THE ATTENTIVE FATHER
(1 Thes 2:11) as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children.
Dads have so many responsibilities these days and they can come home exhausted. A man looks forward to arriving at his castle where he can relax and unwind from his hectic schedule. He feels he’s put in more than enough at work and now it’s time to take it easy. But what we as dads need to keep in mind is the real work is just beginning. Our family needs us, and we must maintain the attitude of being on duty.
Paul felt like a spiritual father to the Thessalonians. He said that the time he was with them he had exhorted them (instructed toward action), comforted them (encouraged and consoled), and charged them (earnestly implored). The Thessalonian believers thrived under this fatherly care and grew in their faith almost as much as any other church Paul founded. Paul was an attentive spiritual father.
When we think of our heavenly father wouldn’t we say He is attentive? He constantly looks after us. He anticipates every need we have and provides from His thoughtfulness and care. Nothing goes without His notice. He’s always “on.” What a great God we have! (Mat 10:29-31) "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
As I drive home from work I try to remember to give the Lord the happenings of the day and prepare myself for my next job, which is being a husband and a dad. I want to be attentive to the needs of the family and to do my best to meet them with joy. (1 Chr 16:43) . . . and David returned to bless his house. Sometimes I’m exhausted but I ask the Lord to be my strength so I won’t give my family the leftovers. (Judg 8:4) When Gideon came to the Jordan, he and the three hundred men who were with him crossed over, exhausted but still in pursuit.
Sometimes my children need exhortation. Sometimes they need comfort. At other times I need to charge them. Who knows what they will need and when? But God has promised to give us fathers wisdom in all things. (Pro 9:10) "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom . . . We talk about a mother’s work never being done but just think about what decisions a dad has to make. Thank God we can go to the Lord and talk over things with Him! (Jms 1:5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
As I attend to the needs of my family I will reap the benefits of my labor. It’s going to be an investment that will keep paying rich dividends! (1 Thes 2:19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?