It’s a little intense raising pastor’s kids. It can be unsettling to know that they could treasure their Lord so dearly right now and then turn and walk away from all of it. As we have seen some do.
I realize that humility is usually right there to help us not get too full of ourselves. Especially in this line of work. There is a vulnerability that must be present in our lives. We try to share life authentically with those who choose to trust us. We want to be the kind of people that Michael preaches about.
We try to hope and trust in the faithfulness of God in these things.
That is why stories like this are precious to me. And I write them down and thank the Lord for them, because they sustain us, even as we try to hold these children so loosely. We want to give them space to be who God has made them to be.
There are a few phrases that I will remember forever.
A new one was added to the list a few weeks ago. I really don’t want to sensationalize this. But I do want to share it with you. So if you’re reading this, that’s my disclaimer. Hopefully you’ll know what I mean when this is finished.
Recently, one of our children decided to tell one of their friends about Jesus and what He did for us. This child thought about it for awhile before telling this friend. There was motivation behind this decision: without a relationship with Jesus, this friend is going to Hell. For eternity.
That should burden us all. But some of us are too scared. Or busy. Or we don’t believe it could be true.
Anyway, I was unaware that this had happened until that evening. I asked this child about it because Michael told me I would want to hear the story first hand.
I will never forget that conversation…
“Mom, I did it just like Dad told me. I started with the bad news first. That we are all sinners and we deserve to go to hell…
…then I told them the good news, that if we tell Jesus we repent of our sins and believe that he died on the cross and forgave us then we can go to heaven.”
I said I was so proud, and I asked what the friend said.
“well, he changed the subject…but I went back to it and said “okay man, I am not going to quit telling you about this, and I’m not going to quit inviting you to church until you start coming with me.” And then we went back to playing.”
Oh my heart. Is there anything in this life more important than sharing Jesus with our children and hearing them pass it on?
It has taken me weeks to sort through this conversation. What I keep coming to is this:
The goodness of God…that I get to be a part of this family.
That my children have a dad who takes the time to teach them. Michael doesn’t just preach this from the pulpit, he takes the time to have many, many conversations with our kids. About why we want to tell our friends about Jesus, about what to say. About why we love the people that God put around us. And that God will never stop loving them.
Michael comes home and spends the time that it takes to teach his children about life.
Maybe some pastors are not people their children want to model, or maybe they don’t take the time to let their children know them. There are many reasons pastor’s children stray. I have to think that some of those reasons are a lack of interest or interaction pastors have in the lives of their children. I am grateful that Michael and I both had dads that took time for us.
In my eyes Michael is a success because he takes the time for what matters. I’m so glad for that. The things that matter are messy and sometimes it takes a long time to see the good things happening. But that’s why I’m writing. So we can see these things and remember.