Family, Kingdom of Heaven, writing

The Turning of the Fathers


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Those of you who are fathers of sons may be able to confirm this via personal experience:

There is certainly a time that comes in any father/son relationship when the son becomes taller, stronger, more explosive, quicker, sharper, greater in libido, fitter and more enduring than the father.

This unique time in any family is a time of profound, unknowable significance for the enduring father/son relationship – and the whole family unit – as the potential risks of clashing, enmity and separation increase.

Will this timeless shift in kindred power be as God designs and intends with all His heart, or as the counterfeit accuser of the brethren hopes for it to be?

FIRSTLY, GOD’S WAY: a beautiful, budding harmony as the loving father/son bond matures and deepens with the fresh, overtaking vigour of the son being blessed and released by the secure, selfless, salty wisdom, and time-proven seasoning, of the father. A mutual, reciprocal blessing that showcases both the son’s honour and deference of the elder and the potent, paternal pleasure and delightful pride towards the son. The enduring vintage of familial lineage is the result of the father’s covenant-making and self-sacrifice for the son whose increasing prowess – unhindered – now becomes primarily used to follow and honour the training and love and adoration of the father himself.

SECONDLY, SATAN’S WAY: an increasingly discordant deterioration in the intimate, unconditional exchanges of affection between the father and son, instigated by the unresolved childishness of the father’s adult insecurity, inherited from his very own, from his very own, from his very own. (From. His. Very. Own.) A mutual divergence of kin that is more subconscious than planned, more default than design. The splintering and shattering of familial lineage is the result of the father’s hardened insecurity that ultimately causes him to turn away and amputate the spiritual umbilical, giving rise to jealous separation and full sway to an envious cycle of patriarchal clamour.

As regards to the Body of Christ on Earth – in specific terms of calling, vision and revelation – I believe we are in this twilight zone now where the sons of the kingdom of the coming King are overtaking the historical fathers of faithfulness.

Will the heart-rending, sky-splitting cry of the sons to the fathers, who are running the gauntlet of their own potential hardening, be met with grace and mercy and the curse-smashing turning back towards them?

Beloved, we are on the cusp of eternity with the commensurate danger of the fraying of the very generational bonds that are intended to see us through.

Let us pray Luke 1:17 on behalf of the Body of Christ:

“…and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Maranatha

8 Comments

  • The role of the spiritual father has been so terribly abused in my experience within the church. It has become basically “do what I say, and you have no say”. In the last 2 years I am just coming to see what a true Kingdom father looks like and the value of them.

      • Not long ago I worked in a school for First Nations children in Canada as a counsellor/therapist. The Social and moral problems on the “Native Reserves” where I worked were complex in etiology but showed themselves in very high rates of suicide, murder, sexual abuse of girls, teen pregnancy and destruction of property. One day I sat with a young boy of about 10 who told me he had spent the weekend with his dad whom he seldom saw. I was naively optimistic and replied eagerly, “what did you do with your dad?” “We broke into an old man’s house and beat him with a baseball bat and stole his TV.” His affect was flat and his eyes were dark. I felt suddenly chilled. I loved that boy and my heart broke. (It is still broken!) The trajectory for this child, if uninterrupted, is dismal. His future presence in the community will be destructive and he will likely end in federal prison or be killed in gang violence. I believe there is a God-given ache for loving and strong male attention and presence in every boy’s life. (Mothering is essential in other ways.) The absence of fathers is a big factor (I believe) behind the unbridled aggression and violence in the communities I have served. And in each successive ‘hungry-for-love and-strength’ generation of boys who never really grow up, the rendering pot boils hotter and the potency of bitter neglect and hate and anger grows exponentially. Likewise, I see the legitimate hunger for spiritual fathers in boys and men and the present emotional and spiritual crippling a sign of its lack. In the past year I have seen some stirring in the Christian men I know that encourages me. Perhaps Elijah is awakening?

  • What is the message of this post? The illustration – thoughtful on its own terms – is of a son’s changing relationship with a father, the contention being that the surpassing in strength and speed on the part of the son is repeated in every generation. But this piece is really be about the church or the Kingdom; the author is apparently content for the current generation to depart from the ‘historic fathers of faithfulness’ who are ‘running the gauntlet of their own potential hardening’ – in other words, not just immediate fathers, but the entire lineage of their spiritual ancestors. This is breathtakingly audacious. Is the author trashing two thousand years of church tradition? How can the author be so confident in their own rightness, and the misguidedness of those who walked before us?

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks for this.

      The point of the post is absolutely not as you have concluded but quite the opposite.

      If you read again you might be struck by lines that communicate the complimentary union of the wisdom (strength in its own right) of the father(s) with the physical elements and emergent development of the sons, as described.

      I am interested to know, however, especially given the two general responses of fathers to their sons, why it is you’ve taken such a strongly negative view on this?

      • Thanks for reply. I acknowledge that description (of ‘complimentary union’) in the fifth paragraph of the post. However, everything in the conclusion of the piece is negative towards the church: the ‘sons of the kingdom of the coming King are overtaking the historical fathers of faithfulness’; the ‘fathers … are running the gauntlet of their own potential hardening’. The older generation must show ‘grace and mercy and the curse-smashing turning back towards [the sons]’ (the fathers are under a curse?). Luke 1:17, quoted above, includes the phrase ‘turn the hearts of the fathers towards the children’; this is not a verse I would choose to illustrate a ‘complimentary union’ including the ‘wisdom … of the father(s)’.

      • You are of course entitled to your opinion, Richard. But it strikes me as very ironic that you would want to lurch to this interpretation rather than hearing what the post is actually saying which is not some kind of over-sixties overhaul of the Body of Christ (as though that was even desirable or possible) but, rather, a call for the fathers AND the sons to acknowledge a) their weaknesses and b) their God-given roles at this stage of history.

        Your initial comment was not to genuinely seek to glean what the post was seeking to express but rather overlay your offended pre-conceived reading…which, again, is ironic.

        What is more important than this (I suspect a complete waste of your time and mine) is that our podcast this week will be featuring a father from the first category in my post who has been led to repent over his part in the state of the Church that he has passed on to the sons.

        You can find that on our podcast from 6am on Friday morning, should you wish.

        Maranatha.

  • My comments posted under Richard Michell’s post were a general Response to your piece Nick. One story that comes to mind in response to Richard‘s comments . A number of years ago I attended a 20th anniversary celebrating the success of a TV ministry in Canada. The founder spoke and said that when they first began to take steps toward producing Christian television in Canada they were deeply insecure and prayed a lot and saw God’s surprising provision. However, he noted that the longer they “handled God’s stuff” the greater the tendency to “own” it and then guard it. He implied they had lost some of that initial desperation in seeking God that had been replaced with Pride and perhaps a more “slick” presentation. I wonder if church history bears a similar pattern. Initial desperation and hunger for truth, dissatisfaction with the stays quo, seeking God and a new radical obedience and rejection of the old stagnant form. Within One or two generations it may again become “set” as the form Is vacated by the Spirit of God. To me this repeated pattern calls for deep humility and repentance.

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