Raising PK's

When raising our 'Pastor’s Kids,' my husband and I had a few non-negotiables. Well, at least on most days.

- We ate dinner together each evening.
- We didn’t tolerate lying or defiance.
- We all attended Worship and Sunday School on Sundays.
- We never punished our kids by withholding fun activities at church.
- We treated others as we would like to be treated.
- We prayed together before bed.
- We asked for forgiveness and said we were sorry – even if we didn’t totally mean it!

By God’s grace all of our girls did choose to accept Christ as their Savior and are living for Him. Was their individual choice to our credit as parents? No, I don’t believe so. Their choice for Jesus was between them and their Savior. We did, however, understand that it was critical for us to live out our faith and values before our daughters each and every day. Our example, good or bad, would impact their choices in life and that is a humbling responsibility before God.

Two realities are very evident -
  • PK’s are tempted to sin just like any other kid. They are simply the child of the pastor.
  • PW’s are tempted to sin too. After all, we aren’t superheroes! We're just married to the pastor.

I lost count of how many times I went to school when the girls weren’t expecting me. There were days when I went to see if they had obeyed me and were really wearing their jacket on the playground, or if they stayed inside due to a lingering cold. Did I like to spy? No, but I did need to know if they were telling me the truth or not. Trust was hanging in the balance. As the girls grew up, the trust levels ebbed and flowed. But even in their teen years, there were times that we had to confirm with our own eyes that what we had been told was truly what was happening. Sometimes it stinks being a parent, but that doesn’t mean that we stop being diligent. The goal is to raise up Godly kids and that takes wisdom, energy and a little bit of detective work from time to time!

There were other days when I showed up at the girls’ school and requested to speak to one of them for a few minutes. The staff made it known that it wasn’t the normal thing for a parent to do, but they allowed the quick visit. You see, some mornings just didn’t come together real smoothly at our house. On those days, my patience had typically worn thin, and my temper had gotten the best of me. I just couldn’t wait until the girls got home from school to set things right. With guilt weighing heavy on my heart, I couldn't let go of what impact the morning tension may have made on their day. So, I showed up at their classroom door and I asked for their forgiveness. Even though they were always surprised to see me – and usually didn’t even remember the conflict – they graciously forgave me and returned undisturbed to their class. A tear would slip down my cheek as I quietly exited the building. As I returned home, I thanked God that my heavy heart was free, and I was relieved and blessed to know that I hadn’t ruined their whole day!

Seem a bit overkill? Not at all. Relationship with others – even our kids - is where we build trust and share our true faith walk. When something at home wasn’t right, I was committed to righting the wrong even if that meant disturbing the classroom. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for teachers, but I have an even greater respect for the precious relationship I have with my child!

So, here come the hard questions.
  • When is the last time that you apologized to your child or grandchild, husband or friend? 
  • Does your life truly reflect your values and Biblical convictions? 
  • Are you tired from the struggle of endless effort with seemingly little, if any, noticeable result? 

Wherever you are in the reality of raising your kids or building a relationship with others it is critical that they see Jesus in you.

‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? 
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ 
Micah 6:8

Are you walking the way the Lord God Almighty has asked of you? Don't give up. Ask for forgiveness if needed, and keep on walking. It is worth the effort – each and every day!


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