As Paul nurtured a new church in Thessalonica, he refers to how he cared for them; “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” (1 Thessalonians 2:7). Think with me for a moment how a good mother cares for her children. What are the key elements that she makes sure are part of her care:
- Taking personal ownership of those under your care as if they were your own children. This assumes that you are taking proper care of your own family (1 Timothy 3:5).
- Day and night concern, labor and toil, so he could give them the gospel – (1 Thessalonians 2:9; 3:10).
- Food preparation so the children receive the right nutrition, not giving them what they want (2 Timothy 4:3), but giving the Word of God (Acts 20:32) for growth and maturity (Ephesians 4:13-14).
- Safety of the children is so important. Paul made sure to protect them from false reports about the Lord’s coming (1 Thessalonians 5:1).
- Promoting healthy relationships between them so they would continue to “encourage one another and build one another up” just as they were doing (5:11).