A Spiritual Father's Day Reading
The USA celebrated Father's Day on June 18. The following was read at Crosspointe Church in Largo, Florida on Father's Day reminding us all that there is a true and great need in our world not only for physically present men, but also for spiritually present men. We thank Missy Truong for writing it with excerpts from the National Center for Fathering. Also noted in the essay are statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and a quote by Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest.
In America, the US Census reports that over 24 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally and spiritually absent. If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic as worthy of attention as any national emergency. In fact, data proves fatherlessness is associated with almost every societal ill facing our country’s children.
There is a true and great need in our world not only for physically present men, but also for spiritually present men to fill the role of shepherd to a someone spiritually developing. These leaders are not men who applied for the position, or who are looking for a title or control. They may not even have biological children at all. These spiritual fathers are simply men who desire nothing but God, and who respond to His will.
Men, the task of a spiritual father is not to seek out wrongdoers and correct them, or to destroy their freedom, or even to suppress their personality. The task is to help someone see the truth for themselves and to enable them to discover their true self and grow to full maturity: to become who they really are. When a man leads someone in this quest, he becomes a spiritual father. You may be thinking this isn’t what you had in mind when you came to church today. This isn’t even something on your radar - to lead another person along their spiritual journey. It’s just not “you”. But the thing about spiritual fathers, is that they often aren’t revealed until they are needed by a spiritual child. There is a movement of the Spirit that leads your paths to cross and inspires a Divine appointment. And it is Christ’s own presence living within, that enables spiritual fathers to rise above the fear and weakness of feeling inadequate; and allows them to accept the challenge with gratitude and humility for the sake of God’s work.
Oswald Chambers put it this way: “...once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you ‘turn aside to the right hand or to the left’. We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has ‘laid hold of’ us”.
Men, we are called to fatherhood today, to the children God has guided into our presence. Let us continue to abide in the Vine so that we may speak the truth in love to those He brings to us. May we lead by our own example in every area of life.