By Jamey VanGelder
I have six children. Each one has a tendency to boss the younger ones around. It is funny to watch as you hear them repeat things you’ve said in the past. Well, sometimes it’s funny. Other times it’s a helpful reminder to hold my tongue. The littlest child doesn’t have anyone younger than her to boss so she attempts it with mom and dad.
Everyone has a tendency to want to be on top. When there is the option of being on top or being on the bottom, nine times out of ten we choose to be on top of things. I have been hearing much teaching on spiritual fatherhood and motherhood lately. And now when I hear that subject emphasized I cringe a bit. Not because the teaching itself is bad, but I am realizing that teaching on spiritual father and motherhood has not produced the kind of fruit I was looking for. It’s a bit like teaching people to be on top. I have recently taught on this subject as well, but I am realizing that when I’ve emphasized raising up fathers and mothers; It resulted in people seeking to be on top of their relationships. And then they look for people who would serve as sons and daughters under them. Unfortunately this leads to a political game of positioning and “who’s your daddy” talk.
When it comes to spiritual maturity, I am finding that Jesus didn’t teach on fatherhood and motherhood at all. He modeled His life as a son and then taught others to do the same. Jesus emphasized sonship with His life. And as it turns out, that is what positions our hearts to connect with the Heavenly Father.
Lastly, having people in your life who are mothers and fathers figures is an amazing thing to have. Those people bring support and mentoring and often healing from past hurts. It is the process of choosing to be a son that makes room for this to happen. When you choose to be a son or daughter your heart attitude is what calls mothers and fathers to arise in your life. It’s not the other way around.
If you are finding a lack of mentoring and desire a spiritual father or mother, perhaps the pathway is for you to choose to be a son first. I am not able to choose how other people will behave towards me. I can’t make father figures behave differently according to what I’d like them to do. However, I can choose to be the best son I’m able, and allow that spirit of sonship to effect those around me. Who knows, perhaps being a good son is what will help draw out the best in our fathers and mothers.