1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
In his first letter to the Thessalonians (2:11-12), the Apostle Paul likens his dealing with believers to a father’s interaction with his children. From this passage we learn from three things that parents should be doing every day.
- The Greek work for “encourage” is parakaleo. It means “to call to one’s side,” “to summon,” “to invite.” The purpose of the invitation is to build confidence and courage into the heart. Parents, we need to be building up our children every day!
- “Comfort” means “to console.” It is used in John 11 when Lazarus died. Many friends came to “console” Mary and Martha. Our children don’t always need yet another “life lesson” or another story from our childhood about “walking uphill both ways in the snow.” Our children need a daily compassionate hug and a reminder of our unconditional love.
- This word means “to insist” or “implore.” You are the parent! There are some things that you need to be firm about. Leaders lead. And our leadership must have this goal: “to live lives worthy of God.” God calls us to be deliberate about building into our children the framework of spiritual urgency that will allow them to make an impact with their lives in their world.
Parenting is intentional work. Let’s pray that God gives us the strength and courage to lead our children well.
Father, give us a passion to be parents you desire us to be. May we encourage, comfort, and urge our children on to be those who have a burning desire to follow hard after you. In Christ’s name. Amen.