Now, about “spiritual parenting”, what does the Bible teach about it? What does Jesus meant when He said “Do not call anyone here on earth your father?“. You should know that Jesus Christ was referring to “Spiritual Parenting”, He was referring to the same thing we now practice in the church today, that is, “spiritual father”, “spiritual mother”, He meant that none of these people can take the place of God or should take the place of God in your life, meaning that only the authority of God prevails in your life and not the authority of spiritual parents.
Note that there will always be spiritual parents just as there will always be physical parents, it is part of God’s Kingdom to have spiritual relationships that will look like father—son relationships, in fact, God Himself is linking believers together to establish such relationships as this but Jesus has already warned us ahead of time that when such relationships like this begin to exist, we must not confer the same Glory and honor that belongs to God on these people (no matter how much God has used them to help and bless us).
“Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Matthew 23:8-12 NLT
Also, it is important to note that Jesus was criticizing the religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) that were prevailing in his time, He (Jesus) knows that his ministry is going to raise up a new set of spiritual leaders for God’s people and that is why He was teaching them in this manner in order to set a new foundation for leadership in the Church
So, another way of interpreting what Jesus said is to say “Don’t let anyone call you Father except God has placed you in the church as a father to God’s people” and “Don’t let anyone call you teacher except God has set you as a teacher over His people”…
Before you start disagreeing with me, you need to look at what the Bible teaches, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. In the old testament, God made His prophets spiritual fathers over kings and rulers of lands and nations, there was an instance where the King of Israel called Elisha his father, also in the land of Babylon, Daniel was like a spiritual father before Nebuchadnezzar, in fact, this king bowed before Daniel. And in the New Testament, God set the apostles as both fathers and teachers to the body of Christ, Apostle John referred to the brethren as “little children”, he was calling them his children in the Lord, also, Apostle Paul referred to the brethren as the same and also called Timothy his son
Galatians 4: 19. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20. I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
???? That is Paul speaking
John 13: 33. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
????, Jesus used the same expression
1 John 2: 1. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
????, And this is Apostle John using the same expression and also acknowledging God the Father and Jesus Christ
In those days, the apostles usually see the souls that God used them to win to the Christian Faith as their spiritual children. Even as some of them didn’t get married nor have kids, they saw these souls they won and discipled as their children in the Lord
1 Timothy 1: 2. Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Timothy 1: 2.
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here, Paul referred to Timothy as his spiritual son and he still acknowledged God as the Father of the two of them. So, there’s nothing wrong with spiritual parenting if we put God where He belongs in our lives, and I believe this is what the Lord Jesus was trying to establish in his teaching in Matthew 23
As I said earlier, there will always be spiritual parenting, even if we stop calling certain spiritual leaders our fathers, that doesn’t change the fact that they are “fathers in the Faith”. I don’t need anyone to call me a spiritual father, in fact, I don’t even take pleasure in such title but I know that what I do in the Spirit and with my spirit can be likened to what real fathers do in the physical realm.
Of course, I’m not in support of the so called “spiritual fathers and mothers” we have out there who to me are not fathers but oppressors, slave masters and thieves. A real parent is such that lay down his life for the child and not the other way round, yes, children takes care of their parents but it is the parents who first took care of them and trained them and brought them up to who they have now become
So, I hope none of you is confused on this issue of spiritual parenting anymore?
The Lord bless you all. Amen.
©️ A. A. Emmanuel