Mothering without Fathering


My busy week of travel has certainly truncated the flow of words in the direction of any blogs.  However, on planes and in airports, I did managed to whack out a rough draft of a newsletter which the team has lovingly cared for until it is about ready to show its face.

I tackle an old and a new situation, using a different grid than I have in the past.  I would be interested in hearing feedback from you as to whether my word pictures made sense and how you see it from your side of the table.

So fire away in the comment section.

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49 Responses to Mothering without Fathering

  1. Kerry says:

    I found the article about mothering and fathering to be quite alarming, and – all wet. It is alarming to me to learn that you have modeled a training program from those thoughts. Forgive the bluntness. I do not buy into the notion that enabling is a mothering role, and empowering is a fathering role. Both parents are involved in both healthy enabling and empowering. Both parents are involved in the training that begins the empowering process. Further, you make fathers out to be harsh – supposedly a good thing. A man of substance is indeed unyielding, but a man of God walks in the character of God, one that loves. Leave it to marine drill seargents to be harsh, but a dad will always take steps to preserve his son, as best possible. The father’s ongoing role is as an advocate for a son or daughter’s destiny. You dismiss the need for validation by a father. You have to have your dad tell you that you have it right, lest you be lost in the sea of uncertainty. You are not a man until your father tells you so. It is the father’s role to give frank feedback Sure, there comes a time when a son needs to be able to assess such things for themselves, but that is not a toss into the lake to sink or swim. Those critical thinking skills are taught by fathers.

    We need a whole lot better images than these in order to be fathers in a fatherless generation – something I think elders of the church are oblidged to do for the world. Above all, the love of Our Father is in the forefront – to train, to correct, and yes – to press us beyond where we would want to go.

    I absolutely share your concern that entitlement and enabling prevelance in our culture is a big problem in both the church and western secular culture. I agree that fathers are a key. We the church simply must empower individuals to think and act for themselves, and to be active in the pursuit of individual destiny. But we can not use sterotypes from the 50’s to do that. We each need to step into authenticity, and we need to press heaven for models of fathering that far exceed anything mankind has experienced to date.

    Like

  2. Mike Corbin says:

    ******************************************************

    1) Theft
    It is quite amazing how often I receive a check in the mail saying someone copied an album without permission for a friend, and now they wanted to make a donation to cover it.

    Try taking something from Wal-Mart without paying for it, but with the intention of paying them a couple of weeks later, and see what they think of your explanation.

    ********************************************************

    So let me see if I understand this? God has built a system for you whereby people who are introduced to “Arthur Burk” and “Sapphire Leadership Group” for the first time are part of a system HE designed to return to you and your business the resources they aquired from you through unorthodox means.

    So to go one step further … there are people who are part of a “system” where one buys and shares with another and then somehow you receive compensation for the “shared” item in a total random roundabout fashion?

    AND YOU RESENT IT

    Sounds like a nice problem to have and one that you can in no way compare to Wal-mart.

    I would be very surprised if Wal-mart receives any envelopes stuffed with money from people who have walked out of their store with something. They go through a legal process thats costly to make the situation whole that eventually leads to consequences for the guilty party and the final scenario – which you have not recognized – the legal decision the guilty party faces regarding what to do with the product in question …. 1) pay for the product or 2) return it.

    Like

    • Arthur Burk says:

      Yes, Mike. It is wrong. It is not about the money. I learned long ago that my income comes from the Lord, not from man. There are two other issues.

      The first is embracing the attitude that lawlessness is legitimate as long as no one is hurt. Absolutes are absolutes. This mindset of “it is only wrong if someone gets hurt” is pervasive throughout the Body of Christ and it is a dangerous theology. Situational ethics is what we used to call it in the 60s.

      Second, there is the whole loss of spiritual authority while trying to gain spiritual authority. You violate boundaries, and you lose spiritual authority. (See Moabite Curse). So people are trying to help other people improve the quality of their spiritual life by helping them damage the quality of their spiritual life through violating boundaries? Not going to work.

      I receive calls all the time from people who have done this renunciation or that one, and not seen any change in their lives, and are upset. I probe about lifestyle issues and they get all defensive and reactionary. Yet the heart and soul of Christianity is how we live, not what demons we resist.

      Yet routinely people resist the demonic with their words, when they have invited him in with their actions. Doesn’t work.

      The simple fact is that copyright law is clear, universal, and has been around for a long time. The fact that there is wholesale violation of that law by Christians and non-Christians alike does not make it less of a spiritual issue.

      Like

      • Mike Corbin says:

        Do you want them returned?

        Like

        • Arthur Burk says:

          Not a bit, Mike. Let me say again, this is not about money. We would never sell used product, or pirated. Let’s take it from the top.

          Fred makes pirated copies. In so doing, he loses authority by violating boundaries and the Kingdom is affected slightly since he is now less useful and more vulnerable to attack.

          He then sends me some money in order to “pay” for the offense without repentance. He now adds self-righteousness to the equation, furthering his limitations.

          So I am sad that the Kingdom is affected by someone’s wrong choices.

          Take plan B. Fred pirates copies, comes under conviction and write to tell me he is sorry and ask what restitution he should make.

          I write back (this has happened on half a dozen occasions) immediately accept his confession and commitment not to do it again, release him of all guilt, decline restitution since it is not about restitution, and the Kingdom is a better place because the spiritual climate around the man has not only been resolved, by improved by his repentance, confession and release.

          It is not about my materials, or my income. It is about the spiritual damage done to people by those who set themselves above the law, and then justify it.

          Like

  3. Thank you, Arthur. The newsletter article gives me understanding of how you have dealt with me, using either firmness or encouragement. I was especially challenged to see more in one of your responses to a reader about how God knows what we need and when, mothering or fathering. I have felt lately that He is working a cycle of fathering – expecting more from me with what I’ve been given, and I’ve found myself more encouraged to push forward when faced with a challenge. At the same time, I confess I want the mothering. I want the “feel good” hug, but I want transformation even more.

    There are days where everything is hard and instead of wallowing in it or binding up the supposed enemy or calling someone for prayer, I find this strength wants to rise up and claim truth and endure. Not an easy training ground, but a good one I hope. Thank you for being willing to give us what we need even if we can’t see it. Blessings to you.

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  4. Joyce says:

    I enjoyed this article very much and the truth of it resonates within me. I was one of those who attempted the training course and failed miserably. I was thinking that I needed someone to partner with who could keep me accountable, but then I read this in your article regarding West Point:

    “Although it is a very demanding environment, they train the teachers and upper classmen not to offer verbal affirmation to the younger classmen. Their reason for this it to unpack a vital component of their design: the ability to find joy in a job well done.

    So many people don’t know how to experience that. From the time we learn to walk, we are looking to other people for a verbal or at least a visual affirmation. We develop the portion of our identity and our brain that allows us to thrive when people celebrate us.

    But West Point understands that true leadership involves doing superlative work when no one is looking. Therefore they force (in a fathering style) the cadets to do exceptionally well, to know they have done an exceptional job, and to find all their fulfillment in that fact, with no outside support.

    All of us have the brain and soul software required not to need affirmation. Because we live in a feedback crazed society, few people have been fathered enough to unpack that resource which they DO have.”

    So for those of us who have not yet developed this portion of our brain, do you have any suggestions for doing just that? Is it just plain old discipline? Try harder? Flounder until you come up with a system that works for you? At West Point, when they did complete certain assignment/tasks, did they not receive some kind of external reward (even though they received no verbal affirmation) such as a grade, a degree, etc.? That kind of environment would be easier for me than doing it solo. But if you are saying our brain can develop to this point, I would love to hear any thoughts about how to unpack that resource.

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Quick question, Joyce: do you broadly experience the sensation of pleasure? When you have a hot drink on a cold day, or a fun phone call, or a great book, do you feel the emotion of pleasure?

      Like

      • Joyce says:

        Would that be the same as savoring the moment? No, I don’t think so. Maybe more than I used to. Honestly, I’m not sure.

        Like

  5. Elise says:

    No need to feel sorry – its just fathering, I believe. Thanks for pointing me to Matthew 23. It narrows the frame of reference for me to understand. I will look into it and get back to you. And thanks for seeing the courage. Two very dear friends have spent the last two years fathering and mothering me and helping me to unpack – both the good and the bad. I have worked hard to unpack the stored resentment toward the many spiritual authority figures that you referenced. I discovered that while I held onto that resentment, those authority figures continued to show up in my life and blatantly steal, kill, and destroy various aspects of my life. But now that most of the resentment has been unpacked and as Iwork to unpack the remainder, I find that authority figures are much more life giving.

    I’m sorry that my initial comment communicated accusation. My questions were for clarification purposes. I have worked hard to remove resentment from my life and was surprised when it seemed to be an acceptable attribute. I could very easily be wrong – so I asked. Maybe resentment is along the lines of alcohol: for some it is wrong and others have freedom, but neither should judge the other.

    I’ll look into Matthew 23 – and thanks for fathering!

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  6. Grace says:

    I found the articles on mothering/fathering very good. It’s a very useful picture to describe God’s dealings with us, as well as how we treat each other. Mothering comes more naturally for me, and my teenage son is pushing me to grow my fathering skills too, since his resistance is high. How do you apply the pressure successfully to someone who doesn’t want to unpack?

    I also loved the application of mothering/fathering to the trend of people leaving the institutional church! You gave more words to clearly describe the process many of us have been through–learning to walk out our faith without being spoonfed and coddled. It’s a great way to explain “growing up.” I’ll be pondering this all for awhile.

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      The first thing you do is to stop buffering a teen from the consequences of their wrong choices. Life has a pretty good way of briskly fathering a child.

      Second, you begin to withdraw some of their rights and impose responsibility.

      When I was 12, my mom stopped cooking dinner for the family. My sister and I had to take turns cooking. We learned a lot of basics, but quickly began to find within us what kind of cooking we enjoyed.

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  7. Elise says:

    Maybe, like my dictionary, I’ve become too old. In it, Webster defines resent as to feel or show resentment. Then he defines resentment as indignant displeasure mingled with animosity excited by a sense of affront or personal injury. He also gives the synonyms of enmity, bitterness, hatred, ill-will, and malignity. And resentful is defined as being full of resentment or inclined to resent.

    As promised, for the last three days I’ve thought about and studied the concept of Christ being resentful toward the religious leaders of His day and the possibility that as a follower of Christ, I/we have the freedom to resent others also. My preliminary conclusion is that He did not resent or harbor resentment and we should not either. One other thought did cross my mind, though. Could the continued theft of the intellectual property be linked to the continued resentment harbored by the one who owns the copyright of that property? You mentioned fielding so many emails from people who are blatantly lawless yet are amazed that their lives are not being blessed. Could there be a correlation between resentment and the continued, blatant theft?

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Sorry, Elise. I am going to push back on your comment that Jesus did not show resentment. Where do you put Matthew 23 with the savage assault on the Jewish religious leaders? That is well beyond resentment and would certainly qualify as the “venom” you accused me of in the first round of this. There are many other passages where He went out of His way to slam the people who overtly opposed His sharing the truth with those who wanted it — and they understood that He was slamming them. See Matt. 21:33ff for example.

      What to me is glorious about chapter 23 is that He could hold both fury and compassion in the same moment. At the end of the chapter, after a vicious denunciation, He switched to compassion and shared the other part of his heart which we deep grief over what people were doing to themselves.

      I share that too. People who systematically sin again me, are actually hurting themselves much more than they could ever hurt me, and when they call and are in pain over the mess in their lives, I can usually find much more compassion in my heart than condemnation.

      By the way, go to the head of the class in terms of courage to stay in the conversation. Considering how many authority figures have trashed you over the years, I know it takes uncommon courage for you to take me on in the public forum. Well done!! I am proud of you. You have certainly come a long way!!!

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  8. Christie says:

    I LOVED the resentment part of the newsletter!! Unapologetic/strong opinions are so rare these days. The honesty was admirable. I’m kind of tired of our super-sensitive/p.c society.

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  9. Marié says:

    Where can I read Mothering without Fathering. I’ve tried to understand what everybody above talk about, but am not sure. I’m ‘new’ in your teachings and love the way you teach – Abba is pressing my heart to pray for the non-existing fathering to be restored (after I listened to your teaching about that). It’s cool that you’re replying to everyone’s ‘reply’ 🙂 I’m excited to read more… Blessings Arthur.

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  10. Jane says:

    After beating myself up because I’ve taken sooooo long to almost complete 3 lessons of Sapphire Training (nearly there), I’m thrilled to be in the 5%. They made my brain bleed, but the ROI has been huge. I’m becoming who God made me to be. The freedom is fantastic.
    The mothering and fathering pictures work very well for me. Thank you for a wonderful article.

    Like

    • Arthur Burk says:

      Jane, I am delighted to free you from your guilt. Those who go the slowest go the farthest because they are allowing God to work in their lives. Can you do me a favor and post a comment with some of the ROI, if it is not too personal? Specifically, what is it like for you to be unpacked instead of just taught?

      Like

      • Jane says:

        A pleasure to have the opportunity to give back! The most significant ROI has come from discovering that I am RG Mercy (under a pile of junk) and not Exhorter (pretend to be who people might like). Because the process was so different in discovering my design, I could allow God to speak to me in a safe place. Consequently, when I reflected on what I had unpacked, my Mercy gift hit me between my eyes and gave me instant freedom and legitimacy. Instead of looking at a list of could be’s (horses, ducks etc) and trying to match it to who I thought I might be, I discovered who I was FIRST (just me and God in a spirit connection, not soul analysis). It freed me from who I am not, to be who I am. It allowed me to separate God’s design from woundedness. This was just the beginning. From this departure point of legitimacy I can REALLY trust God, as opposed to dancing around what I thought He might like. I am walking in third level synchronisation, not trying to second guess around every corner, and I am quite secure in God’s process with me, no longer anxious, apologising, feeling like I am wasting time. Thank you God, for growing Arthur up in the jungle. Thank you Arthur for being who God meant you to be.

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  11. Elizabeth says:

    Is there something in between mothering and fathering? I taught on the Redemptive Gifts a year ago. The concepts were entirely new to most of the congregation so my presentation was tailored to their level of understanding. I was aware that I needed to maintain a balance. On the one hand there is joy and healing in the process of finding out your design. On the other hand the challenges and battlefield for each gift seemed overwhelming to some of the people. I had to maintain a balance between mothering and fathering for the congregation as a whole, as well as for each individual, encouraging them about their potential, and at the same time, carrying a difficult message – to address various weaknesses and be overcomers. At the time it seemed like an art form – intertwining the mothering and fathering aspects, and presenting the challenges in such a way that the people would feel safe and be inspired to overcome.

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  12. June Olson says:

    I planned to write on the fathering mothering part of the newsletter that was pulling on my heart deeply. Yet the comments on the theft issue have me asking questions.

    I work with a group of people who routinely steal with alarming regularity. The regulars who know they are thieves will protest loudly when caught in the act. Most of these will quickly go right back to thieving. I once gave away books. The thieves crowded and bullied me until every book was gone. I’d been robbed in broad day light before a crowd, yet no one was arrested. After, I enlisted militant yet loving volunteers with low mercy to do my giveaways. They are strong and ruthless with the rule breakers. Joyous in giving, unapologetic with casting out a thief. As a result, more are able to receive.
    The events I do are now fun vs. a free for all of pushing and shoving.

    Still, after years of dealing with this thieving, I have felt at times a deep angry resentment, even with a sprinkling of hatred toward the offenders. Why must I find volunteers and a barricade to give away the smallest of things?

    Folks will often come and say- I need, I want, I hurt, I hunger….

    As I give, I may find out later the need was a ruse, a lie, a well crafted deception. Yet I am called to offer my best, even for a thief. How does one forgive, love, and serve someone who willfully steals, and likely intends to continue? I used to shut my eyes to it because it was too ugly and painful. Then I opened my eyes and started to feel fairly jaded, bitter and angry.

    But then I see some of me in there that has also stolen willfully with no remorse for a time, until God showed me the ugliness of this. If I could bear up under it, I’d love to go to each one, but doubt I could endure the shame.

    Now God of late is helping me see better. Some are going to die, or end up homeless, suffer pain…. as a direct result of choices they made. I can and will love them (most days). I can and will do my best to help. But I can not and will not– even on my most competant most spiritually tuned in day, take it all away.

    Sometimes I have to get angry and tell a person to leave, knowing they may be dead at some point soon, or gone from my sight forever, leaving me to wonder what became of them. Wondering if Jesus was in my anger.. did they see Him- feel Him? Was it right what I said to them?

    Do the two thieves on the cross represent this to us? Both are condemned to death for things they did wrong. Did these two men leave a trail of hurt and anger behind them? Did they leave famlies friends and aquaintances who suffered sorrow, shame and guilt for being angry with them? Did some say ah ha.. glad they are gone, they were bad men.

    Who saw as the one turns and believes when all seeming hope is lost? Who saw as the other remained hard and unyielding. Would anyone have guessed or known how this was going to play out?

    Jesus is available to them both as they suffered for their wrong doing. He is there for them until each took their last breath.. and after for the one.

    How do I keep from shaking my fist at all three due to my own inability to see what God is doing here?

    Like

    • Arthur Burk says:

      June, go to the head of the class for your transparency.

      What you have presented in your picture is the human role. People lie, cheat, steal, etc. You have to establish boundaries, etc.

      All true.

      And when we look too long at people, we get jaded, cynical and angry.

      Been there, done that, have the tee shirt, sweat shirt, coffee mug, screen saver, mouse pad and cell phone app.

      So my way of avoiding that trap is to focus on God in two areas. First of all is what God gives me. I take it out of the human context and put it in the conflict between God and His ancient enemy. The devil is committing to steal, kill and destroy. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father who does not change like shifting shadows. So I do inventory after someone has robbed me just to check the balance sheet. “Let’s see. This week, I am at +750 in terms of God gifts, and -12 in terms of devil thefts. Not quite bankrupt yet. I can definitely run another lap.”

      The second thing I do is ask the question, “What’s in it for God?” Remember from the story of Job that he had to get permission from God to penetrate the hedge of protection around Job. God gave permission because He had a bigger plan in store and in the end, it was one colossal mistake the devil made in running that play. How could he have known that this one would backfire and provide life, hope and profound theology to billions of people through the centuries of human history and that he would be a total laughing stock of mankind as well. Go god!

      So this week I was mugged in a very unusual situation. I have been in a lot of dangerous places and come out unscathed. This time I was in a very public place, in broad daylight and took a hit. So my logic trail was to figure out what was in it for God. As my companion and I disassembled the situation, a lot of evidence pointed to this being a piece of land where violence was common.

      Suddenly I realized that as a victim, I had the legal right to cleanse that land from not just the defilement caused by the violence against us, but also previous incidents there. (See the teaching “Tools for Cleansing Time and Land.”) So we did. God allowed us to suffer a small loss. The devil took a big loss as we took one of his strongholds away from him.

      The third thing I do is to celebrate all the things God has done throughout history with stolen goods of all kinds. I am passionate about not owning anything. The prayer which I learned from Paul Cox is “Lord Jesus, I transfer all that I am and all that I have to You, for You to be the owner and for me to only be the steward of Your goods. Now that You own these things, I ask you to consume all evil dominion from these things and to release your godly dominion over them.”

      So when something is stolen from me, I ask that the dominion of Christ continue to work through those possessions for whatever purposes He desires even though I am not longer stewarding them. And I see the wisdom of God manifest in this. I of course only know a few stories of the results of what is stolen from me.

      I know some people get in deep, deep trouble. God spanks them hard and long because they have touched something that belongs to Him. And there are other people who God blesses thoroughly because they have in their home something that belongs to Him. That is utterly His business since He owns the stuff and can do anything He wants with it, when I am no longer in charge of stewarding it.

      Only God knows whether they need a hug or a smack. So I let Him make that call.

      I still need to watch my boundaries, so I am a good steward of what He gave me, but if I am being reasonable about my boundaries, and He allows someone to steal anyway, I shift my view from looking at the people, to looking at my God.

      It is my antibiotic against the infection of bitterness or cynicism.

      Like

      • Ron Olding says:

        I needed to hear this , thanks . My anger level has gone alarmingly high over the theft of many things in my life but mainly the time and money to father my children and to deal with unsanctified mercy in their lives .

        Like

      • Teresa says:

        On this thread of theft –
        I have for many years felt “robbed” in a manner of being used by others –
        robbed of my resources in all areas financial, emotional, physical, intellectual, while trying to help others – this would leave me angry and critical of those I was trying to help.
        It has just been recently (a month) that Father finally revealed to me, after many tears and questioning of why I became so angry over helping – what He revealed was this….
        FALSE RESPONSIBILITY: in a sense too much mothering perhaps…. what these people who came to me needed was in fact not a mother but a father –
        Now when others come for help I ask “Father, is this my responsibility?” Sometimes we are not to be our brothers keeper – sometimes they need to do the hard work of “unpacking” on their own. This revelation, along with your “Mothering/Fathering” teachings has given me a new look on helping others without ending up used and angry.
        Thank you Father and thank you Arthur.

        Like

        • Arthur Burk says:

          This is captured quite nicely in Galatians 6 where it says in one verse we should bear one another’s burdens (mothering) and immediately thereafter that each person should bear their own burden (fathering). So yes, it is right to say no sometimes to hurting people who need to own their own stuff in order to unpack their treasures.

          Knowing the difference is the challenge.

          Like

        • Narola Grady says:

          All this discussion is a God gift to me from the Body of Christ. There is something so comforting in being part of an active learning curve about real life situations that I haven’t heard addressed within a church setting. I too have struggled with anger after others have taken advantage of me. This gives me new ways to look at those situations. THANK YOU, Arthur, and Fellow Plumbliners!

          Like

  13. Mimi Turner says:

    Arthur, I would like to thank you for your newsletter, and also for asking for feedback. You sparked my interest with the things you said about mothering and fathering. I realize I am much more of a nurturer/motherer, and was wondering if one could be both mother and father. However, as I continued to read I found my answer ~ Jesus! Of course He was both and did both perfectly. I know I will find what I need to become more balanced as I study His examples.

    I also have a confession to make: I am the 95%!

    I signed up for the Redemptive Prophet teaching in the SLT when it first became available, but never finished. I have also listened to every one of the CD’s you listed as resources.

    I don’t want to make excuses, but…I started a year-long Montessori Middle school teacher training shortly after signing up with your program, and got rather busy. I am also working an a Masters in Education now after homeschooling for many years.

    So, was all I’ve learned from you (and others, of course) transformational? Yep, I’d have to say it has been! 🙂 I would never have attempted this without all the healing/restoring/growing I’ve done these last few years. I don’t know that you would consider me a good ROI, but I do thank you for all I’ve learned from you.

    Oh, and btw–I am a Redemptive Teacher who NEVER wanted to be a “classroom” teacher. :))

    Like

    • Arthur Burk says:

      So Mimi, the issue is not whether you are fathered through my course, but whether you move through the process of being mothered to being fathered. I strongly suspect that you working on your advanced degree and your Montessori training will both significantly unpack who you are.

      So leave STC for another day. It is A card in your hand to unpack who you are, but hardly THE only card. God has thousands of ways to unpack us. My only point is that we have to do something, sometime in the progression. The timing and the tools will be different for each person. The need to receive both mothering and fathering is the only constant.

      And it is not a one time transition. God takes me through regular cycles. After a season of mothering, I can expect some fathering. Different flavors at different times. He is a Master at this.

      Like

      • Mimi Turner says:

        I have certainly been finding out lots of things about myself that I never had the opportunity to uncover before! But one of my greatest desires is to understand the RG’s deeply in order to understand my students better, and to help them unpack who they are, at least for the 2 years they are in my class (we do 7th and 8th grades together).

        Because a big part of our curriculum focuses on answering the question of “Who am I?” with instruction and personal reflection exercises, it is a huge open door for conveying the uniquenesses of the RG’s to each one.

        For example, one of our boys is an absolutely classic RT. He knows a lot of things about a lot of things, and was constantly correcting the other kids. I have been able to help him understand that his need for people to get the facts straight, or the way he gets completely lost in studying something and then is clueless about what is going on around him, is a part of his design. He has grown tremendously this year and is much more sure of himself, even becoming able to hold his comments to himself (usually).

        I am planning to come back SLT this summer, when I can work on at least the first one.

        Like

  14. Dana says:

    Interesting perspective on the two sides of parenting. I was able to track with your points in the newsletter just fine. However, I am currently listening to your teaching on “identity”, and in that you are correlating “belonging” to Father, “worth” to Jesus, and “competence” to Holy Spirit. Perhaps I am laying the Sozo, Father ladder concept on top of this, but the Father aspect of meeting needs seems to be what you are calling mothering in the newsletter. And the development of competence seems to be what you are calling fathering in the newsletter. I am not trying to split hairs at all. I get the point that on one hand there is provision, etc… and on the other productive pain. And even more to the point, I get it that productive pain is for our good. And it is helpful for me to think about it this way, for myself as well as for others I am “parenting”.

    Like

  15. Rosa says:

    Reading that newsletter made me feel so lopsided….and I am one of the 95% that dropped out of class…I thought I would continue once my life got off the speedway,however…..

    Like

  16. Caroline says:

    WAAH!….Reading your articles “Mothering & Fathering?” and “3 Things I Resent” had me looking reflexively for Mommy as I wanted her comforting hug to tell me I’m o.k., that God’s grace is sufficient for all of us “flabby” believers. You words are hard but, oh so true and on target. I must grow up. Your analogies makes clear this maturity process. In fact, I can now see the process happening in my life a lot clearer and will embrace them, discomforting as it will be. Thank you.
    I appreciate your efforts at fathering through your ministry. I see kindness through your soliciting feedback, your desire for discussion – engaging the other and not letting it just be a dictum. thanks.

    Like

  17. Carol says:

    Am I missing something? Your post is two paragraphs, without any discussion of mothering without fathering. Therefore, the follow on comments have left me really confused.

    Like

    • Arthur Burk says:

      In the two paragraphs, I mentioned the newsletter. This was designed to be a landing pad for those who have read the newsletter. If you have not, then I can certainly see why you would be confused.

      Like

  18. martan7 says:

    Sorry, about not posting my first name. I did love the newsletter. I have heard about Mothering(easy part) and the Fathering. But have not clearly understood the Fathering part until now. Thank you. I have loved to “listen” ever since teenager years. Now I have the next step to helping others. It sometimes takes increment steps, the “hard part”. I think tenacity is key for the long haul. Mary

    Like

  19. Kerrie says:

    Hi Arthur,

    I believe all this talk about your complaints is off topic of what you were asking for, but what I did see is your RP gift…our less realtional, more truth driven…
    Back on topic cuz I think I know how you feel about that too…
    I have someone in my life who was mothered but father died early and mama always came to the rescue. Plus I think they have the gift of mercy. Possibly a double whammy. Even down to the fact that mommy got him his 1st good/big job….It really makes it hard for him to do things on his own and he doesn’t carry a lot of responsibility. Work is pretty much his only one and doesn’t have good boundries with it either. Also hard for him to find/look for work outside his field. Did over a year and half with out work during bad economy. Definately not a do it get it done person.
    Looses/miss places things a lot; esp jackets wonder if that’s a mantle issue.
    Knowing about his mercy gift helps me identify with, understand him better.
    Often wonder if I’m enabling him. I think because of the mercy there can be shame issues too.
    I try to step back and let him deal with things on his own and push him to deal with consequences; trying to point out worst case scenerios which usually aren’t that bad.
    Love to have more “data” to know how to interact with him.
    I see the the entitlement factor in the occupy movement and feel like maybe they are the 2%; even though I agree with them on issues of corruption and that more light needs to be brought on Wall street and the govenrment.
    For me living the church building wasn’t so hard because of its state I had long ago learned to worship and feed myself. Its taken a few years but I finally getting a little community together and to find like me ones in my area.
    It has caused me to receive much teaching from Papa directly and I am sure He does a lot of Fathering of us unfathered ones; I think I was lacking on both fronts abandoned by mother and absentee father. While I can see how my mom would of been perfect mother for my free spirit. My step mother and her mercy gift could of had a postive affect on me. Either way God used it for his good and he knew I was able to overcome and I have much experience to use to minister/share the comfort I have received from God with others…
    I was a people pleaser to…I.d.in Christ has really helped with that and possible being out of the institution as you say.
    Think I’ve gone on enough.

    Love, Admiration, Comfort n Joy,
    Kerrie

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  20. Elise says:

    That makes sense – the disconnect between blatant lawlessness and lack of blessing. Also, I hadn’t ever thought of Christ being vehemently resentful.I’m have to ponder that for a while.

    I did go back and read the rest of the newsletter. I can see your point on mothering overload and the lack of fathering. I especially liked the West Point analogy. Personally, I’m going to focus on learning to find joy in a job well done without the approval of others. I can see how that one lesson has the potential to completely change my life. Thank you for sharing the West Point analogy!

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      I read about that in a very brief comment someone made. I would love to unpack it further. I absolutely believe that significant outside affirmation is vital for early childhood. I also like the West Point model for an aggressive leadership school.

      I wonder what it would look like in normal life. When does a parent dial back on affirming his kids? Not sure.

      For me it was brutal. I was a people pleaser in an awful way because of my legitimacy issues. When God allowed me to go through that season of being wildly assaulted by all the legitimate people, it stripped me of that obsession to look outside me for approval because looking outside me just reminded me of how many people thought I was junk.

      Though it was not fun, I realize how necessary it was to wean me from that bondage. Today, most of what I do, no one sees and no one affirms. Even though I got a gold medal in Olympic level whining while I was going through it, I would not trade the freedom I have today for anything.

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  21. Debra says:

    Not offended in the least. I felt you said what was on your heart, direct and to the point. No problem here with me, in fact *applause*. I enjoyed what you shared about the Bible Study concept of looking at the verbs in the context. Hadn’t ever thought of doing that. Opens up a whole new way of study. Enjoyed the article on Fathering too. By the way, I’m one in a million!

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  22. Elise says:

    I agree there is a world of difference between the premeditated and inadvertent or opportunistic sinner. Whether the sinner acts premeditatedly or opportunistically, does the victim have grounds to resent that vehemently? My reaction was not to the criticism, but the intense level of resentment that came through specifically in the Theft issue as well as the other two issues. The title summed it up – they are things you resent. The level of resentment startled me.

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Well, how much I should resent it I suppose is a discussion for theologians and psychologists to pontificate on for a long time. Underlying that is an amazement at the wholesale lack of integrity on the part of so many people who claim to be God-seekers. I field so many e-mails from people who are blatantly lawless yet who are amazed that their lives are not being blessed. The disconnect from reality is quite sad. Christ was quite a bit more vehement than I at the non-reality of the religious leaders of His day who said one thing and lived another.

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  23. Carita says:

    Thanks for that clarification. I also was misunderstanding the theft issue.

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  24. Peyton says:

    I was really excited to read the last three paragraphs of the newsletter. Indeed, “the King is vastly better positioned than the devil.” Those words are such a welcome relief from the constant (over-mothered?) moaning that things are so bad that Jesus’ return must be just around the corner. As if anything we do here could force Father to bring it all to a close! (Ludicrous image: God sitting on the Throne, head in hands, wailing, “Oh my Self, what am I going to do?”)

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Yup. I grew up with the basic theology that the world was going to wind down into debauchery and the last six Christians would be raptured out with a whimper. I have since revised my theology to bring it more in line with the Word. Even in the midst of the Babylonian exile, God was not powerless. Daniel and his buddies, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, Ezra, Zerubbabel, Esther and other stalwarts were all God’s defiant statement to the enemy that He was still in charge, and that He still had a plan, and He was investing in the future, while the devil was celebrating his supposed victory in the past.

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  25. Elise says:

    To be honest, I haven read that part of the newsletter yet. I was too startled and taken aback by the venom in “The Things that I Resent” column. Under the Theft category, are you saying that you resent it when people develop a conscience, actually confess to the crime, and pay for what they stole? That’s what it sounds like. Would you prefer that they disregard the conviction and keep the crime a secret so that it dont know about it and have no resentment toward them? Sure, they shouldn’t steal in the first place. But why resent it when they try to make it right?

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      No, I am not criticizing the people who repent after the fact. I am criticizing the people who from the very beginning plan to copy it now because they want to, and think they can make it right with a donation after the fact. There is a world of difference between what you are describing and active, premeditated choice to do wrong.

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