Summary: In Paul’s description on the kind of leader he was we see 3 awesome characteristics of good parents. (1 Thessalonians pt-3)
“Parenting In A Nutshell”
1 Thessalonians Part 3
This is our 3rd week in our study of 1 Thessalonians. Paul started this church during his 2nd missionary journey. Unfortunately he was only able to stay there about 3 weeks because his quick success was met by strong opposition that forced him to flee the city.
Paul wrote this letter while he was in ministering in Corinth. He had sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to check things out because he was driving himself crazy wondering what happened to those new believers after he had left. When Timothy his partner in the Gospel returned, he brought back good news. In response Paul sat down and wrote this letter we now have in our bible - a letter he concludes by saying, “I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all Christians....” (LB)
As Paul opens this letter he commends their faith, and in so doing, gives us a model of what a faith that is worth talking about, looks like. And as we saw last week Paul in defending his ministry in Thessalonica, in describing what his leadership was like gave us a model of a good leader. Now Paul didn’t set out to give these models but as he wrote that is exactly what he did.
Today we are looking at just 2 verses of scripture.... Paul wrote these verses to describe the kind of leader that he was - he did not write them to give us a model of parenting - but again that is exactly what he did....
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God who calls you into his kingdom and glory...”
In those verses Paul (though it was not his intention) reveals for us 3 characteristics of parents, as the title for the sermon says, he kind of gives us the biblical view of parenting in a nutshell.
In the days of the wild west, a lone cowboy went riding through a valley and came unexpectedly upon an Indian lying motionless on the road. His right ear was pressed to the ground, and he was muttering to himself.. “Ummmm, stagecoach! 3 people inside. 2 men, one women 4 horses. 3 gray, 1 black. Stage coach moving west...”
The cowboy was amazed and said, “That’s incredible, partner! You can tell all that just by listening to the ground? The Indian replied, “Ummmm. No! Stage run over me 30 minutes ago...”
Parenting isn’t easy - sometimes there is so much going on - so many things to do - laundry, school projects, soccer, practice, marching band, programs, fundraising...etc that we feel like we just got run over.
As I said earlier - the title for my message today is “Parenting In A Nutshell.” Now please understand , that by choosing such a title I am not implying that parenting is simple or that in one 30 minute talk I will be able to solve all of our parenting woes... There is a limit to what we can accomplish in such a short amount of time.... BUT what I do hope to do, is to ignite a spark in all parents that will motivate us to do a little better job and to be a little more focused.
I’m a parent and I’ve been one for almost 16 years... And though is it not always easy - it is one of the most important and most fulfilling things I will ever do in this life.
Our mission today, is to look at these 2 verses and try to learn some things that will help us become a better parent. We are going to first look at the biblical objective of parenting, and then look at the means or the process, we need to employ in order to achieve that objective..
Question; What is the chief objective of parenting?
Question; Why is it important to know what the objective is? (So we don’t get distracted)
1) The Objective
The objective - the target - the goal of parenting, of all parenting, BUT especially of Christian parenting is found in verse 12 of our text, that they may “...live lives worthy of God...”
You see, we must never lose sight of the fact that our children are gifts of God, who are simply on loan to us for a few years (they really belong to Him) and for these few years we have both the privilege and the responsibility of bringing them up to become healthy, functioning adults who love and serve God. This is the main thing of parenthood & it has always been that way.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up...” Dt 6:4-6