Fathering, A Kingdom Norm
We begin with the assumption that each of us has access to spiritual fathering in the kingdom. That means fathering, though imperfect, is available because the kingdom has an imminent fathering spirit.
Pursuing a fathering leader means submission to discipling process best defined by the words Jesus used: “follow Me.”
Follow means you make yourself available to receive, on alert for what God will deliver to your life through a fathering leader. That means you honor that leader’s voice and prioritize the value of what you receive from that voice. That means you value the rebuke that voice injects into your core beliefs and behaviors to set priorities in synch with your personal purpose.
Follow means you prioritize the relational dynamics of your fathering leader in example and expectations.
As Clay Nash says, “If you honor my leadership, value what I value.”
You do what a father does. You say what a father says. Follow means, “The goal of discipling is to become like the One discipling you.”
To follow means to learn by training to live the leader’s strengths by enduring the process that transforms you inside out. That means the fathering leaders provide the resilience of will to endure by your conscious acceptance of Father’s will accessible by your submission to the fathering leader who partners with and represents the Father
Fathering occurs on several levels.
Paul fathered people he seldom saw through representative fathers who carried Paul’s heart and priorities. Paul fathered through reports and responses inspired by Holy Spirit. Paul identifies the highest of fathering occurs where the inheritor seeks the things that are of Christ more than the things that are of himself.
Pursuing starts with assignment and alignment.
Then, the effort to be present, engaged, informed comes by honoring the fathering leader’s life and message. The effort to engage is made by you once the relationship is established. A father may respond to your only on the level of your submission. Since an authentic father never recruits or controls, it is submission that sets the strength of the discipling process.
Pursuing also means you support the fathering leader financially according to the level of involvement that fathering leader has in your life, and the metron or measure of kingdom leadership that fathering leader provides—the more personal the fathering, the more honoring the response of the inheritor. Yet, at the same time, the value of a distant voice of greater metron requires some financial honor as well.
Pursuing a fathering leader means reading what he writes, ingesting what he teaches and preaches, valuing what he values, and minimizing the voices of other sources to that priority.
Allowing strangers or peers to speak more loudly means you are not sincerely pursuing a fathering leader. Listening to a beguiling wolf whisper after a father’s warning is refined rebellion.
Asking questions, making appeals, reporting thoroughly, finishing assignments with excellence of heart and detail, and embracing the pathos of discipline with endurance and joy are the marks of a maturing inheritor.
The feeling of mutuality is strong: you wish to honor the father who honors you with fathering interest and love.
However, the honor due to a father is unique to a father’s role in your life.
During training, fathering leaders train you to father those they are fathering. Without foundational submission, you will attempt to claim those inheritors and split the estate.
Having you practice fathering with a father is necessary.
Still, it becomes the most significant test of your honor to learn to represent a spiritual father trains you to represent the Father. You must be cured of any intention or motivation to do other than represent and partner with the Father with and through your spiritual father.
Pursing a father means to make his life joyful while he watches for your soul. If there is joy between you, there is submission underneath you.
Pursuing a father means appealing when you are frustrated but never offering a covenant-breaking ultimatum. That level of lawlessness will deaden your kingdom leaders and disqualify you from representing the Father.