The Gift of a Father’s Blessing

September 20, 2018

Scripture begins with the story of creation. God pours out his creativity and handiwork on the world, filling it with life and abundance. On the final day of creation, God creates mankind, made in his own image, as the culmination and the crown of his labors. 

God then admires his work, granting it the primordial blessing: “It is very good” (Gen. 1:31). 

In the creation story, we see that blessing is nothing other than declaring something’s inherent worth and innate goodness. When God blesses creation, he proclaims it “very good.” 

Likewise, when we bless God we declare him goodness itself; the source of all that is, the eternal fountainhead of life and joy. 

Within each of us is a desire to be blessed. That is, we long to know that, beyond the accidents of personality or appearance, the core of our being is good, even very good. We desire someone to tell us that it is good that you exist. 

We want—no, need—to know that we are not a mistake; that we are not flawed or unworthy of love.

If we do not receive this blessing, it is deeply painful to us, though this pain often remains unconscious. Without this blessing, we can develop all kinds of harmful and even pathological behaviors in the quest to find the affirmation we crave. 

The greatest gift a father can give a child, especially his son, is his blessing. A father is uniquely positioned to grant this blessing, for the moment a child becomes aware of his father’s existence, he desires his affirmation, his approval, and his love. 

Fathers, bless your children. Clearly communicate to them in word and in deed that: “It is good that you exist. Beyond your skills, your performance, or your intelligence, beyond anything that you do, I delight in you. I possess a love for you that cannot be earned, but that flows from the fact that you are good and lovable at the core of who you are.”

What life-giving truths! How many of our lives would be different if we had been blessed in such a way. 

A father’s blessing is communicated beyond words. More often, it is bestowed through gift of attention, the gift of presence, the gift of listening. It is found in rejecting the fatherly tendency to make our children in our own image; to force them to achieve some distant measure of success; to compel them to become what we failed to be. 

“You may not be rich; you may be unable to bequeath any great possessions to your children,” said St. Ambrose, “but one thing you can give them: the heritage of your blessing. And it is better to be blessed than to be rich.” 

The crisis of our culture is a culture of fatherhood. Weak, absent, or even abusive fathers are largely responsible for the decay of society, and there is research to prove it. The healing of the culture, then, will only flow from fatherhood truly embraced and lived. It will flow from fathers who bless their children, not only in word but in deed.

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. GrumpyYoungMan says

    Every night, I bless my son with the words of St. Louis – “I give you every blessing a father can give a son. May the three persons of the Holy Trinity, and all the angels and saints, protect you from every evil, Amen.

    Even at 2.5 years I think he understands the importance of it.

  2. Brandywine Blue says

    Sam, wonderful article. It would make a great introduction to a book. I would love to see more on this topic. Especially concrete ways fathers can bless their children, and stories from the research proving it. God bless you

  3. Chad says

    “It is better to be blessed than rich”… indeed. I read this article with one part joy and one part sorrow. The joyful part is I have a beautiful little daughter and God placed within me the heart of a Lion, to bless and protect my cub. The sorrowful part is, my wife who was six months pregnant, left me in April. She moved out of state and back to live with her parents. I’d like to blame her, but I can’t… having recently put my father in the grave from a terminal illness and battling demons I thought long gone… I was a shell of the man she married. She deserves the best and I clearly wasn’t providing it. Struggles bring some couples closer… ‘in good times and bad’…

    Not being able to see my little 3 month old baby girl, not being able to hold her, not being able to kiss her on her little forehead, or tell her I love her is more than enough to break any man. Knowing I can’t currently bless my daughter physically, I still recognize the importance of the blessing. So I reached out and asked my father-in-law. He agreed and I ask God to give me solace in that for now.

    My attempt to bless my daughter each day is through my deeds of trying to live righteously. With renewed focus ‘God help me be a man who walks by the spirit and not the flesh.’ There are lots of reasons so many couples who separate don’t get back together (87% is the estimate). Overly involved family members, people supporting one side instead of the couple, selfishness, etc. Join me in praying unforgiveness doesn’t have the final word… join me in praying that Christian couples who’ve been separated receive special Grace to forgive & reconcile and reclaim the land taken by the enemy. The battle is real…


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