Written by JEANNENE S. for Who’s Teaching the Babies?®

Every parent understands the kids’ bedtime extravaganza. Night after night, what you think has the potential to be a brief bedtime routine, quickly turns into… an extravaganza. Somehow the energy levels, excitement, questions, special bed-time requests, water needs, trips to the bathroom, and conversations all come to a peak at bedtime. It’s as if you are preparing to go on a Disney vacation, just before bed, every night. Truthfully, not one of us would trade this special time for anything, as we know those bed time kisses and hugs and desires to spend one more moment with Dad and Mom won’t last forever. However, my husband and I have to remember to warn the sitter in advance, since our son will come up with some creative bedtime distractions to discover the possibilities. While we don’t encourage this, when we come home to greet our sitter, we admittedly are always amused at what he thought of this time.

We named our son “Jacob Matthew.” While many factors went in to picking his name—some of which were probably hormones as I had to have names with two syllables (?)— ultimately, the meaning and significance of the names were important to us. Yes, we knew what Jacob’s name actually means as defined initially in the Bible, however, that’s not really what we considered when naming him. We looked at the life story of Jacob, or Israel, as he was finally known. He was not only the Father of the 12 tribes of Israel, a legacy and inheritance that cannot be forgotten, but he was also one to “…have seen God face to face…” but his life “was saved” (Genesis 32:30, HCSB). This is the same moment in his life where he received a new name from God, “Israel,” and right after the moment where he clung to God in a wrestling match and said “I will not let You go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26, HCSB). This is a man who was willing to risk his life because of the faith he carried in God’s nature, Word, and promises, when it all came down to him and God. Ultimately, as opposed to losing his life, he was amazingly blessed beyond imagination.

“…But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me” (Genesis 32:26, HCSB).

People have jokingly asked what were we thinking when we named him “Jacob,” and we could even question this ourselves—especially in situations like the bedtime shenanigans with his sitter. However, what we’ve noticed the most is our son’s deep desire for his bedtime prayer and blessing. Every night, since before our son could understand or remember, we’ve purposed to pray with him, and to bless him before we shut off the lights. Even on nights where it’s just so late or nights where he has a new sitter, Jacob still wants, and will not sleep until he gets his blessing.

We’ve even picked him up from Kids’ Church where the Children’s Ministers were taking time to bless the kids before they left, and if Jacob didn’t get his, he just couldn’t take it. He just won’t let go until he gets his blessing. It’s times like these when I begin to understand not only why we felt we were to name him “Jacob,” but also I begin to see the childlike faith that so pleases God when we cling to Him until He blesses us—meaning we see and know Him face to face. I begin to see the power of continual prayers spoken over our son and reminders of who he is to our Father. Those continual prayers and reminders are effective, and they are powerful, so much so that even our child can notice. It helps to remind us, at the end of the day, no matter what, when it comes to God and us, we can’t let go until we see His face. His face is full of love, patience, goodness, hope, and promise for our future, together.

If you haven’t yet experienced the goodness of God through praying for and blessing your kids every day, no matter what time of day, today is always a great day to start. Check out our Free Resource “Identity Prayers,” from our Founding Ministry, Giving Light Christian Fellowship, to help you get started!


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