1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11 As you know, we exhorted, comforted, and implored every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 to the end that you should walk worthily of God, who calls you into his own Kingdom and glory. (WEB)
In yesterday's blog, I talked about how the Apostle Paul related to the Thessalonian church 'like a nursing mother cherishes her own children'. Just a few verses after Paul uses the feminine illustration of intimacy, he describes a masculine version when he talks about his father-heart for them as well.
Good fathers and mothers are not threatened by their children but rejoice when their kids exceed them in every way. Healthy parents want their ceiling to be the floor for their children to begin at. When we carry a father's heart or mother's heart for people, we take great delight in their achievements. The idea of competing is completely foreign in this kind of loving relationship.
As a matter of fact, when our kids succeed, we feel like we succeed too because we are so connected at a heart level with them. Now think about the thousands of denominations that exist today in Christendom. Think about the competition, the divisions, the judgments that exist within the Body of Christ.
I do not say these things to be critical, but to simply draw attention to our Father's heart for true unity within His family. My prayer is that the more that we would experience God's 'family love' for us personally, we would see our brothers and sisters differently too.
For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, (WEB)