Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. ACTS 12:24—13:5A
I have a mommy friend who is the wife of an orthodox priest. It is the custom in their house that the mom lay hands in blessing and prayer on each of their children before they leave the house for school or work. In the culture of Orthodox Catholicism, the home IS Church, and the mother IS Priest, Prophet and Queen.
My mommy friend’s morning routine with her children goes as such: They will stand as a family, mom, dad, children and say morning devotions at their family Altar. The father then blesses the children, and his wife before he leaves for the day. Mom then gathers the children, and when my friend was homeschooling they would go to breakfast then right to work. Now that many of her children are much older, some of them even gone from the nest, she just feeds and blesses those children home before they go out.
It is something I have tried in our home. But it was a little tricky. Because it was not part of our spiritual/faith culture it felt foreign, awkward. On my part, I felt oddly embarrassed, as if I was stealing something from someone. Relying this concern to my friend she smiled in that way the wives of priests can smile and said that she was so happy I even tried. She assured me, and I know this is/would have been true, if I had kept it up it would have become routine and accepted. I guess I could call myself spiritually chicken.
I regret that I wasn’t more persistent. If only I had fought the feelings of embarrassment that I felt. I wonder how different life may have been if I had kept the blessing over my children up. Would high school and teen years been less rebellious for our elder son and less difficult for our elder twin. So interesting that it is the elder children with the troubles. Would our younger children been less fearful? There is no way to know this, so the regret is just an exercise in futility. I can do nothing about the past and can only live in the here and now. I have a great deal I can do now to bless my children: Pray for them, support them, hold them responsible for whatever actions they may take, get out of their way when God calls.