I know what you’re saying, “You don’t have kids. You don’t know.” You’re right; I don’t have kids (at the time of this writing), and I don’t know much of anything.
But I’m the son of a preacher. And now I’m a faithful Christian who is in love with the Church.
I know of a lot of PKs (preacher’s kids) who have left the church. So my dad can claim something that many preachers cannot. He has a son who is dedicated to Christ. What did he do right? While I’m not aware of everything he did, I remember these things:
1. He was home for the evenings and had a regular off day. I didn’t grow up disenfranchised with the Church because I felt like my dad had time for me. And his off day was always Friday; I could always count on that.
2. He talked to and spent time with my siblings and me. I think there are a lot of fellow PKs who, deep down, felt like their dads loved the congregation more than he loved them. I can’t relate to that feeling. My dad spent time with me and my siblings. He would talk to us, take us to the park, treat us at a restaurant, wrestle with us, read to us, and watch movies with us. And he built me the coolest model battleships and toy guns out of wood.
3. He guarded me from ugliness in the Church. Don’t get me wrong; the Bride of Christ is “holy and without blemish.” But because the Church is comprised of people, sin is present. Sin is always the root cause of church problems. But growing up, I knew relatively little about problems with the elders, persnickety members, and stress that my dad was dealing with. Now I know these things all too well. But during my impressionable childhood, I saw the Lord’s Church in all of its innocent glory.
4. He wasn’t a hypocrite. Simply put, he lived what he preached. My dad is honorable and blameless. He was (and is) the same dedicated New Testament Christian at all times, regardless of whether he was at home or at church. He exemplified Christ in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. I know that that we are all hypocrites to varying degrees, but I didn’t grow up with a bad taste in my mouth.
I don’t know much, but I know that a preacher needs to love his family more than the responsibilities of his work. And if your family suffers, your work suffers.