The father's blessing is the key component to a full life, to living life fully alive. Because Joseph couldn't legitimately give Jesus the paternal blessing, not being his actual father, God the Father gave it at the time of his public baptism by his cousin John. In the blessing was the assurance that Jesus was loved, he was "The Beloved" and in the blessing was also the assurance that he was pleasing to his father before his public ministry had even begun, and before he had to face the devil. That's why that ministry was successful, for he was empowered to prosper and thrive by that blessing. It sets the tone and the direction of the life. If Jesus needed it, how much more do we need that blessing from our earthly and heavenly Father. And how we as earthly and spiritual fathers need to give it and know how to give it. What I am coming to see is that there is another counterfeit "blessing" (actually a curse though it's the same word in Hebrew) that rushes in to fill the vacuum left if the true blessing isn't given. Satan is also a father, a father of lies who is poised to give his own "blessing" in the absence of the real one. His "blessing" is couched in his hatred for us instead of love. It comes at a strategic time in adolescence and is intended to cripple us instead of empower us. It is intended to predetermine us toward failure by communicating that we are a mistake who makes continual mistakes or an accident that causes endless accidents. Instead of communicating a sense of purpose it presents a feeling of purposelessness or sways us to accept a lesser purpose for our lives. Rather than assuring us that we have what it takes to be and do something great, it insists that we'll never amount to anything, and it injects a vague and nagging awareness of deficiency, and/or perverts our definition of greatness. It is no accident that so many divorces occur around this strategic time in the lives of young people interrupting and short-circuiting the true blessing they were due to receive. Without that there is no way a young person can proceed into life with confidence. The dark blessing pronounced in this vacuum by the father of lies is often accompanied by a visual caricature or nickname underscoring the negative message. For example one father would call his son "Charlie Brown" repeatedly, another called his son "Sad Sack." Neither realized the devastating impact of the images being planted through these titles in the psyche of their offspring. Thank God these curses can be reversed and cancelled in the present through intentional loving interaction with those God gives us the authority to reparent and be reparented by, in the context of Kingdom community. It is surely happening as I write, and because of it people are growing into those destined personalities beyond what they could ask, think or even imagine.