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).