If you are a member of a local church, the FIRST spiritual father is the Pastor in Charge of your church.
If you are in Charge of your church, your spiritual father is the one who prepared you for ministry and released you to fulfil your ministry (that is how it is supposed to be until 21st century)
This article is written to help those who are in serious danger of loosing their assignments through error of spiritual fatherhood and are being abused by immature, selfish, self oriented fathers.
I pray that you will gain understanding.
“I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children, I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” 1 Corinthians 4:14-16.
I believe that one of the areas of error that has crept into the Church is the area of spiritual fatherhood.
It has been greatly misunderstood and abused it is unbelievable!
As we leave in a fatherless generation and immature fathers raising children, we are experiencing the same in the Church.
Mentoring is not Fatherhood.
To be an instructor does not make you a Spiritual Father to someone and you yourself who submit to others for fathering must know the difference. If you do not know the difference, it is your fault if you are seriously abused.
I derive my natural DNA from my natural father.
He provided basic necessities of life, spent valuable time with me and share valuable lessons of life with me as he was thought and experienced (even though some of these lessons I heard and learnt in his old age but he still pass it on to me of which I am eternally grateful)
Some of us have joined ourselves with spiritual fathers whom we have no spiritual DNA with and are now been treated as bastards because each time sons approach their fathers, they are openly received but bastards are treated with contempt and shame because of the way you gave birth to such a child. Your father does not want people to know that you are his child! Some spiritual fathers are treating their sons with such mentality because of the way they acquired the sons/daughters in ministry.
Spiritual fatherhood is more than tithes and offerings.
The reason why some are into fatherhood is because of the financial gain derived from such sons. They are only interested in the percentage of the income that comes through their sons finances to leave their canal lifestyle whether the child live or die is irrelevant. I believe that Fathers that are true fathers should be abundantly blessed but also as Abraham gave gifts to the sons of Keturah and all the children of his concubines but gave ALL that he had to Isaac so also should be the spiritual principle every spiritual fathers should operate upon here in 21st century! The issue of fatherhood had never been so abused until now. How can you call someone your father who hardly prays with you but is only interested in your money?
How can you call someone your father who never introduce you to spiritual discipline of his life for you to learn from?
How can you call someone your father who never allowed you to know how they failed in their venture in serving Christ? Parenting is not only about success it is about success and failure also. Spiritual parents are to let their sons/daughters know their challenges which the good Lord through His grace helped them overcome. After all not all things that glitters is gold!
These were the blessings passed down by true fathers of old to their children in faith. They made them to know what will happen after their departure so that their sons can be aware of it and excel. They warned their sons, challenged them, prayed with them, carried them in their bossom, discipline them if necessary.
Fatherhood is really more than getting it is also about giving! Giving of time and money! At this point, I celebrate true spiritual fathers who gave their TIME and also money back into the lives of the sons/daughters. Such deserve double honour!
Ask yourself when was the last time your father ever spent quality time with you and your spiritual siblings? When in crisis, is he ever there? If you call him now will he respond or it is answering machine that will respond to you and if he does not respond, is there any structure in place to make you know you are in his network?
I have seen fathers who will go to any length to see their spiritual sons/daughters become who God called them to be even in difficult condition risking their own lives. Not to financially bless such fathers is a sin.
I know of fathers who love their sons/daughters by correcting them when they miss it and not just talk behind their back to others because of their own insecurity or turn political through divide and rule system. Not to honour such also is a sin.
If you have a spiritual father, what made you call him your father?
Some of us have gone for fathers because they have great influence and power in the society.
Some of us have gone for fathers who are known in the world.
Some of us have gone for fathers to use their connections so we will not mind the wickedness done through them and by them.
To escape abuse from spiritual fatherhood, here are some wisdom nuggets:
Prayerfully approach the matter with eternity in mind.
For you to call a person your father without prayerfully considering the effect is like asking for someone to come in freely to rape you. This might sound too harsh but it is so.
It is God who determined who our natural father will be. We did not have a choice in the matter. So also it is divinely relevant for you to not rush to choose by the dictate of your flesh until you pray through.
Your father can make you or destroy you.
You must approach the subject with heaven in mind. If you have a father who is not heavenly minded, there is the tendency that you might miss it also. Remember, like father like son! You become after your father unless you choose to be different. 2 Timothy 4:6-8. A father with such testimony is worth honouring.
Know who you are: 1 Peter 2:4-5
If you do not know your worth, you will become a victim of abuse from anyone.
Always remember that it took God your Heavenly Father the death and Blood of His Son our Lord and Saviour to Redeem you and I. You are valuable and significant to Him and should be to any spiritual father too.
Never sell yourself so cheap. You are Blood bought saint of God chosen, elected, adopted into the family of the beloved. If your spiritual father does not accept you and treat you as such. Kindly relocate prayerfully but without strife.
Know what you are chosen and sent to do on earth. Acts 9:15-16.
If you do not know what you are chosen for, you will walk in the vision of others miss your own as an Overseer too.
Do not submit to fatherhood that is loveless. 1 Peter 1:22
Agape love is birthed by the Spirit of God and should flow from every father to their children. Love make you go after your children regardless of their fault. The prodigal son’s father looked out from the day his son left the house and celebrated him when he returned. Love sought after.
Love makes you give. Some fathers are receivers and not givers. Run from such. Also some children are receivers and not givers!
Instructors are not necessarily fathers
Some of us have instructors. Instructors are teachers and they deserve every celebration if they are instructors indeed. Galatians 6:6 teaches us to share all good things with him who teaches us the word.
You can have as many instructors based on what you set out to accomplish on earth but fathers are special.
The issue of fatherhood is now becoming a serious matter that cannot be ignored. In some culture, it is treated like a cultural thing whereby a spiritual father see himself as someone that can never approached easily. So everyone must shake when he is around. Yes we must give honour to whom it is due But please do not give the honour due to Heavenly God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to any man. Some of us are so tied to spiritual father more than our relationship with the Redeemer of our souls.
Some of us will rather listen to spiritual father who is alienated from God than to listen to God and obey Him.
If you are so blessed by spiritual fathers, treasure them. Honour them and greatly appreciate them. Remember we have not many fathers.
If you are in an abusive fatherhood relationship, believe God after digesting this article to pray and reconsider.
Book recommended: “You have not many fathers by Dr Mark Hanby with Craig Lindsay Ervin http://www.reapernet.com ISBN 1-56043-166-0