Showing grace is done in distinct, individual actions. The grace PKs need is much more than categorical and conceptual. It is timely, personal, incarnated. To be a parent before a pastor is done in the day-to-day moments of life, in particular acts of grace. To follow the calling of family first is a grace to the family, to the PKs. What follows are particular expressions of graces that PKs need from our parents.
- Don’t counsel, converse. Pastors counsel everyone and the posture can spill over into the pastor-child relationship. Sure, there are times for counseling but by-and-large seek to simply converse with your kids.
- Quit praying and talk to God. Ha! This doesn’t sound very godly at first but what Barnabas is referencing is that Pastor’s Kids are many times all too familiar with the different ins-and-outs of praying. PKs simply need to hear their dads and moms expressing their relationship to God and doing so not in a series of form letters, business proposals, or official requests.
- Leaves sermons in the pulpit. My kids are young so currently this isn’t a big struggle but I need to be reminded that my kids need sincere engagement not a series of lectures or lessons.
- Apologize and repent for specific mistakes. Kids need to see their parents acknowledge and actively working on their struggles and faults.
- Laugh, play, and be affectionate. Part of a building a healthy relationship with your kids is laughing, playing and being affectionate. Kids need this.
- Have friends, not just ministry associates. God has taught me over and over that He’s created me to have close relationships. Thankfully some of our closest friends (who also happen to be in ministry) are like second dads and moms to our kids.
- Let me wonder and even wander. This will be the hardest for me. I know that there’s a 100% chance that each of my kids will break my heart. Why? Because they’re sinners like me. I want to stand ready to love and give grace as my heavenly Father does to me. I pray that God would give me a realistic perspective that my kids are going to have questions about the faith and that from time-to-time they might wander.