This post is for those spiritual fathers who have invested time and life into spiritual sons and daughters. Many of us have had great disappointments and frustrations at times over the low or no return on all that is invested in persons live. There is an expectation, and rightfully so, of a return on the investment. But many times we either do not see it or the return is slow in coming.
Coming from experience in this area there are several reasons a person does not seem to produce fruit with what we teach or invest. The lack of movement on a son or daughter is not due so much to a father teaching something wrong but what that son or daughter is willing to do with it. Many times we are looking for them, as the hope of a spiritual father, to excel in spiritual dynamics. We need to be realistic and ask if what is asked of them is within their potential? Is it out of their understanding or gifting? Or are they in rebellion or pride etc. Probably more than the lack of fulfillment of seeing sons or daughters excel is the heart ace of abandonment in relationship.
This has happened to me many times and as a spiritual father it is one of the most gut wrenching things that can happen to you. It is easy to say with words one thing but far different when words have to be backed by actions. In the relationship of those who did walk away I wish I could say they have been restored or the people went on to great things for God. But the majority of the time it is the opposite. I have seen those who walk away go backward in their walk with God. A lose of anointing and even spiritual understand seems to cloud them at times. Some ended up self deceived, while others became a part of worldliness again. When these things occur spiritual fathers reexamine what happened, why it happened and does a self examination of the relationship.
What we as spiritual fathers must realize is for every 1 that stops process or walks away there are 10 more desiring a chance of investment. Will we continue to mourn for the one when 10 more really want it? Jesus had multitudes following and it came down to 12. Paul had a great following but in the end only a handful stood with him. God always reduces things to what is most precious and valuable. Those that remain, though it seems unlikely, will be the ones to keep all things sustained.
I will leave you with this encouragement. I have seen some heartfelt repentance from sons and daughters who were at one time connected. Though it took years for God to work things in hearts the relationship was restored. This has to be the greatest joy a Spiritual father can experience as those who are prodigal and self orphaned request to be adopted again in fellowship.