A mentor, a coach, a man who fathers you in the Lord, much as Paul fathered Timothy. Someone you can count on, who loves you, who is for you. And someone who is willing to correct you when needed.
It's generally not a decision we make. And certainly not something we push on someone. Usually it happens naturally as God uses a brother to disciple you, or as a relationship develops with a younger believer. It's much more common in the Hispanic church. I became familiar with it working as a prison chaplain in Puerto Rico. Inmates who accepted Christ under my ministry started to call me their spiritual father. At first I didn’t attach much importance to it, but the relationships have lasted and deepened through the years.
It would be great if we all had spiritual fathers. Or godly earthly fathers. Unfortunately that's often not the case. I found that most men in prison never knew their fathers. We desperately need fathers today. My father died in 1978. He was a good, religious, man, but I felt like I never really knew him. I spent many years trying to find a father to fill that void.
If you are a spiritual father, I hope this site will encourage you. If you have the heart and maturity to be a spiritual father, there are many men who need you. Don't let your own insecurity keep you from reaching out and caring for a younger man. If you're longing for a spiritual father, pray that God would send someone your way. Don't be afraid to approach an older man and ask if he will mentor you (some men may be uncomfortable with the intimate sound of "spiritual father.")
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