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Tender Loving Care

Max runs a small farm as a hobby. Recently when he checked on the cows he is raising, he was surprised to see a newborn calf! When he bought the cattle, he had no idea one was pregnant. Sadly, the mother cow had complications and died shortly after her calf was born. Immediately, Max purchased some powdered milk so he could feed the calf from a bottle. “The calf thinks I’m its mother!” Max said.

The tender story of Max’s new role with the calf reminded me of how Paul likened himself to a caring mother in dealing with the believers at Thessalonica: “We were gentle among you,” he said, “just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children” (1 Thess. 2:7).

Paul adopted a nurturing attitude when teaching people. He knew believers needed the “milk of the word” for spiritual growth (1 Peter 2:2). But he also gave special attention to the concerns of those he cared for. “We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,” Paul said, “encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God” (1 Thess. 2:11-12 niv).

As we serve each other, may we serve with the tender loving care of our Savior, encouraging each other in our spiritual journey (Heb. 10:24).

Dear Lord, help me to be sensitive
and caring as I serve others.
Help me to love others tenderly as You
so tenderly love and care for me.
God pours His love into our hearts to flow out to others’ lives.

Insight

Because of the severity of Paul’s words in battling false teachings and correcting sinful conduct, he often comes across as devoid of tenderness, gentleness, or compassion (1 Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:8-9; Phil. 3:2; 2 Tim. 4:14-15; Titus 3:10). But there is a gentle and tender side of Paul that is equally evident in his letters (1 Cor. 2:3; 2 Cor. 10:1; Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 2:24-25). In 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, Paul shows parental qualities such as gentleness and love. In verses 11-12, he encourages and comforts his spiritual children, urging them to live holy lives.

16 thoughts on “Tender Loving Care

  1. dgavette says:

    This is the greatest app ever. Andrew is my hero!

  2. hope.more says:

    The greatest commandments according from Jesus, “Love GOD and love your neighbor”. Is it possible to Love GOD without loving your neighbor? I think so, our culture might call them bigots and religious intolerant. Our LORD calls them, “hypocrite” and rightfully so. Is it possible to love your neighbors without loving GOD. I think so, our culture calls them “social workers”. It’s just astonishing, how our LORD separated this two commands with the first one having a higher precedence. It’s as easy as 1-2 (there’s not even a 3!).

    1. paldubee says:

      I agree, and I feel the second command tells me to love others no more than I love myself, and love myself no more than I love others. I get in trouble when I care for others to the exclusion of myself, or if I am only concerned with myself and not others.

      I like what Paul said about how he was trying to please God, and not people. I can ask myself who I am trying to please, and it should be God.

  3. doctor-perspective says:

    I can treat others with tender loving care when my perspectives are right. When I think of myself, higher than I ought, my perspective is wrong, and I will not be able to treat others with tender loving care. When I remember that I have a duty to minister to my brother who is in error, fully considering that I too, was, possibly am, and definitely will be in error, I will treat him with tender loving care. There is power in my perspective, for better or worse. May God help us to daily acquire His perspective.

    1. jerome00 says:

      Well said. Amen.

    2. enioluwa says:

      So humbling to know that no matter how clearly i see, i see in part and even at that, narrowly. Lord keep my heart ever humble!

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