Our guest pastors’ wives are Mrs. Kimberly Polk, wife of Pastor Jonathan Polk, of Abundant Grace Ministries in Los Angeles, CA, and, Mrs. Rose Yu, wife of Pastor Steve Yu, of El Toro Baptist Church in Lake Forest, CA.
3 Things Your Pastor’s Wife Which You Knew was addressed in our previous blog for the “Pastors’ Wives Perspective” (PWP) series.
Church life can be difficult at times for pastors and their wives, but what about their children?
Wild and rebellious, are words often associated with pastor/preacher kids (PKs). In fact, it’s often said that PKs are the “worse ones” in church. Why is this stigma attached to children?
The church has to be more supportive of and pray for PKs.
My husband and I ( Kesha Griffin, Bible Thinking Woman), do not have children, so we haven’t endured parenting trials:-). However, we’ve had conversations about what it would be like to raise our children in the church, as a PK.
Can I confess that the thought of raising a PK is a tad (ok, a lot) frightening to me?
The truth is, the church can be brutal towards our own. When I think about the level of pressure, expectations, and even loneliness that our children (if the Lord were to bless us with children) would possibly go through, I cringe.
I’ve asked my sisters in Christ who are pastors’ wives raising children, to shed light on raising PKs.
Here is Sister Kimberly’s perspective.
As a young girl growing up, I always knew that I wanted to get married and have children. My husband and I would buy a home and raise our family to love the Lord. But then life happens, and my husband is called to be a pastor.
Now, we know that there is a lot of pressure that comes along with being a pastor. Yet, as the wife of a pastor, there are certain things that are not only expected of you but are required of you. The call of a pastor is not solely for him. Yes, he is the one responsible for the souls that the Lord places in his care (Hebrews 13:17), but his wife has a major role to play in that call as well.
A pastor’s household must be managed well (1 Timothy 3:4-5). As his wife, I am his support system at home, and with the help of the Lord, am “required” to help him wherever he may need that help.
However, what many church members don’t realize, is that the children of the pastor have to sacrifice their lives as well. They have to share their father.
PKs are also expected to behave in a certain manner. Although they should behave, be respectful, learn and understand key concepts in scripture, we must remember that they are children.
They are in constant need of guidance and support. We must not assume that they know Christ as their Savior because of who their parents are. My husband and I are continually evangelizing them and introducing them to the gospel, and praying diligently for them to fall in love with Christ and give Him their all.
Pastors wives need church members to partner with them and pray for their children.
Our children, like all children, are born unbelieving and need to be shepherded, discipled and led to the cross of our dear Lord.
Here is Sister Rose’s perspective.
As a pastor’s wife and mother of two kids (a 16-year-old young man, and a sweet, 9- year-old girl), I have quite a few thoughts about raising PKs. Yet, if I could tell the church one thing about PKs, it would be to remind them of 1 Timothy 3:4-5,
“He (elder) must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”.
Is not God so wise as to give His church this verse? It makes perfect sense, right? If a leader can’t manage his home, specifically in this verse, his own kids, how would he be able to manage the church?
“God has so designed the universe that the parental role of disciplinarian, model, authority, and servant-leader generally has a profound effect upon the behavior of the children.” Justin Taylor – desiringGod.org
Granted, it is hard to be a godly parent. Believe me, my kids have heard the word “sorry” from “mommy” on more than several occasions. Yes…their mom is a full-fledged sinner! PK kids are far from perfect too. They have the same struggles as other kids do. They will make bad decisions, have tantrums, argue with siblings, get discouraged and frustrated, be overly concerned with fitting in with their peer groups and succumb to temptation.
Doesn’t this sound a lot like the struggles that we face as a church family?
And what is my responsibility as a Christian parent? To biblically help my children through all these experiences of life. And how does God instruct me to help my children?
- To teach them about God.
- To help them understand their broken relationship with God because of sin.
- To share with them about the free loving gift of grace that comes from the sacrifice of Jesus through His death and resurrection.
- Then, how to strengthen that love relationship with Him and teach them biblical wisdom to live their life for His glory. To be satisfied in Him.
So what can you as a church do?
Take heed to this verse and understand it’s wisdom. Be wise in choosing your servant/leaders and encourage those that aspire to servant/leadership to make it their priority to manage their home well, so they can be qualified to lead. Seek to understand that if you have leaders that aren’t managing their home well, they will not manage your church well either, and should be asked to step down for the glory of God’s name. They will be okay. There are so many other ways they can serve the church than just as a pastor or elder.
Here is a list of several biblical counseling books (some, I started reading when my first child was still in my belly), that have helped equip me with biblical principles to deal with the issues I face on a daily basis as a parent:
“Shepherding A Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp
“Get Offa My Case! Godly Parenting of an Angry Teen” by Rick Horne
“Help! My Teen is Rebellious” by Dr. Dave Coats
“The Heart of Anger” by Lou Priolo
As a side note, I’m so deeply thankful for all the strong role models in our church, like youth leaders, elders, deacons and older men and women that love, protect, correct and encourage my children!
The church must remember that ultimately, raising a PK is simply discipling your family to love, fear, and serve the Lord with all their heart, mind, and soul. It is not so much about actions, as much as the heart toward Christ. In other words, ‘pastoring/shepherding’ at home.