7 Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
For Paul it was important that he share his life with those in Thessalonika. Throughout my years as a believer, and especially as I was young in the faith, others older in the faith befriended me and took me under their love and care. I didn’t know then what I know now, but they were sharing their family and lives with me. After church on Sunday they’d invite me over to their home and they always threw in an extra potato, as they liked to say. Did I learn great theological treatises under them? Probably not, but that wasn’t the point. I saw how they lived, how they welcomed singles into their home.
When I went salmon fishing with them one weekend, and Jean found out I wasn’t tied off to a vehicle and almost drowned because I slipped and my chest high waders started filling up (sneaking off to do early morning dipnetting fishing), she rightly read me the Riot Act, just like a mother would. The more I think about it, the more that family embodied verse seven, caring for me, nurturing me – and yes, rebuking me when I deserved it.
“Living life” with relative strangers was as natural to them as raising their own family.
The Christian Life is more than Sunday morning teachings and worship, that is, when we were all meeting together. It’s making the time to get to know others, yes, sharing our lives with them, crying and laughing with them, giving and taking rebuke when warranted.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!