your kids asking for forgiveness first, then for lessons on how to be a better parent. Maybe you're still not sure what the issue is that's dividing you.. that's a great place to start! Apologize to your kids for letting anything divide and distance you. Tell them how much you love them and how much it means to you to have them in your life!

Lastly, learn to listen to your kids. As our kids get older, our job moves from supervision to support. Some of us haven't been that graceful in the move, have we?! If you'll learn to listen to your kids, they can teach you how to be a better parent. No matter how bad of a parent you've been, or how badly your kids hate you, deep down, they want you in their life and are hoping for a day when they can be understood and accepted. Trust happens when you're kids feel like you're really listening to them and hearing what they have to say.

Next month we'll talk more about actually blessing your kids on their special day. Can't wait.

 

In His Smile,

Ed

 

COACHING POINTS - OPERATION: WINNING BACK HEARTS!

My eldest daughter Jessica is getting married next month. She will be the first of our 5 kids to get married. In preparation for this Huddle Up, I asked her what advice she would give to dads to win back the hearts of their kids. Consider this your homework to winning back the hearts of their kids, so that when their big day comes, you will be in a place where your blessing will be welcomed and cherished. You can do it, Beloved!

1. MEET ONE ON ONE. Absolutely no cell phones allowed! Your kids want to be the only one in the room!

2. ASK QUESTIONS - HOW CAN YOU 'BE THERE' FOR YOUR KIDS? Don't be discouraged if your kids can't answer this question right away. Keep pursuing them until they open their heart to you. Girls especially like to see if their dad will work for their heart. You'll know that you've broken through when they ask for advice or ask you to pray for them.

3. KEEP PURSUING. Dad's love to try and fix everything at once but it takes time for us to regain trust. Relationships take time. Schedule some fun times for just the two you. It might be scary at first dads, but it will be worth it. Your only agenda should be to be with your kids! When your daughter feels safe she will open her heart!

4. WHEN THEY GIVE YOU AN OPEN DOOR, GIVE THEM AN OPEN EAR. Apologize and ask for forgiveness if your kids share their hurt with you. Don't make excuses, just listen.

*Remember, you are trying to win your kids hearts back, not correct them.

5. BE QUICK TO LISTEN AND SLOW TO SPEAK. Your kids may say some hurtful things. Let them get it out. In the end, make some time for forgiveness and restoration - it will be worth it!

6. PLAN ON BEING IN AND DATING YOUR DAUGHTER FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. Once your daughter is married, she will date you less, but she will still need you in a different way.

*A DAUGHTER KNOWS HER DAD 'GETS' IT WHEN HE STARTS ASKING HER FOR ADVICE!!

Marriage Redefined?
Wedding Day Blessings (Part 2)

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