Spiritual Parenthood 101

I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.  For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you.  So I urge you to imitate me. -1 Corinthians 4:14-16 (NLT)

The Apostle Paul had given birth to the Church at Corinth, and now he was receiving reports that they were acting like petulent, spoiled children.  So, like any good father his actions were immediate and firm, to correct, rather than punish.  We have no evidence that Paul had biological children of his own.  We do know that he had many spiritual children, like Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2).  Through his ministry and mission the Lord had given him quite a brood of kids and he knew precisely that the role of a father is not only to love, but also to discipline.  Thats why he reminded his son, Timothy to, “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching (2 Timothy 4:2 NLT).”

As I continue to read Paul’s inspired writing, here is what occurs to me.  Even though we are and will remain the children of God, it is not His intended purpose for us to remain as little children.  Rather, as our own children will one day hopefully marry and have their own brood of children (and make us grandparents), we are to give birth to other children of God.  When we do this we need to learn to act as responsible parents, and the best way for us to do that is to model the example of our own Father.  Even Jesus, who was completely perfect in everyway reminded us, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does (John 5:19).”

Paul was not being arrogant or prideful when he sought to correct his Corinthian kids by saying, “…I urge you to imitate me.”  Later in his letter he would make this even clearer as he wrote, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).”  He knew who is his role model was and the results of his own upbringing.  He was being a good, responsible father working to raise more good, responsible parents.

So, here’s a few questions for us to consider:  (1)  Are we growing up into mature adults in Christ, or are we still acting like spoiled little kids?  (Remember, nobody likes being around brats!)  (2)  Are we prolific in bringing new borns into the Kingdom and the Bride of Christ?  (Pregnancies don’t happen from a distance, but only by intimately sharing!)  (3)  Are we the kind of parent that our spiritual kids can imulate and model?  (We can only model perfection by imitating the perfect, and our model can only be our Lord.)

Go make some Kingdom kids today…..and be a good parent!


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