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. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, (1 Thessalonians 2:7-11 NKJV)
Ministry is a labor of love and is very much like parenting. Helping others fulfill the call of God on their lives requires nurturing like that of a good mother and admonishing like that of a good father. Paul instructed Timothy, “be gentle to all, able to teach, and patient.”. Parents who nurture and admonish their children in the things of God can expect to have well adjusted children who respect authority, relate well with their peers, are emotionally secure and take responsiblity for their lives.
The same is true for new believers who have discovered the life changing power of the Gospel. If they will find a good Pastor who feeds them the whole counsel of God’s Word and believers in a strong church that embraces the Bible and the Holy Spirit then they can expect the same results. According to Rev. Billy Wilson of World Impact Ministries, less than a quarter of households in the U.S. represent families with both father and mother present. We have an opportunity here to make a difference in peoples lives who perhaps never experinced true nurture and admonishing that builds a person’s character. Embrace the mandate to make disciples by nurturing and admonishing new believers so that they can make it to the finish line!