But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
In light of Father’s Day last weekend, I was thinking about parenting our own children that God has given us, but also spiritual parenting. I feel like the phrase spiritual parenting has become too mystical and unattainable for people, so I just wanted to share some thoughts.
In the past few years, my husband has shared this revelation that has completely helped de-mysify this concept for me. He says, when do people become parents in life? Often in our 20s and 30s, WHEN WE ARE STILL FIGURING OUT LIFE FOR OURSELVES. Is anyone really that ready when we become parents? Not really, we just figure things out, as they come!
Yet a lot of people when we talk about spiritual parenting, feel disqualified and inadequate to mentor others, why? I think it’s because a lot of us are waiting to have most things figured out BEFORE we can begin mentoring others.
My husband says, “Maybe a spiritual father/mother is just one person who is willing to take responsibility to help another younger one…You don’t have to be old! We became parents in our mid-20’s”
Food for thought, huh?
When my husband and I became parents, we were 23 and 26, and we had NO CLUE what we were doing. But we loved our son, and for the sake of his life and well-being, we pulled ourselves together and figured parenting out! We are still figuring out how to parent our children, and 3 of them are now teens!
We have NOT done everything perfectly, but we do love them all deeply, we want them to know Jesus personally for themselves, and we want them each to walk in the FULLNESS of EVERYTHING God has for them.
We work with tons of of young adults and have been doing a lot of pre-marital counseling as a result. I love pre-marital counseling. You can read why here. But recently, I talked with a new friend who has been married about 4-5 years. She said she heard somewhere that a person shouldn’t pre-marital counsel until they have been married for over 10 years, but I probed her a bit on that because I disagree (and I have been married 16.5 years).
Of course, it’s nice to get a more seasoned couple’s input, but if someone has been happily married for 4-5 years, you have wisdom too! I mean, some people get divorced by that point in marriage…what has held your marriage together after 4-5 years? Don’t disqualify yourself. Some people’s marriages are falling apart at the one year mark, maybe you could help them!
My point in writing this is to encourage all of us to reconsider where these wrong concepts of spiritual fathering/mothering have come from and to step out. There are so many people longing for connection and guidance and wisdom from someone who is just a couple of steps ahead of them.
Body of Christ: reach out! We all need each other. None of us are perfect, but in community, I really believe we can help one another in tremendous ways. ❤
If you want to read more on this subject, I really enjoyed reading this blog post from Kris Vallotton. You can read it here.