By Shewanda Riley

Some of my guilty pleasures are the judge reality shows like Judge Mathis and Judge Lauren Lakes’ Paternity Court.   My reasons for liking those shows vary but I must admit that I love the watching the drama of the paternity tests and their results.   Honestly, it’s amazing to me how much information about their personal lives people are willing to share on television.   I’m also surprised at how hearing the words “You are not the father….or you are the father” could bring such joy or pain.  And it all comes down to three letters:   DNA.

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid are the intriguing molecules that prove paternity on these shows. DNA determines the physical characteristics that we inherit from our parents like eye color, height, and body type.  Unless you are a twin, you have a unique DNA that no one else on the earth shares.    DNA stores information, can pass traits from generation to generation and, most importantly, answers questions about who you are in small pieces of hair, nails, skin, sweat, tears and blood, etc.   It’s only been through the use of modern scientific advances that we’ve learned how useful DNA can be.   In some cases, it has set the wrongly convicted free from prison sentences.

Spiritual DNA (Destiny, Needs, and Authority) also answers questions about who we can be in our spiritual lives.  Job 23:14 clarifies, “So he will do to me whatever he has planned.   He controls my destiny.”  Have you allowed someone else to determine your destiny?  Are you walking in your destiny and do you recognize God’s plan for your life?

Another part of your spiritual DNA involves having your needs met through sincere prayer and a dialogue with God.   Do you know the difference between your needs and your wants?   Who or what have you allowed to satisfy your needs?   Matthew 6:7-8 gives clear instructions on how to pray:  “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Knowing your spiritual DNA also involves asking whose authority are you under.  Who do you have authority over and how do you handle it?   Have you given your authority away through sin and disobedience?   And if you did, how do you get it back?    We have to recognize where our authority comes from and what it is to be used for.   Romans 1:5 says, “Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.”

Knowing our spiritual DNA can change your life.    However, your spiritual DNA (like your eye color) doesn’t do anything by itself.  But it does tell everyone who your spiritual parents are and what traits and behaviors you’ll be passing on to others. This Father’s Day, I encourage you to celebrate your father (spiritual or natural)!

Shewanda Riley is a Dallas-based author of “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.”   Email her at or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.