For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
1 Thessalonians 3:5
Most – if not all – of these devotions are lessons, thoughts, and meditations that I need to learn and heed first for myself! I am thankful to God that he has given me a platform in which to share these with others, but am most thankful that he speaks to me through them directly!
There are some things that were not told to me about parenting before I became a parent. The closest things to sage advice that I received was “you’ll understand when you are a parent.”
When my wife told me that we were starting our family – I remember the day vividly – we were so excited about becoming parents for the first time.
But here we are, twenty-one years later and I am still awed that God has called me to be a father! I’m also still plenty scared!
Early on, my wife and I understood that our primary responsibility as parents was to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our children. To that end we have nightly devotions and prayers – and have been doing that since our first born came home from the hospital.
I pray for my wife and children every day. My wife has brought our sons to worship nearly every week for the last twenty-one years (I’ve been there, too, but usually up in front of the church in my man-dress).
Still, sharing the Gospel and training up our sons is no guarantee that they will continue in the “faith of our fathers.”
In this, I can relate to what St. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 3:5 about inquiring as to the faith-life of the church at Thessalonica.
The men, women, and children to whom Paul, Timothy, and Silas had proclaimed the Gospel were so close to Paul’s heart that he basically regarded them as his own family.
When Paul had to leave them in order to continue on his missionary journey to Athens, the church at Thessalonica was never far from Paul’s heart!
Thus, he writes to them to inquire of the status of their faith. His concern was that since they were no longer under his direct influence they would be tempted by the devil, the world, and their own sinful nature away from the one, true faith.
Paul understood that the Holy Spirit was the one who keeps people in the true faith and strengthens their faith through the Means of Grace. But Paul still has a father-like concern for his “children” at Thessalonica.
Much like a Christian parent today has for their own children!
So I encourage you young parents to double your efforts in sharing the Gospel of Jesus with your children. Bring them up in the fear and knowledge of the Lord – by worshiping together weekly, having them participate in a Sunday school or Bible class, and lead them in daily devotions and prayers.
For you more “experienced” parents, continue to pray for your sons and daughters – and grandchildren. Then follow up those prayers with a phone call (or text or Facetime or Skype, etc.) to further encourage them in growing up in the Lord.
That is my prayer for you today!
Visit, O Lord, the homes in which your people dwell, and keep all harm and danger far from them. Grant that we may dwell together in peace under the protection of your holy angels, sharing eternally in your blessings; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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