A SPIRITUAL FATHER
A few weeks ago I wrote two articles titled “Lifelines” and “Promises of a Spiritual Father”. I received phenomenal response from all quarters. I was amazed to discover that these two subjects touched lives in a very profound manner.
As a result, one of the issues that have come up is how one can identify their spiritual father and the qualities of a spiritual father. This would have been easy for me if we were discussing physical fatherhood and not spiritual fatherhood. We all look for physical features that link us with our physical fathers. We look at the shape of their heads, color of eyes, fingers, body structure, skin hue, height etc to see if there is a resemblance between us. Our goal is always to find our true origin. It is only your mother who can tell you who your true father is. Since it is a taboo to discuss such matters in Africa, we all secretly look for distinguishing marks in our parents that can hopefully link us to them. I believe I’m not the only one who has this peculiar but inherent trait!
Likewise, I believe we need similar “spiritual knowing”. We need to “spiritually belong”. The intrinsic desire to belong is a search for own identity. Even spiritually, we all have a deep desire in our hearts, to find the place we call “home”. Many of us do not have that sense of belonging. We are wandering spiritually and are vagabonds of sorts. We eat spiritual junk and live in spiritual wilderness because we don’t have Spiritual Fathers who can give us a home. This is one of the greatest tragedies of our time.
One of the reasons why we have come to such a sorry state of affairs is because we have over emphasized evangelism and undermined spiritual parenting. Praise the Lord for millions who are coming to the Lord especially in Africa. Statistics show that Africa has the fastest growing Church. This is awesome. However, it comes with the challenge of whether those coming to the Lord through evangelism are receiving spiritual nourishment to ensure their spiritual growth.
Because of this phenomenon, we have many saints falling on the wayside or having stunted spiritual growth. Every child needs a breast to feed from. Milk bottles are not good enough. Going to Church is not good enough. You need spiritual parenting. Your spiritual father will have big “spiritual breasts” which you can suckle from until you are weaned. The Church of today cannot afford to run like a club. We need to personalize, customize and nurture. We need to raise spiritual sons and daughters and move away from the “numbers mentality”. 1Ti 5:8 “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” I used to think this scripture only applied to physical fathers but it also applies to spiritual fathers. In some of the slums of Africa, it is easy to find a man and his wife in a one bed roomed house with many children, like eight. Is it biblical to continue giving physical birth to children who you have no capacity of taking care of? How many spiritual children have been reproduced in the continents that have no one to nurture them?
If a child does not receive the nurturing they need in their formative years, they will have deficiencies which will traumatize them in their adulthood. Lack of nurturing in formative years forces children into quick adulthood when they are not ready.
In the same breath, if we don’t get spiritual nurturing in our spiritual formative years; there will be deficiencies which will have a negative impact in our latter years. Those that receive Christ in their hearts are spiritual children irrespective of how old they are physically. They need spiritual nurturing and spiritual parents. For example, it is possible to have physical parents who qualify to be your spiritual children.
This concept of spiritual fatherhood becomes even more complex in the African context. In Africa, a physical father is distant, unapproachable and does not generally cultivate an intimate relationship with his wife and children. He might provide for them materially. He is a disciplinarian. He is often absent. He is a chief in his home. There chief whip too. His wife is a doormat or a reproduction machine. In many African homes, children are reared by mothers and do not know what it means to have a father.
This worldview then affects our appreciation of spiritual fatherhood tremendously. Our point of reference for spiritual fathers is subsequently distorted. How then do we desire or even see the importance of spiritual fathers when our physical fathers did not fulfill their roles and responsibilities? What then, is our reference point?
A paradigm shift is then needed to perceive, appreciate and embrace spiritual fatherhood. If we engage in this matter of spiritual parenting with an African worldview, we will encounter many problems. The western and eastern world views are not any better. We need a transformed mind. We need the mind of Christ.
In fact, spiritual fatherhood can only be properly understood when we understand the fatherhood of God. We need a revelation from God. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. God is our ultimate Father. He is not like our human father at all. God is the perfect example of fatherhood. All fathers fade in comparison to Him. He is our yard stick. Spiritual fathers should draw lessons from Him. He a father of grace and peace (Phil 1:2), He has made us Kings and Priests (Rev 1:6), He has sanctified us and preserved us (Jude 1:1), He has showered us with His love, He has called us His sons (1 John 3:1), He has affirmed us, He has given us glory and honor (2 Pet 2:17), He has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Pet 1:3), He has elected us according to His foreknowledge (1 Pet 1:2), He has called us to minister to the fatherless and widows, He has cautioned us to keep ourselves unspotted in this world (James 1:27), He chastens and disciplines us (Heb 12:7), He is eternal (Heb 7:3), He has given us everlasting consolation (2 Thes 2:16), He directs us (2 Thes 3:11), He takes note of our labor in the Lord (1 Thess 1:3), He is the father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph 4:6), He gives unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him (Eph 1:17), He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:13) He has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father (Gal 4:6), He gave his best gift to us – Jesus Christ (Gal 1:14), He called those things which be not as though they were (Rom 4:17), He forgives us(Psa 103), He restores us (Psa 23), He protects us (Psa 91), He promised the Holy Spirit to us (Acts 2:33) and I can go on and on.
It is obvious that none of the spiritual fathers, leave alone physical fathers, has inculcated all the qualities mentioned above. These qualities are not innate. They can only be received by grace from the heavenly father. This takes a personal walk with Him. In the course of walking with Him, He then rubs His DNA (Divine Nature Attributes) on you so that you start bearing His image. A good spiritual father has an intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father.
Spiritual Fathers are therefore “work in progress”. They are not perfect like our Heavenly Father. They should be striving to be like Him but they will encounter many challenges on the way. A true spiritual father should be humble enough to share truthfully some of the challenges they have encountered on the way; not just the glorious moments.
There are many challenges that come with physical and spiritual fathering. We all want to provide the best for our children but sometimes we are not capable to do so. This affects our pride, ego and confidence. Our children sometimes have some negative traits that remind us of ourselves. As fathers, we face our own personal struggles that make us feel inadequate to invest in our children. Our priorities get mixed up and we become absent when the children need us most. We get hurt when our children make all the wrong choices after we have made great investment in them. Relationships between the father and mother sometimes go sour and this sometimes leads to infidelity, physical abuse or divorce. Children then lose trust and faith in their father and in fatherhood. Fathers also experience a lot of pressure from work related situations. This can also affect fatherhood in a very real way.
It is not easy being a father but it is one of the greatest gifts from God to humanity. We need to start celebrating fatherhood more. I hear much more of Motherhood and very little of Fatherhood in my generation. I say this knowing that many don’t have any connection or intimacy with their physical or spiritual father. Does this mean there is nothing to celebrate about Fatherhood? We need the restoration of fatherhood in our generation. I am calling spiritual fathers to come forth in Jesus Christ name. Amen.
My wife gave me a list of what her expectations are for a spiritual father, and I was overwhelmed. She admitted that no father has all these qualities. A spiritual father is someone who has had 1. Phenomenal spiritual impact in her life 2. One who sets a Godly example. 3. Exemplifies the heart of God 4. Who believes in her. 5. Who rebukes her. 6. There is spiritual chemistry between them 6. Who is willing to share his life with her. 7. Who wants the best for her 8. Who prays earnestly for her 9. Who gives her direction and guidance 10. A person she can be vulnerable to 11. Who puts spiritual checks and balances in her life 12. Who is grounded in the Word of God 13. Who is objective in his judgment 14.Who correctly divides the Word of Truth 15. Who loves and cares for her 16. Who has time for her 17. Who appreciates and validates her 18.Who encourages her 19. Who teaches her both spiritual and life lessons 20. Who stays in touch with her 20. Who imparts upon her the anointing and grace upon him.
This was overwhelming for me and I realized how much we have fallen short. Having looked at the Fatherhood of God and my wife’s list, it left a deep cry in my heart to God for all fathers.
When the communal spirit was still alive and well in Africa, a father was not just a father to his children but to all the children in the community. However, every child knew who had the final word in the matter. In the same way, we need to recognize that many will play the role of spiritual fathers in our lives. However, we need to know where we belong and where the final word comes from. This is where we ought to be accountable financially and otherwise. Having too many spiritual fathers can be complicated and confusing. Any animal with more than one head is a monster. Which head then, does the body take orders from?
Please give me some feedback on the above matter and may our Heavenly Father give you complete clarity, revelation and direction on Spiritual Fatherhood.
In His Fathers Love,
Apostle Symon Kariuki
Kingdom Age Network of Apostles and Prophets
PO Box 13754
|Free forum by Nabble||Edit this page|