Pastor's kids are sitting ducks. It's a perfect storm really. Pastor's are busy - but all kinds of dads are busy in other kinds of work - what makes Pastor's kids such a target? Well I have a couple thoughts.
- Pastoring is a people business, so any time other people come before family it feel's like dad is choosing them over us. Could cause some bitterness against other people.
- Pastoring is a church business, so any time the church comes before family it feels like dad is choosing the church over us. Could cause some bitterness against the church.
- Pastoring is a God business, so any time God-stuff comes before family it feels like dad is choosing God-stuff over us. Could cause some bitterness against God.
That's a confusing deal for kids. For a kid whose dad is a businessman - and is busy and neglectful and all that stuff - the kid might get mad at his dad and his dad's business - but that anger and bitterness doesn't necessarily get wrapped up into God and the church and weighty stuff like that. On top of it - I do believe that Spiritual Leaders are subject to a unique spiritual attack.
So all that to say, I had a question ringing in my ears all of Father's Day. "How can I be a better dad?" It is one of my most important roles as a human being, and I'm all about self-evaluation, so I wanted to ponder the question.
Instead of trying to come up with crap on my own - I decided to ask my two oldest kids (got the idea from Mark Batterson) So I asked them- "How can I be a better dad to you guys? What are the things that I'm not doing so well that I can get better at? What do you guys need more of from me that you're not getting right now?" They both really took the question seriously - they pondered and considered - they spend several minutes in quiet thought. Here's what they came up with:
Chase - "there is nothing I can really think of...one thing I thought of... but it's what a bad person would say." I said, "nothing is bad to say right now Chase - everything is fair game - tell me what you're thinking." He said, "I'm just thinking about more money and more stuff - but friends don't like rich people who don't share their stuff." I said, "that's true Chase - it's important to share our stuff." Then he said, "I would like to have you help me build a small house - we could design it together and you could teach me how to build it." Sounds like a good plan (what I resisted saying is "designing and building houses is your mom's department - ask her!")
Caleb - "there is nothing dad - you're an awesome dad. Out of all the dad's of all my friends - there is no one else's dad that I think does a better job than you."
It was encouraging but I think I still need to keep asking the question - because I know there are a lot of things that I need to do better.
What area of your life do you find it hardest to self-evaluate?