I scoured the archives of this blog to see if I have ever talked about raising kids in the ministry.
My search turned up nary a thing.
Yes, I talk about parenting in general quite often, but the special instructions for raising a pastor’s kid are missing from these electronic pages. I suppose this is because there are so many other things that also needed to be addressed. But if I were honest, it probably because I fear speaking too soon, since my own children have yet to finish their growing up. However, I can speak with some authority because, I too, have been a pastor’s kid, making me sensitive to their plight.
The issue of raising children in ministry is an important subject, one that needs fleshing out. For as difficult and tenuous as it is to raise kids anyway, it is even more so with children who have the added pressures of living in a fish bowl with others-imposed standards. Wouldn’t you agree?
So here is one of the most important things that I can share with you when it comes to raising PKs:
Your primary ministry is to your husband and children.
Yes, that means that your personal speaking ministry may be on hold so that you can devote your time and energy to your children. It means that you may not get to host as often as you would like because bedtime prayers or kids’ games take priority. It means that you may not be able to take that paid position at church because you want to be present when your children come home from school or you want to have time to clean, making your house a haven for your emotionally drained husband. It means that you may not be able to take the lead role in a ministry right now for you desire to see your husband flourish all the more. It may mean that you have to decline certain events because another night of babysitters would send the wrong message to your kids. Your blog might not have as many posts, or online readers, because you are engaged with the little people at your knee.
Sometimes it feels much more glamorous and rewarding to engage in the service of church ministry than the service of personal family ministry. It certainly is more acclaimed.
Regardless of what anyone says (or doesn’t say), your primary role is to attend to your family. As a by product, others may criticize your lack of involvement. You will feel the pull to take on ministries that are struggling, determining that you are the best one for the job. Your own ego will confuse priorities, telling you you are worth more. You will feel left out of social situations. You will sometimes resent your husband or parents for not watching the kids more often so that you can “serve”.
We as pastor’s wives need to understand that our ministry past, present, and future can gain or lose credibility based upon how we treat the disciples that are right in our own homes. We can be successful in the ministry world, but ultimately we fail if we push aside our responsibility to love our husband and children well. Each season of marriage and parenting will look different, but our ultimate goal in life should be to love God and love others, starting with those who live under our same roof.
Parenting takes sacrifice, and so does being a pastor’s wife. But, let’s be careful not to lay our sacrifices down on the wrong altar, or heaven forbid, sacrifice the wrong thing. For every thing that we must give up to serve our husband and children during this season of life (and it is just that–only a season), we add a little more Christ-likeness to our character.
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” John 10:10
And, you never know but that by investing in your family, you may be exponentially increasing your ministry as they grow and flourish and come to serve others by your example.
It is an honor to raise pastor’s kids. Work hard at doing so with grace and intentionality.
Praying for my PKs,
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