An Analogy: The Five Fold To Parenting
I believe the five fold is in each of us! We possess the ability to birth, to nurture care and develop, to teach, to bring life, and to oversee. This is most evident in parenting. No one ever realizing what parenting is until they are in it and faced with its challenges. One also doesn’t realize that parenting becomes a life long ambition though its roles may change with the aging of their children, but once a parent, always a parent. So it is also with the five fold.
Parenting doesn’t begin until there is a birth. Without a birth, there are no parents. You don’t even think like a parent until a birth occurs. The birthing process is a joy, but the work of parenting begins when you bring the newborn home and witness long hours without sleep, endless diaper changes, changes to your life style, your feeling of privacy, and trying to figure out who really controls your life, your children or yourself. Parental supervision implies the proper protection of those under your care.
Parenting becomes pastoral as the rest of their childhood lives are under your care to nurture, develop, and keep up with their developmental stages as they work toward maturing as an adult. This is when one realizes that parenting is a life long calling, a life long commitment.
Parents are natural teachers, because little children “imitate” their parent’s behavior. We learn best by experience. We say we will never “be like my mother/father”, but when we become parents we are shocked to see our parents in our life’s mirror of ourselves, because one of the most effective ways of being a parent is being taught to be one by example. That is usually why one puts away their wild single searching lives, hopefully not to be dug up by their children when they reach that stage in an effort to “settle down” and be responsible. Hopefully a “teachable” spirit can be instilled in a child through proper nurture, care, and above all earned respect by what we did as a parent.
Parenting requires a prophetic spirit, a spirit of bringing life into situations. Parents lay down the law, establish rules with their children, but unless they bring love and life into what can be teachable life situations children only remember the law, not the reason for laws to protect and bring life. You invest your “life” into your children to bring “life” in them. Cat Stevens song Cat In The Cradle exemplifies what happens when life is not invest in your children. They give back your investment in them when you are old and they take or don’t take care of you!
Parenting requires over sight. “Seeing over” what your children are doing is the key to their success. Parents need to know that their children are doing, thinking, and acting. If you ignore your children, then proper and effective parenting ceases. If you ignore a garden, weeds take over and the garden becomes nonproductive! When I first needed a username for my first email account as instructed by my tech-savvy children, I chose “popnozall”, for “pop knows all” so my children were aware that where ever they went on the internet or used the computer, pop would find out, because he knows all. They believed it when I had to practice it! Over sight, properly seeing over your children, is monumental in the proper growth and development of your children. Neglect proves disaster.
So it is with the Church! Spiritual parenting cannot begin without a birth, a new birth, a spiritual birth of one accepting Jesus as their savior, king, personal, hopefully, best friend, confidant, etc. Without a new birth, there is no need to parent. The pastoral role is the nurturing, caring, developing role of parenting, the day to day living out of one’s spiritual walk. Parents need help from their families in this walk, and what better family than the family of God, the Church, to aide in proper parenting spiritually and physically in everyday living! Although the Church can supply spiritual teaching, it is still the individual parent’s responsibility to teach their child how to read the Bible on their own, how to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, how to trust the Holy Spirit, how to walk out one’s faith journey, etc. by example, but the corporate body of Christ, the Church can aide in that walk. The Church should be prophetic, applying the living out of the principles that are taught. With out this prophetic spirit, this walking out physically what truth lies spiritually, there will be only limited spiritual life if a believer. The Church should also provide oversight, the “seeing over” what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of its children, its believers in Jesus.
So the five fold is natural in the parenting in life, and natural in the parenting spiritually. I will continue to challenge you and encourage you to embrace the five fold in your spiritual life and in the life of your church.