With a Mother’s Love
Note how Paul emphasizes the extent of his love for the Thessalonians:
But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God (1 Thess. 2:7-9, NKJV).
See the tenderness of the apostle! He appeals to the affection and sympathy he has toward the Thessalonians and the sacred memories of the past. The paragraph is wholly personal, sounding a note of deep affection. Paul wishes them to regard him as a nursing mother. He makes no claim of superior sanctity, or authority. He had been glad to enter into the sufferings and fellowship of the Thessalonians.
He has been, and is, deeply solicitous as to their spiritual state. Indeed, as he looks into the past, it is only with a feeling of gratitude and deep commitment to them because of the affection he feels for them. Unlike his detractors, who care nothing for the Thessalonians, Paul is motivated by an eagerness to advance their spiritual growth.
“We were gentle among you,” writes Paul, the word “gentle” expressing the kindheartedness of his appeal. He longs to have these Christians transformed into the likeness of Christ and, like a nursing mother, wishes to give them the pure milk of the Word of God.
In all charity, and with no desire to reflect unkindly upon any Christian, I would point out that there are few pastors in the church today who possess such a depth of affection, such a breadth of compassion and pity, such sacrificial love. Nothing under the sun can be as dry and tedious as “church work” without charity. No wonder we grow weary in well-doing. Without genuine compassion for people we are shorn Sampsons on a treadmill. How many of our church meetings can be accounted for without the love of the Holy Spirit!
Christian friend, make room in your heart for others. Do so with a mother’s love. Ph.D. may mean Phenomenal Dud without filial affection for the saints we serve. What mother does not love her children? Would that all Christians knew such devotion today!
Do you love those you lead? Do your spiritual children know you cherish them? Are you well pleased to impart to others not only the Gospel of God but also your own lives?
Are you, like Paul, a minister with a mother’s love?
May 6, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.