Chapter-a-Day 2 Thessalonians 1

TommadisonlrYou need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (TM)

"We’re so proud of you," I’ve heard my parents say countless times. From Cub Scouts, to Little League, to graduation, ordination and beyond. I never tire of hearing the words. The feeling that comes with knowing I’ve made my parents proud never loses its power. We all need encouragement, and there is no better encouragement than that which comes from those closest to us.

I attended parent-teacher conferences for my daughter, Madison, the other week. She is a Junior in high school. I went from teacher to teacher asking them how Madison is doing in class. Beyond hearing that her grades were good, I heard a steady stream of phrases, such as:

"She is a great example for others to follow."
"I know I can always count on Madison to contribute."
"She’s a delight."
"Her faith is a testimony to everyone."
"Madison is making a difference in our world."
"I hope my daughters turn in to a young woman like Madison."

Granted, teenagers don’t make you proud 100 percent of the time. They each come with a level of aggravations and a bevy of pull-your-hair-out frustrations from day to day. My parents, I’m sure, would say the same of me as a teenager! Nevertheless, as I sat there and listened to teachers make comments like that I had to choke back my own emotions. I couldn’t be more proud. Thanking God for her "is not only a pleasure; it’s a must."

I couldn’t wait until she got home to tell her how proud I was of her…again. In fact, I can’t wait to tell her again, and again, and again. We all need encouragement.

The affect a parent’s praise can have on their child does not tarnish with age.

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