1.08.2019

Why Family Should Always Be First, Part 1 "Family Before Ministry"

A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian...and most of all, his family ought to know. 

-D.L.Moody




Why Family Should Always Be First- Three reasons why pastor's and missionaries children tend to turn away from the Lord. How we as parents can guide our children and not make mistakes that will cause our children to turn away from the Lord. #raisinggodlychildren #pastorskids #kidsinministry
Why Family Should Always Be First- Three reasons why pastor's and missionaries children tend to turn away from the Lord. How we as parents can guide our children and not make mistakes that will cause our children to turn away from the Lord. #raisinggodlychildren #pastorskids #kidsinministry

When I was growing up, it was very common to hear people talk bad about the pastor's kids. Pastor's kids always got a bad rap.  They were always expected to be perfect and they lacked much-needed attention.  On the other hand, I know some pastor's kids who are absolutely amazing and have grown up to be great men and women of God.  I began to ask myself what happened; what made the difference? We are missionaries in Honduras and youth pastors and I certainly want to do everything I can to raise well-behaved, competent children who have developed their own love for the Lord and don't feel neglected or pressured to serve Christ simply because of our ministry positions.  There are three reasons why, I believe,  missionaries and pastor's children tend to act out and then turn away from the Lord.

1. Unrealistic Expectations

They are expected to be saints.  They are expected to be perfect and when they act out the sarcastic remark "And those are the pastor's kids" is made.  Just because the kids have parents who are pastors, missionaries, or serving in full-time ministry you can not expect the child to be any different from other children.  They are self-absorbed, they can be disrespectful, disobedient, and the list could go on and on.  A child is a child whether he or she is born in the Royal family, a ministerial family, or a musician's' family.  The child isn't automatically what the parents are.  These unrealistic expectations can cause numerous behavioral issues.

2. Forced Religion

No one is born a Christian.  If your parents are doctors you are not automatically a doctor.  These kids have church and religion for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  On top of them being expected to be perfect, it's a shock if they decide they want nothing to do with the church. I think it's important not to force Christianity down their throats.  If they don't want to go to a service or don't want to be involved in something don't force them. (This is where prayer comes in. You must battle for your children through prayer.) I don't want to force my kids to do anything in the church. I want it to be motivated from within them because they have had their own personal experience with the Lord.
 "Dedicate your children to the Lord and point them in the way they should go, and the values they've learned from you will be with them for life." Proverbs 22:6
 3.  Negligence  

Many pastor's and missionaries' kids are dying for attention.  The father puts the church and its members before the family. The needs of others seem to be more important as he rushes off to pray for someone at a hospital or counsel someone when his own children are begging for attention.  Ministry can be very overwhelming and consuming.  How many families have we seen break down because of the pressure? The ministerial family is just like any other family only with a calling that keeps them in the public eye.

"Our first ministry is our family."

I have thought long and hard on what I can do to change these unrealistic expectations that are over my children.  Obviously, the best thing I can do is seek God and pray for my children but I also believe we, as parents,  must take a more active role.  The family structure was designed by God.  The family structure is what is most attacked these days. The family structure ( the way God designed it to be) is so confused and twisted.

 How can I be more intentional in how I raise my children so that these issues don't become a reality in their life?


Pray-I will pray for my children and teach them about the Lord. I will not force them to do anything they don't want to do when it comes to church. I want them to want God.  Not because I made them go and made them do it.

Family Time- We set aside some time where we, daily, play together without our phones. We also try to do something together as a family once a week. You don't have to spend money. Go on a hike, go to the beach, do something where you can enjoy God's creation and spend quality time together (no technology).

Maybe you are reading this and not involved in full-time ministry and are thinking, "What can I do?"
Support your pastor and his family.  Sometimes it is a very lonely job.  It's a job that requires you to give and give. It is not often where people think about blessing missionaries or pastors.  Pray for us. Pray for our marriages, our children, pray that God strengthens and continues to guide us with His wisdom.  We are not perfect. We are sinful broken people that God saved by His mercy and has given us the opportunity to serve Him with all that we have.

Why Family Should Always Be First- Three reasons why pastor's and missionaries children tend to turn away from the Lord. How we as parents can guide our children and not make mistakes that will cause our children to turn away from the Lord. #raisinggodlychildren #pastorskids #kidsinministry

8 comments:

  1. Growing up as a missionary kid in Guatemala, I felt the pressure to be perfect. It was hard, especially because childish behavior (like running or being loud) was treated like moral sin with severe consequences. That's because the parents are in the limelight, and pressure is put on the parents to create an image of perfection to be a good example to others.

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    1. Yes! So we rarely do screen time with my children so it seems like they are even more rambunctious (but they are just normal kids) but I feel like people already judge them. Do you have any advice of things that your parents did that helped or maybe something that they did that you would advice against?

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  2. I have worked in ministry for many years and my daughter has felt the brunt of people's expectations, but I always told her I only want her to be herself. God doesn't expect perfection and neither do I. I'm not sure why people in the church are so quick to condemn the children like they are supposed to be something other than children. I love what you are doing in being intentional with your children.

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    1. It's so true. They have expectations set over them that are impossible to reach. I plan on telling my kids the same "God doesn't expect perfection and neither do I."

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  3. I know some amazing pastor's kids. However, while I agree that no one can be born a Christian or forced into it, my own kids and I have went rounds about whether or not Church should be required. And my view differs from yours. I tell them school isn't optional, and neither is church. I won't make them sing, get baptized, or let them take communion, but attendance isn't optional. Eating supper with our family isn't optional. When we go on family outings, they aren't optional. Church is what our family does on Sunday mornings, and it isn't optional. That's all there is to it. They won't resent me for making them go to school or go hiking, I don't see why church should be the one taboo place I can't make a family expectation.

    Sorry to rant on your blog. This is just a hot topic for me. As always, I love reading your opinions and hearing about your family. And my rant was about my family (not yours). I know pastors have enough expectations on them without random people in the blogosphere telling them how they should or shouldn't raise their kids. You know what you are doing, and I have followed your blog long enough to know you have sought the Lord before determining your position.

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    1. I agree with your opinion school isn't optional and neither is church. I may have been unclear about the "not forcing them to go" part. I do believe as long as they are under my roof we will go together but I do think that at times (we practically live at church) that they don't "have to attend." I appreciate your comment and your opinion.

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  4. I was always in a weird spot woth this because we technically weren't pastor's kids, but our parents lead both mens and womens ministries and took on a lot of pastpral responsibilities so the congregation viewed us as pastors kids. It's crazy how different the expectations for pastors kids are compared to regular kids. So much pressure!

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    1. Yeah, I think if your parents are in full time ministry or major responsibilities in the church the pressure is the same for the kids. It's like your parents are ministers so you must be perfect. It's crazy and so unfair.

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