I recently spoke with a friend of mine whose pastoral difficulties in his church has spilled over into his family. This is often times unavoidable, but when his children start to ask, “Daddy, why does our church hate us” it takes it to an entirely different level of concern. What is a pastor to do? I have several ideas, but I will start with this one:
Help your children see how important your work is to God
God says through the Apostle Paul, this work of the pastor is a fine work (1 Tim. 3:1). It is a work that constantly keeps us on the edge of life and death; the temporal and the eternal. The pastor leads the central means (the local church) of which God chooses to usher in his coming kingdom in the world. The work of the pastor is an important work, unlike any other labor in this world. Pastors must first realize this themselves, be reminded of it in the midst of difficulty, then teach it to their children. Suffering even at the hands of those you care for is a part of it.
The pastor needs to help his children realize that when their dad is working and away at different times, he is not goofing off. He is not killing time and desiring to be away from them. When their dad is away, he is doing a fine, unique, kingdom building work that serves Christ in a special way.
Pastors, teach your children how important your work is to God, how essential it is to the care of God’s people, and that it is worth suffering for it. The question is…do you pastor, believe that, especially when our families suffer from it?