I want to share a blog by one of our pastor’s wives who is a team member of The Confidante on a topic that hits home for many pastoral families and that is raising children in ministry and keeping balance.
When you have a baby, feeling her growing inside, you feel closer to the Lord than ever because you will eventually hold His creation in your arms. You and your husband have dreams of what that child will become as well as how you will parent them. When you love the Lord, your goal is to raise godly, independent individuals. Raising your children within the ministry is a challenge unmatched in other vocations.
My dad was a construction worker. No one he worked with cared to report anything I did. When my brother was caught shoplifting, he only had to deal with the wrath of my parents, not Dad’s coworkers or company. Preacher’s kids have a stigma placed on them that is outside of their control. They did not ask to be a PK and they do not know the impactful difference between their dad’s work and their friend’s dad’s work.
Until they are teenagers.
PK teenagers deal with scrutiny that can set the tone for their lives in ministry, or outside of it. Our four daughters were viewed by many in our church of 300 to be an example, even though they did not ask to be. Most were kind, but some measured their skirt length (with their eyes, not a measuring tape), some could not wait to report a supposed infraction, and some said our kids “ran the youth group.” My reply to that was “Of course they don’t, or it would be running much smoother!”
We raised our kids just like many others, doing the best we could with what we knew and lots of prayer. All four were baptized by the age of ten. A couple of them went on mission trips, all went to camp, a couple were Bible bowlers, and some took their Christian walk faithfully…for a while.
Each of them, when they moved out on their own, walked their own walk. Not necessarily with the Lord. Regardless of the Passport to Purity weekends, True Love Waits commitments, and vetting of boys they dated, they still chose their own men, 3 of whom became husbands. None wanted to be married in our church (although Dad performed the ceremony of one) and none attend our church today.min
But their story is not over. Seeds were planted. They were watered. The principle is true. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Notice it does not say how old.)
Do not give up on your children as they grow into their own lives. Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It has been 10 years of marriage for them, but two of our sons-in-law are men of faith and they, along with our daughters, are walking the walk and teaching our grandchildren to love Jesus!
God is faithful. His will for our children and grandchildren is to carry on the legacy of faith, sprouted from the seeds of love first identified in the eyes of the sweet baby held in our arms. Be faithful teaching your children, even as adults, in your words and actions. All in love.
– Christy K.
Ministry is so hard at times and many times makes life very challenging for the pastors’ kids. Don’t forget we have a ministry for your PKs and the website is www.pastorskids.org. We are here to walk with you on this ministry journey.