“For though ye have 10000 instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel” (1 Cor. 4.15)
One of the most precious gifts God can bring into your life is a father in the faith, a spiritual faith. These gifts are very precious because they are so rare. There are so many teachers in the body of Christ, you can watch them all day on Christian TV, log in over the internet and listen to teachers all day long.
Paul when addressing the Corinthians is trying to let them realize this: many, many people will make an input into your life. But they are not your fathers.
I want to spend some time talking about spiritual fathers on this blog because many Christians come across as spiritual orphans, no confidence in who they are or what they are called to do. It’s because they are fatherless.
- A teacher cares about giving a good lesson
- A father cares about your total well-being
Because of this simple difference you will find there are not many fathers. Many preachers are far more concerned about what you think of their message than raising you up and loving you.
And the truth is most Christians are still carnal, ungrateful, selfish – and they need a spiritual father to lift them higher in their difficult walk in life.
I can find a thousand prophets, a thousand evangelists and a thousand pastors. But I have found few true fathers in my life. Truly there can be 10000 instructors, but only a few fathers. The true truth of a father is what he brings out in other people. The proof of a good father is his children.
It takes love, commitment and time to raise children. And in the end the only voice that will affirm you as a good father is the voice of your children.
If you look at Elijah, he was a father. He fathered Elisha. Both Elijah and Elisha were prophets, only Elijah was a father. Elisha had a spiritual son, Gehazi, and he cursed him for his issues with money. A true father doesn’t curse their son, especially his only son. The fathering spirit reaches into others and makes them like you. It brings a love that brings ignorant people into wisdom, lost people into family and hurting people into wholeness.
It takes love to raise a child and patience. I have 4 children, and children don’t understand their parents. They have a wrong perception of you until they mature. You have to love them anyway. You have to endure looking bad to do what is right to mature your children. It’s the same spiritually – you have to endure looking bad to do what is right to mature your children.
I thank God for the many teachers he has brought into my life, and the lessons they have taught me, and the points of doctrine they have helped me with. But I thank God more for the few fathers I have had who have invested love and patience with me when I did not deserve it and did not even know I needed it.
I have noticed that efficient and idealistic people, perfectionists, do not make good fathers. They don’t have grace. They insist on 100%, and people can’t give it all the time. Especially the immature.
Many people know I am a great teacher. Only some know I am a great father. May you find a father or two in this life. May you love and nurture and become a spiritual father to people yourself!