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The Apostle Paul on Parenting

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  • Nov17Mon

    Paul on Parenting: A Parent “of Mercies"

    November 17, 2014

    Dr. James Boyd 

    Last week's study looked at 2 Cor. 1:2 and concluded that we, as the parents, must offer grace (unconditional affection) and peace (in the home, with others, and with God) to our children. This week we will look at 2 Cor. 1:3 that identifies yet another key character of the godly parent.

    Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 (HCSB)

    Verse three reads "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort." Our primary focus is on the phrase "the Father of mercies." God is a Father full of mercy which must be an attribute of a great Father since Paul describes Him as "blessed." So what does it mean for us to be a "Parent of mercies?"

    The Greek word for "mercies" is oiktirmos. It means to be sympathetic concerning one's sorrow and includes the idea of desiring to help. A person standing before a judge might plead "have mercy on me," in order to ask the judge to understand his situation and be gentle and compassionate. Plato saw this feeling as a weakness and so wanted all references to the mythical heroes’ mercy removed from the poets. According to Paul, however, this parental trait is a strength, not a weakness.  Ironically, this strength refers to the gentle, tenderness that compels us to draw near to our hurting children. It is also significant that the word Paul uses to describe his heavenly Father (“mercies”) is plural. God does not merely attend to us in our suffering one time. He is there time after time, gently and perfectly sympathizing with our pain. Are you a "Parent of mercies?" In order to display God's character to our children, we must be.

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