Supporting preachers kids and PK is primarily your job as a pastor’s wife (your husband to, but this blog isn’t about him). We have to be intentional about looking out for our kids and protecting them for those who can cause harm.
Sure, the African proverb” it takes a village” is true, but sometimes the village could be the problem. No, it’s your job to discern what your children need and how they feel. I can’t drive that home enough. We have to look out for our kids (preachers kids and PKs).
As a ministry couple, it’s easy to get caught up in the work of the Lord and not keep first things first as it pertains to your children. I think this is why most ministry children misbehave or grow bitter toward the church. Who wouldn’t be jealous of someone (or something) that takes the very thing you hold dear away?
You child could feel like any of one of the following:
“Mom and Dad love other people more than me”
I personally believe that even if moms stay close to home, children need dads too. In my opinion, this is especially true for boys. Isn’t it sad to think children could possible perceive dad’s devotion [to ministry] as a personal rejection? I hate the thought of that. Mom and dad must balance their service so no child ever feels that way. We have to keep “first things first”. Supporting pastors’ children and PKs means spending time with them and reinforcing your love for them – time and time again. It can get difficult to balance it all. That’s when mom guilt hits me. Still I try.
“Church always comes before family”
Many Christians equate work (inside the church building) as service directly to God. I venture further to say some ministry couples even think the church IS God. If this concept were true, a lot of people would be in big trouble. People with physical disabilities would be left out of serving completely! Folks in prison could never serve God if this were true. They can’t get to church, but they can serve God, right? That’s utter foolishness because you don’t have to physically be in the building (or drag your kids there) to serve. Service takes many forms and varies by life season. For instance, service may look one way for ministry couples when the children are younger and another when the children are grown.
Find ways to serve without taking time away from those kids. Preachers’ kids and PKs have it hard enough without feeling rejected by us.Life is hard for preacher's kids. Please try to be kind to them every chance you get. #seniorpastorswives #pastorswives Click To Tweet
“Mom/Dad don’t have my back when it comes to church people.”
When I was a little girl in the 70s, if we misbehaved at church, the members could reprimand us and often did. I am not talking physically, but verbally. Most of the time this was a good thing. But, one time a lady yelled at me; I mean she lit into me until I cried. I’d say I was about 7 years old. My aunt saw me crying from across the room and walked over. I told her what happened (with the church lady right there). Let’s say my aunt Deborah had a Godly indigence – yeah, that’s what we’ll call it. Anyway, she explained to the lady that I was not to be spoken to in such a way. She went on to say “if Teri does something, you just come get me”. Then she bent down and wiped my cheek with a soft, white cloth handkerchief. I remember it like yesterday.
Now, I was not a pastor’s kid, but let me tell you, I felt so very protected and loved in that moment. I think one of the reasons I remember it in such detail is because it made me feel that I was worth something and that I mattered. Our kids need that too – especially our preachers’ kids and PKs.
Don’t allow church people to say just anything to your child or treat them any sort of way. It’s common for them to think of preachers’ kids and PKs as “community property”. They are not. Everyone in church is not mentally healthy. Everyone doesn’t get to hold your baby. Everyone should not pick up your child. When my son was little, he would get so “weirded” out by church people hugging him without his consent or picking him up without notice or his permission. It took me years to understand that so many of them were essentially strangers in his little mind. That’s about the time I stopped insisting he hug people unless he wanted to do so.
Also, everyone in church is not mentally and spiritually in a good place. Remember, church is a spiritual hospital and people are in various stages of development. We can’t always trust people to handle our kids with the same care and safety in which we would. Also, don’t allow everyone to be alone with your child… same reason.
Keep your priorities straight and support your children to the ends of the earth. In the end you’ll suffer most if they go astray. Indeed, no one has a higher stake in their well-being than you.
As you continue to ponder supporting pastors’ children and PKs, check out this article exploring why our kids fall away from Christianity: https://www.gotquestions.org/preachers-kids.html.
If you are a church member: go light on pastor’s kids. They have a very difficult time and it’s not their fault. They face time away from parents and struggle to find their own identity in the light of ministry.
Please have grace and compassion.
Married to a Pastor.com is a blog for pastors wives focused on offering encouragement for a pastor’s wife as well as insight on being a pastor’s wife…from one pastor’s wife to another.
|Am I Messing Up My Kids?: …and Other Questions Every Mom Asks – unabridged audio book on CD
By Lysa M. TerKeurst / christianaudioMany moms wonder if they’re doing something that will mess up their child’s life for good or adversely impact it. In Am I Messing Up My Kids, Lysa TerKeurst helps mothers relax, let go of guilt, and turn to God for support and guidance. Lysa thinks it time to stop blaming parents when a child does something wrong, let kids suffer the consequences of their poor behavior, and let moms experience peace and satisfaction while raising their kids.Unabridged audio CD; approximately 5.5 hours; 5 CDs; read by Sarah Zimmerman.