I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a pastor’s kid. I watch it from a close proximity but am still not sure what it is like. Some days my children do well with it and other days it is a struggle. They have the challenges of any normal teenager or pre-teen boy. Their life if different because they live in this fishbowl of Church leadership. Everyone knows their name, they see their actions and they hear the rumors about everything they do. I am sure it must be hard to live under the watchful eye of everyone while still trying to be a normal young man. I think my boys have handled it with grace and dignity, at least as far as I know:-)
While I know their life is not perfect I have noticed a few things that have been a blessing to our wacky life.
1. Accountability is not an option. When you live in a fishbowl you know everyone is watching. While this is a difficulty to some it is also a strange blessing. My boys know that their life and choices affect more people than just themselves. How would life be different if every young person understood the impact of their choices?
2. Ministry is expected. In the early days my boys got up with me at 5:00 am to help set up for our new Church in Iowa. Today they still help with setting up or tearing down for various events, they help with worship and are a part of almost everything going on at Church. They know they following Jesus means serving Him and not sitting in a chair doing nothing.
3. All people are valuable. My boys have been able to spend time with everyone from little kids to senior adults. They have spent time with those people who have special needs and those who are just … well … special. They have sat in with people of all ages, all types and all backgrounds. I love watching my boys interact with any age group at any time.
4. The enormous need for grace. My boys have seen some people at their best but they have also seen them at their worst. They have heard my horror stories of failures and disgrace. In those situations they have heard me speak of grace, pray for grace and celebrate grace. I hope it is burned in their mind that all of us need the grace of God offered through the cross. All of us.
I don’t know if any of this helps you with your parenting or grand parenting but these are the lessons in my life. I know my boys are not perfect and I do not expect them to be. I know their life can be hard and not much fun, but I am okay with that. My hope and prayer for my kids – and for your kids – is that they grow up to Christ following adults who will spend eternity with me in heaven.
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