office of sonship 

Please don’t take the  shortcut. The time invested will pay off! The smaller or larger your personhood, the smaller or larger the subsequent offices in your life will be. The more you can enjoy your joy, the greater degree will you have moving into the office of sonship.


When a father enjoys his sons/daughters enjoying their joy. When I as a parent recognize a piece of me in you, saying, ‘That’s my boy/girl! They got that from their daddy. They are a chip off the old block!’

That is the connection between the office of personhood and the office of sonship. Unlike the office of personhood, you cannot put yourself in the office of sonship. That is the foundational profound difference. It is the actual experience of someone enjoying you as you are enjoying your joy.


There is a natural desire for there to be a connection between father and son/daughter. A craving to be validated. This, however, may lead to a violation of our design. Areas in which we try to be like them; if a parent is a big sports fan, the temptation to follow in their footsteps at any cost, will cost you.  It just may be an area that will not bring you joy.

Many things you do enjoy may not get validation. No profound rejection nor massive excitement of ‘that’s my boy/girl. This can feel like a repudiating of your essence. A parents good response in being able to language, ‘this is what you have inherited from me, and I love seeing me in you,’ creates moments of putting you in the office of sonship.


What do you do when your parents did not put you in the office of sonship, especially knowing that children crave and need that validation from their parents? They will look for an authority figure to do that. ( a teacher, coach or pastor...) They know this isn’t mom or dad, but they matter in the vacuum of your parent's approval. This is not the same as being my father’s son or daughter, but it is a good substitute. This kind of approval can shape you immensely and be like water on desert land.


If you do not have authority figures filling  in the gap, there are always heroes. You may revere someone for the contribution made to society and identify with something from their design. This brings a likeness between you knowing if they knew me they would enjoy my joy because I enjoy their joy. This sense of connectedness brings you closer into the office of sonship.


You may next be drawn to a tribe that enjoys your joy like a sports team or hanging with fellow skateboarders.  The challenge is evident when rooted in peer approval. Do I lose my identity here and hold on to my values or go with them? This is a bad place to be if anchored in shared approval. This is a way to develop largeness but not at the hand of becoming commoditized and no longer relational.


Tribes can be based on shared pain and not personhood as we acknowledge we are walking a similar journey. There is a kinship here as we understand that someone else is put together like me. We compare notes and our tribal experiences. This can be a good thing not as dangerous as peer relationships.

All the above mentioned are substitutes and can alleviate the pain, the longing and craving we experience.

Ideally, sonship happens in the family line with the one who birthed you and claimed you as their own. God designed us to be able to look at our parents and see them enjoying our joy knowing we are a chip off the old block.

For many of us this has not been the case. For you come the tools in the next cd!

questions to explore

This may be a painful exercise for some of us. The longing to have had parental validation and approval is immense. For this we must go to the end of the story because compensation dictates that our God always makes a way! This is good news.

What did YOU do when your parents did not put you in the office of sonship? Did you use any substitutes and did they add positive or negative consequences in your life?

Arthur talked about the Wright Brothers and George Washington Carver being his heroes. Did you have any inspiring ones that you looked up to?

do you have something to share about this topic?

we would love to hear your thoughts..

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

i always liked the office of personhood because we could do something, putting ourselves in that office. here, in sonship, we must depend on someone else …

Click here to write your own.

return to office of personhood study group