My understanding of relationship is first, the relationship of male and female. It is couched in what seems to be sexual or gender terms, but those two words go way beyond and much deeper than simply gender connection. They are more like the math symbols for the unity of the Godhead which they image. As such, they are rather generic, with broad application where connectedness is concerned.
Not too long after the removal of the female portion or side of the equation, we get the man-woman connection, and that leads to parent children connection, and that leads to sibling connection – and those are the relational facts of life. Life does not come in the form of, or reproduce as, undifferentiated brotherhood. “Brotherhood” may be relational on some level, but it was never intended to produce or reproduce life. For that you need the family package.
Jesus didn’t promise us “100 times” brotherhood, He promised us a 100 times family – Mark 10:29-30, but He made it conditional on a relational priority change. The Lord didn’t give Abraham a sibling. He gave Him a son – a son containing a SEED. Without relationship with a woman, that has no place to go unless of course you are sexually confused, and then we know it goes to a place that doesn’t produce life, but only old waste.
Why is it so difficult to grasp that this created, and reproducible life in the flesh is a parable of reproducible life in the Spirit?
My impression is that the flesh is so wounded early on due to the parental, or familial dysfunction of the flesh that it can’t manage to get that wounding to the cross where it is redeemed and changed into new life, “Except you come as a little child… (that for me means you come prior to the knowledge of good and evil which is the result of early woundedness) you shall not enter the kingdom of God.” Relationally wounded people are incapable of healthy relationships. They can only manage wounded codependencies. As long as we continue in not allowing The Lord to have His way with us, we remain in that unspiritual place. It is not pretty. :-/ More often than not it remains fixated on gender specific body parts, and so can’t make it to Spiritual relationship without the very strong possibility of moral failure. This was a big problem at Corinth.
The oneness that Jesus prayed and died for is just not possible unless we allow the lord to put us together in and by the Spirit, In short, we need to get beyond the shadow images of gender specific flesh. Does the Lord put brothers and sisters together gender specific, as well as gender neutral? Of course He does, but it needs to happen by the Spirit, and not by the doctrinal bondage of some kind of “new testament law” or relational buzz words used to bolster the latest cutting edge dog and pony shows. That is an oxymoron! Law is simply the “leaves” we continue to hide behind. It is the foundation stone of the relational bondage of systematic religion.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family¹ (or fatherhood² in heaven and on earth derives its name,” Ephesians 3:14, 15
The Father is looking for hoods, and that’s us. The same goes for all the other hoods, but we must never lose sight of the fact that He is the Father under the hood… What’s under your hood? :-)
What’s under the hood includes “El Shaddai, or “the Breasted One.” I’m not sure how He/She does that, all I can think of right at the moment is the answer of a Father to his son’s query: “Dad, how come men have nipples?” And the really anointed answer: “Just in case we need them.” Paul did, and so do we on occasion.
Well that took me to another fact of life, the one that makes sense out of “the first commandment with promise.” Parents get to do life a generation ahead of their children, and that positions them with life’s truth that the children need if they are not going to make the same mistakes their parents made. Seems to me they are still left with plenty of mistakes to make of their own.
The thing that makes this promise keepable are children who recognize and honor the wisdom of their parents, and pay attention to it. Siblings give each other a lot of really bad information. It’s perhaps just as bad as what children are getting from the media in our increasingly debauched culture. Sad to say this is true with the undifferentiated brotherhood doctrine that is presently running away with what’s left of “the house church movement.”
Perhaps this is as good a place as any to mention that “every fatherhood in heaven and on earth,” includes grandfatherhood. It is this season of life that the lessons of fatherhood have been tried and tested, qualifying grandfatherhood for the role as elders or overseers. Overseers need to be willing, 1 Peter 5:2. For some years now, my understanding of this willingness is first the willingness to stop being overdoers! It is very difficult to keep your eye on things if you are still caught up in the overdoing season of life. That’s the fathering season – the hands on season. The age of elders under the shadow Covenant gives us a clue into the the season of life of overseers or elders – 50 plus. (Numbers 4:3-47) Those under that age are the doers. Fifty is kind of old for fathering, but just about right for grandfathering – eldering – overseeing. :-)
¹/² The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater)
By Jay Ferris, originally posted February 18, 2012