“…call no one on earth your father…” (Matthew 23:9)
It is inevitable that we will call some men on earth our fathers, beginning with our biological fathers. Jesus Himself insists on the importance of the 4th Commandment (cf. Matthew 15:4-6, 19:19). When we tenderly address our father (and mother) by these most sacred of human titles we honor and reverence them.
In other places, Jesus Himself uses the title of father in a variety of uses – biological, spiritual and ancestral.
Paul places fatherhood in proper order. Namely, God’s fatherhood is true and inexhaustible source. All earthly fatherhood – biological, spiritual, ancestral – find their origin, strength and identity in the divine paternity. Fatherhood remains good, beautiful, true and life-giving so long as their source remains in God.