As a father with his own children (hōs patēr tekna heautou). Change from the figure of the mother-nurse in 1Th 2:7. There is ellipse of a principal verb with the participles parakalountes, paramuthoumenoi, marturoumenoi. Lightfoot suggests enouthetoumen (we admonished) or egenēthēmen (we became). The three participles give three phases of the minister’s preaching (exhorting, encouraging or consoling, witnessing or testifying). They are all old verbs, but only the first (parakaleō) is common in the N.T.