- 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (AMP) So, being thus tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continued to share with you not only God’s good news (the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become so very dear to us.
Crusty old Paul continues to mess me up. First, in trying to express how much he loves the people he is writing to, Paul uses the example of a nursing mother (follow this link for yesterday’s blog). Now he dives in even deeper by telling them that he is “tenderly and affectionately desirous of you.” (Can you say, “Awkward.”)
I mean, when is the last time a man has sent you a private Facebook message mail to tell you he’s tenderly and affectionately desirous of you. I’d say…let me think here…Never! Why if that happened you’d probably call the police.
Yet this fiery confrontational veteran of many a conflict and struggle—a man’s man has no trouble expressing deep and tender love.
There’s a lesson here. I’m afraid we’ve lost something in our information saturated world. Outlets for communication abound. We communicate more and with more people than ever before. But when was the last time you sat down and wrote a carefully worded love letter?
There’s a world of difference between having an ever-growing list of Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and email mailing lists. In their place, these things are not bad, but do you take the time to develop a growing list of relationships in which you are tenderly affectionate toward and desirous of them?
I have been convicted in my own life by this dear and wonderful Apostle. Being a “Papa” has taken me into new territory. I am truly desirous of the five little “munchkins” that God (and my children) have given me. I have no trouble whatsoever lavishly expressing my tender affection to them.
But get me out of their circle and it gets harder. Why is this? Why do we struggle so with expressing our deep feelings and affections with those we love? And even more important, why are there so few people that we feel that way toward?
The city of Thessalonica exists to this day (known as Thessalonki in Greece) and there is still a faithful Christian Church there. Could the reason be that they had a crusty old brave Apostle that loved them like a nursing mother and was passionately affectionate toward them?
Ladies, wear your business suit if you must—but never lose the tender affectionate “mother’s love” that God has programmed in you.
And men, put your manly swagger on if you must—but do forget to show and express deep affection to those you love.
And for all of us—let’s broaden that “tender and affectionate” circle of friends.
It’s time to write (and live) a love letter…