So being affectionately desirous of you
Not of theirs but them; not of glory from them, nor a maintenance by them, but of their spiritual and eternal welfare; were as fond of them as a nursing mother is of her children, who, when absent from them but ever so little a while, longs to see them; see ( 1 Thessalonians 2:17 ) and ( 1 Thessalonians 3:1 1 Thessalonians 3:5-8 ) ,
we were willing:
took the utmost pleasure, delight, and complacency:
to have imparted unto you, not the Gospel of God only;
the sincere milk of the word, which they did freely, fully, and for their spiritual good and profit, without any regard to any advantage of their own:
but also our own souls,
or "lives"; which is the highest expression and strongest proof of love that can be given; and respect is still had to the similitude of the nursing mother, who may be said to impart her blood, for such it her milk diversified, for the nourishment of her children: and such was the great concern of the apostles for the interest of Christ, the spread of the Gospel, and the good of souls, that their lives were not dear unto them, so that these ends might he answered: because ye were dear unto us; both because they were loved by God, redeemed by Christ, regenerated by the Spirit of Christ, and had the image of Christ stamped upon them; and also because that they were their spiritual children; and as children are dear to their parents, so were these to them, even to such a degree, as that, were there a necessity for it, they could freely have laid down their lives for them.