Daily Devotional

Correct, Comfort, and Charge

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Scripture: Just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, 1 Thessalonians 2:11 (NASB)

Observation: Paul likens the conduct of the missionaries to the loving, unselfish care of a nursing mother (v. 7), and he now compares their behavior to that of a father. What he implies here is that  they trained and instructed the Thessalonians in the same way that a responsible father disciplines his children. The Greek work for children emphasizes the believers’ immaturity as well as the apostles’ affection for them..
Application:  It is interesting to note the three words Paul uses here to show his fatherly love for his Thessalonian spiritual children: Exhort, encourage (or console), and urge (or implore).  Each of these words have a different aspect of parenting.
     Exhorting: Webster’s online dictionary includes several definitions for this word which include  to incite by argument or advice, to urge strongly, to give warnings or advice, or to make urgent appeals.
     The other two words are more commonly used in today’s language – console or encourage, and implore.
     Think of the times as parents when we have had to reprimand, discipline, or punish our children.  The goal we have is not to be vindictive or vengeful with them but rather to “exhort” them to do better and act differently for their own benefit.  No child enjoys being disciplined by his/her parents and they may even feel as if their parents do not love them at that moment – why else would they be treating them that way?  That’s why consoling or encouraging them immediately following the application of discipline is so crucial for the well-being of the child.  They need to be corrected but they also need to be assured of their father and mother’s love.
     Exhortation/discipline/correction has its place,. And consoling/encouragement also has it’s place, but they are not complete without the third element – imploring, which can also mean to urge or to charge them to do what is right.  So the process of disciplining our children must involve these three steps or ingredients:
- Correct them when they do wrong (exhort, punish, discipline)
- Console or encourage (or assure them of your love for them. . . a hug and loving, comforting words)
- Charge (implore or urge) them to do better next time.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, thank You because at times You have to discipline us, but You always do it with the greatest love and guidance.  Help us as parents to follow the same principles so our children will love us and love You as a result.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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