The Power of Fatherhood

by Roger Lehman on November 4, 2018
In my blog last week, I discussed briefly what I believe is the greatest wound in America, the father-wound. Never in America has there been so much fatherlessness, and it’s taking a toll on mental, social, and spiritual health in our land. This translates into all sorts of social ills that we are now reaping. But the church holds the keys to heal this great national wound. 

Paul in his letter to his spiritual son, Timothy reveals a powerful dynamic of spiritual fatherhood that I believe will blossom as the church transitions into a new wineskin. Feel the power in this amazing prayer that He prays for son? “My beloved son, I pray for a greater release of God’s grace, love, and total well-being to flow into your life from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ!” (2 Tim. 1:2 TPT). How would you like those kinds of prayers prayed over you daily by a spiritual mom/dad with whom you had a personal relationship and who walked close to God? What a huge advantage such prayers are for those seeking success in the God’s kingdom!

Not only was Timothy greatly benefiting from this dynamic relationship with Paul but Paul himself was thrilled to be His spiritual dad. He says in verse 3, “Night and day I pray for you, thanking God for your life! In verse 4 Paul says, “I know that you have wept for me, your spiritual father, and your tears are dear to me. I can’t wait to see you again! I’m filled with joy…”. Paul writes these words from prison, where he continues to cultivate these relationships of love that were changing the world around him.

This is a powerful spiritual principal. All Christians are called to be moms, dads, sons, and daughters. When this principal is seen and embraced Christian discipleship will rise to a whole new level.

You see, fatherless is not only a wound in our biological families it’s also a huge wound in our spiritual families and it translates into all sorts of spiritual ills. For example, how can one picture a loving, affirming Father in heaven when They’ve never even come close to experiencing such a father-image on earth? No person other than God himself has more power to release another from insecurities and a poor self-image than a parent. Certainly, that is true of a biological parent, but a spiritual parent carries even more power and authority to bring transformation. As one wields the power of the name of Jesus, supernatural authority is released to truly liberate and empower their son/daughter.

“I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you. For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control” (vs. 6, 7). Paul’s spiritual fatherhood was not only releasing Timothy of his insecurities, but it also became a channel through which spiritual gifts are imparted. What powerful influence this father had become to radically transform Timothy’s identity! 

As a pastor for several decades I have discovered that the greatest obstacle Christians face to grow up into their destiny is a distorted identity. But nothing works better to correct identity issues than healthy spiritual father/motherhood. I believe that we have barely begun to understand the powerful influence Biblical style discipleship can have in individuals. But what is often lacking in our church structures is true one-on-one spiritual parenting.

“As I think of your strong faith that was passed down through your family line. It began with your grandmother Lois, who passed it on to your dear mother, Eunice. And it’s clear that you too are following in the footsteps of their godly example” (v.5). Here Paul points out that faith is generational. His spiritual fatherhood to Timothy was built upon the faith that was in Timothy’s mother and grandmother. What amazing generational momentum! A godly grandmother, mother, and now spiritual father all contributed to what a man of God Timothy had become.

If you are like me, you want to leave a very good mark on this earth before you pass on to your eternal reward. I can’t think of a better way than to leave behind many empowered biological and spirit children. Such a father's or mother’s influence will continue on for many generations long after they are gone. But keep in mind, these God ordained relationships do not happen through striving and manipulation. God Himself plans them. I think the most important key is to make room for them. As you see these kind of relationships develop, value them. Make your sons and daughters top priority, and your moms and dads too. What do you think?
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