My friends, Entaune and Candice Tyson just had a beautiful little baby, Timothy Calvin Tyson! When they posted their pic on FB, I responded, “Congratulations you two! Welcome to parenting!”
Every responsible parent dreams, at the birth of their child, of a healthy, happy child that grows one day into a well-adjusted, productive, successful adult. When that baby comes the hard work of parenting begins! First diapers and regular feedings. The slightest whimper will bring an immediate response. Then it’s teething! Later comforting and caring for scrapes and cuts and tear-filled eyes. Later comes the first day of school and then report cards… Then it’s soccer practice. And what can I say about the teen years – perhaps “survival” (a lot of prayer) and “celebration!” College comes with a degree of growing independence (except when there’s a need for dad and mom’s checkbook)! … Then the choice of a spouse… all of it a part of parenting!!! And for Christian parents, all along the way a lot of prayer, guidance, nurturing and counsel… hours and hours of concern and work willingly given!
Thought about all of that this morning as I read these words from a premiere “spiritual parent” this morning…
“The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, THAT WE MAY PRESENT EVERYONE MATURE IN CHRIST. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:26–29 ESV)
As someone who has served as a “pastor” for many years, let me tell you those words describe it – the role of a Spiritual parent – Spiritual “fathers” and “mothers” in the faith! Not all of the people who do it have the title of “pastor” either! Many are simply caring fellow Christians who invest hours, prayers, and untiring effort in helping “babes in Christ” grow up and become “mature in Christ!” And it’s worth all the effort too!
So if you’re fulfilling that role in someone’s life… God bless you (and strengthen you)! And if you’ve got someone who is fulling that role in your life, why not pause right now and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God that they’re in your life… and let them know personally how much they mean to you!