So, I had to write an article for the Faith Matters section of the Agawam Advertiser. I had 3 days notice and was given the topic of Spiritual Fathering and Mothering. I took a brief “reflection” from our church enewsletter and expanded it. Let me know what you think…
Count Me In
Kerri Craig – Lighthouse Christian Center
Parents. Fathers. Mothers. What images do these words bring to your mind? What emotion is stirred up when you meditate on them? I am privileged to say that I had great parents. I grew up in a two-parent home knowing I was loved by both of them. Not perfectly, but with perfect intentions. I can say I don’t struggle overly much with identifying positively with God as a Father because of my father’s example.
Yet many do. Why? Because the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy has hatched plans against God’s greatest symbol of His love: F-A-M-I-L-Y. Whether by changing the definition of family, portraying fathers as irrelevant and unintelligent, telling moms the lie that daycares are just as good as they are, or that if having a child is an inconvenience it’s perfectly fine to choose to kill it. The lack of true family is a cancer that is killing our generation, and our nation.
Sociologists are now confirming that fathers not only play an indispensable role in the home, but also in the nation. Many of the problems we face in America today – drugs, welfare, teenage pregnancy – are directly related to the absence of fathers throughout the past several decades.
Fatherlessness is most destructive trend in our generation. The absence of fathers is linked to most social nightmares. Social scientists have made similar links between a father’s absence and his child’s likelihood of being a dropout, jobless, a drug addict, a suicide victim, mentally ill and a target of child sexual abuse. – “The Cry for Spiritual Fathers and Mothers” Larry Krieder ©2000
Family is one of God’s ways of revealing His nature; the Father’s heart protecting, providing, and helping us go further than we dreamed; balanced by the nurturing, comforting, encouraging, mothering side of God. Our parents are supposed to be the first ones to introduce us to God. When parents fail to do this, we lose a generation. Thankfully, God has placed men and women into our lives to take up those roles as Spiritual fathers and mothers, so that we can go to them to be nurtured, challenged, and mentored.
Do you want to be the change you want to see? Become a spiritual parent yourself. Reveal the character of Jesus, and you will draw others. What is the character of Christ? Open Genesis to Revelation and you’ll see it woven through all of the sacred scriptures. He is love, kindness, and patience, not jealous, not boastful, God keeps no record of wrongs, He never fails.
I want this. I need this. If this is what family can be, you can count me in. When people are about helping others just to see them do better and not for selfish purposes, count me in. When the church is truly about loving God and loving others, count me in.