As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, ~1 Thessalonians 2:11
Professional baseball has been played in America since 1875, but on September 14, 1990, something happened that has never happened before or since. Late in his career, Ken Griffey, Sr., who had been a key member of the World Series champion Cincinnati Reds years before, was signed by the Seattle Mariners. His son Ken Griffey, Jr. was just starting his major league career. In the first inning of a game against the Angels, Griffey, Sr. hit a home run to left center field. His son followed him to the plate and hit another home run to almost exactly the same spot. It was the only time a father and son had hit back-to-back home runs in baseball history. Ken Griffey, Jr. said later that his father greeted him at the plate by saying, “That’s how you do it, son!” Source: Once Upon a Game, Alan Schwarz
Paul uses the example of a father to remind the Christians in Thessalonica how he ministered to them. It goes without saying that a father’s influence in the life of his children makes or breaks the morale and will of that child. To be a God-honoring father requires time, much love, and much interaction. The believers at Thessalonica were exceptional people because Paul gave them the comfort of a father. How can we exercise the comfort of a father when we minister to others?
There is the instruction of a father.
Paul spoke of how he exhorted his friends. Good instruction teaches others to put what they have learned into action. It is part of training up. It is not doing things for others, as much as it is doing things with others. Good instruction teaches the end result of doing something, or not doing something. Good instruction lights the path that one is to tread upon. Good instruction is repetitive and reinforcing.
There is the inspiration of a father.
Paul spoke about how he charged every one of them. We inspire others by helping them to see the future. We inspire by helping them to see the possibilities. Paul had been badly scourged and scarred at Philippi. He used his experience to inspire the brethren at Thessalonica on how to endure and persevere. He helped them to see that any sufferings we endure for Jesus are worth it all. His inspiration taught them not to quit or give up.
There is the insulation of a father.
A father knows where dangers lurk. He is careful to provide a safe environment and setting for his family members. Just his very presence gives a sense of confidence that no intruder will take advantage of them. We can give comfort by insulating the hearts of others. Their hearts are tender, and are in need of protection and covering over and over again.
The comfort of a father demonstrates his love and commitment to his child’s success. We would do well to apply the principle of a father’s comfort in those relationships that God has entrusted to us. Let’s comfort others in their worries, their wounds, and when they are weary.
Have a comforting God morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 21-25