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September 30, 2011

Boomerang Effect: How the Blessing Returns to the Blesser

As a father of four, I wanted to make it a priority to welcome my sons into manhood and my daughters into womanhood. I have two sons, Jimmy, who is 25, and Tommy who is 23, and two daughters- Victoria, who is 27, and Sarah, who is 21. I did not want them to doubt my love for them or my approval of them. My wife Sheila and I prayed that the Lord would show us how to purposefully call the man out in my sons and the woman out in my daughters. We designated a day for each child that incorporated a ceremony involving spiritual mentors and family members who would give them words of wisdom as well as a tangible object that they could remember this day by. I had always prayed that this day would be a moment that they would forever remember and cherish, but little did I know that this blessing would return to me like a boomerang as God led my children to create lasting legacies of God’s faithfulness in their own families.
In December of 2008, my youngest son Tommy proposed to his high school sweetheart, and they were to be married in June of 2009. As they began their preparation for their wedding, my son wanted to start a tradition in his family to leave a legacy of God’s faithfulness throughout generations past, and generations to come. He decided that since prayer is such a vital part of marriage, that he wanted to design and build a prayer bench that he and his wife could incorporate into the wedding ceremony as well as use afterwards in their home. He drew out the blue prints, ordered the wood, and began building. He worked for hours building this prayer bench, and they began their marriage on their knees, asking God to bless their family for generations to come. I was also able to pray over them during the wedding ceremony as they knelt in prayer, asking God to bless them and shine favor on them. They now have this very prayer bench at the foot of the bed to remind them of where their marriage began, and to daily seek Him in prayer. This was once again the blessing returning to me in regards to his rite of passage years earlier.

This started a tradition within the family. In October of 2009, my oldest son Jimmy married his high school sweetheart as well, building a prayer bench with the words, “Pray Without Ceasing”¬†¬†ingrained on the top portion of the prayer bench. They too, began their marriage on their knees, asking the Lord to bless their family for generations to come. Their prayer bench sits at the foot of their bed, as a daily reminder as well.

Also, in July of this year, my oldest daughter Victoria was married to her husband Mark. Mark also designed and built a prayer bench that they incorporated in their wedding ceremony. This was a true testament to God’s faithfulness and goodness, reminding them of the legacy that they will leave for generations to come- a legacy of faithfulness and prayer.

When I began this journey of planning and implementing a Rite of Passage for each of my children, I never believed that it would prompt them to begin traditions and legacies of their own as they began their families. What a blessing it is to know that each of my children who are married have begun their lives with their spouses on their knees, asking God to use them and find them faithful.
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
I would like to thank Moody Publishers and C. Grant and Company for making Rite of Passage: A Father’s Blessing and the blog tour a possibility. I would also like to thank all of the bloggers who participated in the blog tour. What a blessing all of you are!

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