He lives with his wife and family in Lancaster, PA where he serves as the lead pastor of Threshold Church. There is no shortcut to this knowledge. Each was filled with the Holy Spirit. God created fathers and families to glorify this eternal reality, and biological fathers become spiritual fathers by knowing and imitating him. Christianity is synonymous with serving and giving– giving of everything we have, both of spiritual and earthly goods. Lewis suggested that masculinity is the willingness to initiate. Here are six concrete things you can do to explore the call to spiritual maternity and realize that it isn’t a consolation prize — it’s a incredible calling from the Father. It is also experiential. He and his wife, Judy, have five children and twenty-two grandchildren. But it is not simply gifts that fathers impart. This means it initiates! To be absolutely clear: no earthly relationship can replace our need for a vital connection with our heavenly Father through Jesus. Yet Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father in heaven” because He was confident in the character and the heart of a heavenly Father. Your email address will not be published. One of the best qualities of a good father and husband is the inclination to take initiative—to “just do it” because it needs to get done. For most dads, the best time to do this is the dinner hour. 5:44,45 –‘Love your enemies’). A good father makes all … “The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.” – Reed Markham. The term "pastor" is a specific title used by some Christian denominations and is part of the more general term "clergy." I am blessed to have children and very thankful for that wonderful opportunity. These qualities are particularly the following: humility, gentleness, patience, discernment, compassion and love. For that, I will be eternally grateful. Paul was constantly encouraging Timothy in his walk with God and his calling as a leader. He makes all the difference in a child’s life. Just as sons in the natural receive an inheritance from their fathers, spiritual fathers lead their sons into their spiritual inheritance. John 1:11,12), whereas ‘huios’ stresses the development of spiritual character in keeping with the nature of God, our Father (Matt. John the Baptist preached God’s coming judgment (Matthew 3:8–12), and Paul repeatedly warned his spiritual children that, if necessary, he would use his power to discipline the unrepentant (1 Corinthians 4:18; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:23–24). 0. So extensive was the Son’s teaching that the apostle John called him the Word of God, and Jesus modeled in flesh and blood everything he taught. Despite his weaknesses, he rejoices in an unearnable love gifted to him by a gracious Father. It starts at home. They walk in maturity and integrity. Spiritual fathers are critical to the fulfillment of this prophecy, but so is the rise of sons and daughters. William Farley is a retired pastor and church planter. What made these men prototypical spiritual fathers? Mature leaders are grounded in … I’m not suggesting that spiritual fathers model perfectly. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A pastor conducts religious services and performs other spiritual responsibilities associated with his belief system. This is a battle that takes place in the heart and mind of an individual. A loving father is one where he loves his children much like their mother does; in an unconditional way. To the degree that pastors and elders become spiritual fathers to their biological children, their churches, like their biological families, will become spiritual families. Paul imparted into Timothy’s life: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6). Although he was not my biological father, he was a spiritual father for me. They are secure enough to make room for others to shine and go beyond their own achievements. John placed the child and father together so that we would see the essential nature of reproduction in reaching and expressing maturity. Jake is the author of multiple books, and he speaks at churches, conferences, retreats, and other events. For example, he is a good listener, he has a great sense of awareness and even when he has not experienced the same life event as someone that he serves, he empathizes and accepts them for who they are. Anyone who assumes he is free and independent apart from God is in reality enslaved to the world and a lackey of Satan. To the degree that he does this, we become spiritual fathers. But our heavenly Father is also affectionate. But combine these two virtues in the same man and he is on the road to spiritual fatherhood. Far from it. Then they become spiritual fathers to the local church. I have held back tears while driving a spiritual father to the airport after a visit. Paul was a spiritual father not only to Timothy and Titus, but also to churches as well. They impart their very lives into sons and daughters so that they will be everything God has called them to be. They don't know how to be a spiritual parent. He teaches his kids about consequences of making the wrong choices. Here are three dimensions of God’s fatherhood that these men saw and imitated. The Holy Spirit is our heavenly Father’s agent. “A Spiritual Warrior is a person who challenges the fear, lies, false beliefs, and judgments that create pain and suffering on this planet. The spirit and power of Elijah cares for widows, orphans, and children. He was my biological father, but he was not a spiritual father. It is always both. A child is the result of a physical union between a man and a woman. This is the essence of love. Our mindset as physical or spiritual fathers should follow Paul’s perspective: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Required fields are marked *. He initiated creation, redemption, and our salvation. Jake Kail was called to ministry in college, after a life-changing encounter with God. A spiritual father does not overstep the role of the natural father. Paul freely gave to Timothy what God had given to him. “I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning” (1 John 2:13). Genuine faith and sincerity will manifest itself when a man is willing to admit that he is wrong. (Romans 15:2,7) Characteristics of a Christian – free from the spirit of the times Your email address will not be published. As God has brought spiritual fathers into my life, and as I have begun to step into a fathering role, I am beginning to see some characteristics that mark spiritual fathers. He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). He is the author of multiple books & lead pastor at Threshold Church. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. It is never either one or the other. All of this needs to be applied with grace. God makes the spiritual father brave. One of the desperate needs of the church today is for true spiritual fathers and mothers to arise and pour into the next generation of believers. He is now dead, and I miss him. Characteristics of a Pastor. Many things go into the making of a good father, but there are a few traits that stand out above the rest. I can relate to Paul’s words. Our heavenly Father is responsible for our spiritual … Being a father is one of the great joys in life. In this post I want to highlight 6 qualities of a true son in the Lord. . Through the miracle of new birth, God adopts us into his family. Takes initiative. He knows he has fallen short of the glory of God, and he does not expect his performance to merit his relationship with God. A local pastor reached out to me, spent time with me, and discipled me in the Christian life. In 2 Timothy 1:2, Paul calls Timothy a “beloved son.” In verse 4 he states that he is “greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy.” A relationship between a spiritual father and a son/daughter is birthed by God, and there is a true heart connection. It is this heart relationship that provides the context for a spiritual fathering dynamic. June 17, 2018 . In the presence of your wife and children, you can open the Bible for ten or fifteen minutes each night, explaining and applying what you’ve read, and then walk the talk. The quest of the Spiritual Warrior is the same as spiritual seekers around the world. Even as believers, it is possible to be a biological father but not a spiritual father to one’s children. I hope, by God’s grace, to equip and motivate biological fathers to gladly assume the responsibility and privilege of being their children’s spiritual fathers. A Spiritual Father Sets An Example For His Children: 4:16-17. You are only in the relationship to enjoy the benefits of being attached to your spiritual father. It is a privilege to pass on the blessing of God. Paul sometimes referred to himself in a fathering-type of role, and he articulated certain characteristics he exhibited toward those to whom he ministered. This is not the biblical ideal. If born again, we want to be both the biological and spiritual fathers of our children. Please consider this request from John Piper and become a monthly partner by December 31. He is the author of seven books, including. I was converted at age 22. First, God the Father is an affectionate disciplinarian, and so are the spiritual fathers who imitate him. Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, and the apostle Paul did the same. Since God was an eternal Father when man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26, 27), he was given the potential role of father to earthly children. Qualities of a True Spiritual Father The Holy Elder Philotheos (Zervakos) points out the qualities of the good Confessor or Spiritual Father using St. Arsenios of Paros (1800-1877) as his exemplar. I have cried over spiritual sons and daughters. But as I consider the blessings, I am also reminded of the responsibilities. B illy Graham once said: “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”. Characteristics of Fathering Leaders. This critical point is that you are not a spiritual father just because of your mature characteristics and deep relationship with the “I AM. I am suggesting that they effectively teach their children from the Bible, and then sincerely attempt to walk it out. 3. One result of the gospel in man’s life is that a biological father will also be his children’s spiritual father. It is the byproduct of a lifetime of spiritual, mental sweat. Writing Letters Spiritual Vitality Strong People Spiritual Maturity From The Beginning Virtues Of Young People Man's Authority Over The Devil Maturity Fathers Responsibilities I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. . But this distinction Paul was exhorting Timothy not to be afraid, but to be bold in his calling, trusting in God for His help. In the early days of the church—with few models to follow—people needed spiritual mothers and fathers to teach them how to be Christians. There are so many more characteristics of a faithful Christian leader that I could list here. On Father’s Day, much of the world takes the time to appreciate the work of good fathers. May God raise up many spiritual fathers and mothers in our time! 1. Come listen to Mary and Elizabeth marvel at the miracles being birthed within them. None had biological children, and yet ironically God’s people called them “father.”. Without love, a father is only a relative of a child. He’s a … We’re on a mission to change that. 9 Qualities Of A Good Father 1. The Qualities of a Godly Father Mark 5: 21-24; 35-43 Today is a special day for many of the men here. Trust him, and he will act. I have experienced the heart connection and tears that are involved in these types of relationships. Sons honor their father. Although he was not my biological father, he was a spiritual father for me. Spiritual fathers/mothers are differentiated. Therefore, although single and childless, Elijah and Elisha raised children from the dead (1 Kings 17:17–24; 2 Kings 4). If you treat your wife disrespectfully, apologize to her in front of your children. Neither should faithful single mothers be discouraged. Even though we live in a fallen world, and we often fall short of this ideal, let us labor wholeheartedly toward this end. Spiritual fathering is the major leadership method for building the body of Christ. While not exhaustive, I believe that 2 Timothy 1:1-7 gives us a blueprint for many of these attributes (All of these could apply to mothers as well). The truth is the exact opposite. 2. Many think humble people are weak and passive. God taught and then modeled in his Son. Spiritual father's enjoy spending time with their sons not … Each was single. This is especially important in spiritual things like family prayer, Bible study, church attendance, and discussions about spiritual things. A father might do everything right, and yet despite this, one of his children never relates to him as a spiritual father. A father's primary goal is to make the son successful in knowing the Lord, and fulfilling the call of God on the son's life. So how are fathers able to bring people to maturity? And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers . Humility is a byproduct of great faith, and faith always acts. Today has been set aside to honor fathers. I can’t quite explain it, except that it is a deep bond that cannot be forced; God brings it about. They “knew” God the Father and imitated him. We must find our ultimate security and identity in Him. We look through Jesus to see God the Father (John 14:9). God provides to a father that which He desires imparted to the son. Two pregnancies tell the story of Christmas. In the same way, spiritual fathers initiate. As my father did not share my faith, it was difficult to go to him for spiritual advice. It is often the voice of a father that people are lacking. This principle is also crucial to leadership in local churches. While not exhaustive, I believe that 2 Timothy 1:1-7 gives us a blueprint for many of these attributes (All of … Be imitators of me: In context, this must refer back to Paul’s description of himself and his ministry in 4:8-13. Whether standing in the synagogue or picking wheat along the path, interacting with the Father was so natural that others around Him could not help but do the same. Elijah, Elisha, John the Baptist, and Paul are examples. But like Paul to Timothy, God will often use spiritual fathers and mothers to reveal Himself to us, encourage us, and lead us in our walk. Even as believers, it is possible to be a biological father but not a spiritual father to one’s children. In the words of Revelation 3:18, “wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” A humble man has no illusions about this. Through his disciple, Elisha, God judged Gehazzi’s greed. ‘Teknon’ stresses the new spiritual relationship of life we enjoy because of our acceptance of Christ as Saviour and Lord (e.g. How Long Should the Church Set Aside Essential Practices to Follow the Government’s COVID-19 Orders? As a consequence of their idolatry, he called down drought on Israel (1 Kings 17). If you discipline unjustly, ask that child to forgive you. God is the great initiator. Cast yourself upon his infinite mercies. Perhaps our prayers are the most important thing that we can give to those whom we disciple, mentor, and walk with. Julian Marcus. When that void is filled, sons and daughters have the confidence and security to step out into the areas God is calling them. Healthy spiritual fathers want to impart and empower others to walk in their gifts and calling. The effect of these three dimensions — discipline coupled with affection, teaching modeled with sincerity, and humility that initiates — is magnetic. This means he will compensate for the absence of a biological father. He told him to stir up the gifts of God, and then reminded him that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). He joyfully lives by grace, not his virtues. God is treating you as sons. Fathers instill character development in kids The spiritual father will pour out knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, and blessing to the son. He unveils the Father to us. We become his children, and he becomes our Father. In fact, God sent John the Baptist “in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children” (Luke 1:17). There is No Substitute for the Secret Place, You Can Extend Forgiveness and Maintain Boundaries at the Same Time. Today, I think of him with fondness and gratitude. Turn in your Bible, if you will, to 1 Corinthians chapter 4 as we look to our study for this morning. In the same way, Paul spoke eloquently of his affection for the churches he planted (Philippians 1:8). (This attitude of Paul can be seen clearly in 1 Thessalonians 2:8). A Loving Father. Shares. God the Father is a combination of humility and initiative. God is preeminently a father. He said that he thanked God for him and told him that “without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day” (2 Timothy 1:3). In the same way, Elijah disciplined Israel. Malachi 4:10 . If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. He disciplines the children that he loves. As God has brought spiritual fathers into my life, and as I have begun to step into a fathering role, I am beginning to see some characteristics that mark spiritual fathers. As you study these ten characteristics of Jesus Christ and try to develop them, you will be able to find true happiness and peace. C.S. But we must start with the father simply being present. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Ten Characteristics of Jesus Christ and How to Develop Them Jesus taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). This month’s faith lesson provides the perfect opportunity for you to talk with your teen about fatherhood — what it is and what it can be when we see the heavenly Father as our model. “Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9). Pastors and all mature leaders in the body of Christ should first and foremost function as spiritual fathers that can nurture younger believers (1 John 2:12-14). Then, then, according to his ability, he helps them to obtain it. Anyone can be a dad, but it takes a special man to be a father. This is not the biblical ideal. Share Tweet Flip. They don’t get entangled in the immature behavior of others. Here we need to rest in the mystery of God’s sovereignty. A happy home means both parents take initiative, whether running the household or caring for the kids. Being a spiritual father involves encouraging, coaching, and correcting when needed. “For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:5). Discipline without affection can be tyrannical. Sometimes we can look to spiritual fathers but we do … A father not only goes with you into battle, he leads the way (Joshua 1:5-9). They live in Spokane, Washington. He is at peace with his God and his circumstances. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Humility is the ability to see myself as I really am apart from gospel-grace. A father is always around through thick and thin. Through his walk with God, a spiritual father imparts wisdom to his spiritual son. There are many qualities of a good Christian father that we can find in the Bible. When new people come into the church, they intuitively yearn for spiritual … Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. 10 Traits of a Great Father Traits That Separate a Great Dad from a Good One. A Father Gives Life to His Children. (Hebrews 12:7–8). God called himself a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). Today, I think of him with fondness and gratitude. If you are a spiritual son and you have been only receiving but have never given back, then you are not a true son. There is a cry for spiritual fathers and mothers in today’s church; men and women who will invest in others sacrificially, with no strings attached. As a spiritual father to Timothy, Paul consistently prayed for him. He disciplined and loved me. He is protective: A good dad protects his kids by drawing clear boundaries, considers their best interests, talks to them about things they should be aware of and puts things in place. Maybe you feel like you're not a good enough Christian to be an effective spiritual equipper. God is a Father to the fatherless. Just as I pray for my natural children on a daily basis, I have a burden to pray for those who are spiritual children on a regular basis. Capable elders begin by becoming spiritual fathers to their children. Spiritual Fathers are brave enough to know that God has called them for a holy calling, a righteous purpose to raise sons and strengthen daughters. Here are five important qualities of a Christian father. They do this because this is what our Heavenly Father does. It turns biological fathers into spiritual fathers, and like fillings to a magnet, children are attracted. A father does not forsake you when you fail or leave you when disagreements arise. 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