The heart of a Spiritual “parent” and “care-giver”

Good parents are deeply concerned about the welfare of their children! A whimper from a new infant will bring a mother out of a deep sleep and to the child’s side. Conscientious parents want to know the whereabouts of their small children at all times. A scrape or a fall will provoke the tenderest of care and comfort. Parents of teens experience deep anxiety when they don’t show up when they’re expected… calls are made and prayers are offered… we even get in the car and go out looking for them… We want to know their welfare! We want to know they’re doing alright!

It’s no different with conscientious, caring, “Spiritual parents”…
After using the analogy of “a nursing mother” and a “father with his children” to describe his relationship with the new believers in Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 2:7, 12), Apostle Paul describes his deep concern for their spiritual welfare…

“Since we were town away from you for a short time, in person, not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face… but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy! Therefore when we could bear it no longer… we sent Timothy…to establish and exhort [i.e. encourage] you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this [i.e. afflictions]. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass… For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter [i.e. Satan] had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.” (From I Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:5 ESV)

That passage has conscientious, caring, spiritual parenting written all over it! As a “Spiritual care-giver” I want to exhibit that kind of care and concern! I want to be ready to do everything I can to help new believers when they face affliction and temptation! I want my “How are you doing?” comments to be more than passing statements – I want them to be sincere expressions of concern!

One more thing… Praise the Lord for every sincere, compassionate, spiritual parent and care-giver! I’m grateful for every one of them that invested in my Spiritual growth and maturity! And I want to be that kind of person to fellow Christians in their spiritual journey… Thanks for your example Apostle Paul!

 

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