The Concept of Personhood Helps with a Basic Sonship Definition. It explains what sonship identity is all about and gives you a path to emotional maturity.
The sonship definition I commonly like to use is a picture of the church coming to an understanding that our spiritual maturity cannot surpass our emotional maturity. An emotionally mature Christian boldly walks in sonship.
So what does a picture of emotional maturity look like?
Understanding personhood, our God identity, our sonship, gives us a path to follow. Let’s look into this a bit.
The Free Dictionary defines personhood as “the state or condition of being a person, especially having those qualities that confer distinct individuality.”
Personhood is simply my identity as a child of God, made in His image. It results in feeling totally comfortable in my own skin. It means living in a sense of legitimacy and dignity. When parents truly represent the love of their heavenly Father as nurturing, when they create a safe emotional environment, and when boundaries are respected, a person grows and develops a strong sense of their God identity. It is God’s undeniable love and Jesus’ work on the cross that make identity work.
Growing up in this type of environment causes sonship to develop in the child’s heart. Feeling loved and respected, and being allowed to be who they were created to be makes listening, submitting, and following a father figure easier.
The problem is that all of us — when trying to be “fathers” — have control issues at some level. It may be overt or passive: using anger and manipulative words, or using withdrawal and relationship cut-offs respectively. Control, by definition, is demeaning towards another and does not respect boundaries.
But when someone feels free to think what they think, feel what they feel, and to make their own choices and face the consequences therein, they grow and mature. This is how God relates to man. He is the perfect father. However, when mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual boundaries are crossed, shame is communicated and personhood is diminished.
True sonship occurs when spiritual growth happens and emotional maturity is produced. As we learn how much we are loved, even with all our blunders and mistakes, we grow and mature — our personhood develops. We become unique, individual beloved sons and daughters of God.