Spiritual Children

‘To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (1 Timothy 1:2)

What will I see when I get to heaven? I am curious about what heaven will be like and the people I will meet there. I am sure I’ll see old friends and make new ones. I’ll see kids and adults running around, playing games, or just hanging, unhurried in the expanse of eternity. 

One thing I’m super curious about is how many spiritual children I’ll meet. These may be literal or figurative children: people of all ages that I have helped in some way, people I have prayed for or mentored, people I have discipled in the faith. 

One thing I’m super curious about is how many spiritual children I’ll meet.

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, refers to him as a ‘son in the faith’. It appears we can have children in the faith that are not our biological children, but that we raise in spiritual ways. Paul was only too glad to declare Timothy his son. This is a beautiful example of how members of God’s family can be bonded together without being biologically related. 

I wonder how many other spiritual children Paul has? 

Spiritual children may be people we have known all their lives, or perhaps we have spoken to them only once in passing. Perhaps we gave them money or a gift. Perhaps we didn’t even realise we were mentoring some of these children; perhaps only they were aware of it. 

Whatever the connection, God has brought such people into our lives in order that we may bless them, pouring spiritual wisdom and insight into their lives, prayerfully helping them to find and follow God. That makes them spiritual children. We are linked through Christ. 

God has brought such people into our lives so we may prayerfully help them find and follow God.

But these children do not ‘belong’ to us, like an earthly parent might think of their children as ‘belonging’ to them; we belong to each other as equals. And they may have more than one spiritual parent; I certainly have gained more than one spiritual mentor across the span of my short lifetime! 

In heaven, no one will be attached in quite the same way as on earth. Marriages will be subsumed by complete and total unification with God. Families will yield to God’s whole family, the body of Christ. Children will no longer be looked down on because of their age. In fact, children may teach us adults a thing or two! 

I am hoping that when I get to heaven, the term ‘childlessness’ will no longer apply to me. All the children of heaven will belong to all of us, and we’ll have spiritual children to care for and to teach. We may spend all of eternity passing on the wisdom we have gained, and learning from children too. 

I hope when I get to heaven, ‘childlessness’ will no longer apply to me.

What will I see in heaven? I am hoping to see many spiritual children, and I’ll spend eternity passing on my spiritual learnings for their benefit. 

Are you curious about heaven? Do you have any ‘spiritual children’, people you have mentored or discipled in the faith? What does it mean for you to spend eternity with God’s family? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

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