My wife Kris and I have raised three beautiful children and some of you may have also raised children or mentored someone. Early on in our relationship with our children we could be very directive and for the most part they would follow our directions. Our love and pride in them bubbled over and they returned that love in many ways. As our children grew and matured our relationship with them changed. They spent more time in school, on sports teams and with friends and their families. Kris and I did not have to be as directive because many of the values we had taught had been internalized and while we still gave directions we also had to be supportive and encouraging as they navigated some situations on their own. As life with them continued sometimes they did things that disappointed us, and we wished we could go back to the days when we could simply give directions and they would follow them. But we couldn’t, we had moved passed that. I think in this chapter Paul and his ministry partners might be feeling that way about the church in Corinth that they had birthed and poured themselves into. Members of that church were being influenced by the world they lived in and teachers with whom Paul and his partners did not agree. So here we are in Chapter 6 of his letter to them and how is Paul responding?
In verse 1 he said “we beg you”….notice two things: he uses the term “we” not “I”, letting the Corinthians know that he and his partners had been talking about their behavior; and secondly, he and his partners are begging, not giving directions (or orders).
In verses 2, 16, 17, and 18 he cites authoritative scripture from the old testament to try to prove that what he is pleading with them to do is God’s desire for their lives.
Do you remember having to face situations like this when raising your children or mentoring someone? If so, did you use the same tactics Paul is using in this chapter? I know when I faced situations like this I was thankful that I had a partner (Kris) to strategize with before confronting our children.
I can’t wait to read on to see if this works or if Paul moves on to other tactics.