The Bible is filled with practical words for dads that struggle! Children are not unlike wet cement, that will conform in part to the mold they are formed in. Dads provide some unique positive qualities that can be helpful in raising godly children and grandchildren. In our text note that Paul uses both the role of the mother (2:7) and the father (2:11) to illustrate his relationship with a group of his “spiritual children”. We can see these as a model for both spiritual and physical children.
Key Principle: Godly parenting can be measured, has a revealed set of guidelines and a specific goal.
Quality #1: Active attempts at caring communication. “We proved to be gentle among you”. (gentle is epios; from epo as in epoch, a word or communication). We openly tried to communicate with you in a caring manner (2:7a).
Quality #2: Focus on the thriving and comfort of the child. “as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children”. (tenderly is thalpo likely from thallo “to warm” or to encircle with warmth). We deliberately focused on how you were feeling and doing to raise you as a healthy child (2:7b).
Quality #3: Sincere yearning to be with the child. “Having so fond an affection for..” (affection is himaromai: yearning). We wouldn’t wait to be with you and loved spending any time we could with you. You are a privilege and a blessing, not just a responsibility! (2:8a).
Quality #4: Consistent choices of preference to share both intimate time and heart insights with the child. “We were well pleased to impart the gospel and our lives..” (well pleased is eudokeo or ‘preferred’ which demonstrated choices; lives is psuche or souls). We kept choosing to open our very heart and spend any time possible with you. (2:8b).
Quality #5: Constant sensitivity to what the child can handle. “working so as to not be a burden to you..” We did what we needed to in order that no undue weight would be placed upon you. (2:9). Colossians 3:21 makes this case for dads not to exasperate (erithidzo: stir or stimulate to an inappropriate response from eris: conflict or wrangling) their children- or the children will “lose heart”. (2:9a).
Quality #6: Deliberately persuading the child of God’s truth. “we proclaimed the gospel of God”. (proclaim is from kerudzo: to persuade.) We worked to convince you that what God’s Word said is true! (2:9b).
Quality #7: Authentic modeling of right choices. “You are witnesses and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you.” (devout is hosios: undefiled, clean; dikaios is actively observing and living out right choices; blamelessly is “without charge for unpaid debt.” We carefully modeled clean living, right choices and left nothing outstanding to be cared for later! (2:10).
Quality #8: Pointed toward instruction. “you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring”. (exhorting is paraklete or called alongside to help as in apprenticing them; encouraging is paramutheomai: beside myth (story) to soothe- or better a woven speech planned to soothe the heart; imploring is marturomai: strongly bear witness, particularly in times of conflict. We instructed by working along with you, sometimes using soothing words when you needed to be lifted, other times using strong words to keep truth as the standard in your life! (2:11).
Quality #9: Individually tailored. “each one of you”. We evaluated each one of your personalities and situations and shared what was valuable in your situation and way of learning. (2:11).
Quality #10: Clear goal of building character and forming proper commitment to God. “So that you would walk in a manner worthy of God..” (walk is peripateo: to make one’s way; manner is axios is consistent checked standard weights of the agora for counterbalances. We always worked toward building your character and shaping a consistent commitment to a life worthy of your calling in Messiah. (2:12).
Godly parenting can be measured, has a revealed set of guidelines and a specific goal.