Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What is the secret of good parenting? When my boys leave my nest (I tear up just writing that)I want my children to love Jesus, and I want them to have a healthy respect for others. Beyond that, I'm not picky. Of course I dream of them being in the Major Leagues playing for the Cubs (the leagues first pitcher catcher brother combo), making millions, and then dedicating their life to caring for their elderly parents.

When I think of the worst tragedy that I could ever experience, it would definitely be having children who don't love the Lord. It is a fear that keeps me up at night. Especially being in the ministry, I know that comes with complicated issues for parents and children. I sadly know several pastor's children who have rebelled against the church, and ultimately against God. Fortunately I also know, Judith, Megan, Angel, and Mrs. B who are children of those in ministry and they all love the Lord.

So, this is a two fold question for you in the blogosphere.. How can I be a successful parent, and what are some particular things I need to know about raising children in ministry?


Mike Stenglein said...

Never run out of duct tape.
Two things that stick out in my mind when I was growing up (as I don't currently have kids..yet)
1. Although my parents encouraged us to go to church, they were not as fastidious about going themselves. I have always been a huge proponent of lead by example. Still am.
2. My Dad mostly, was always cut and dry and gave info to me straight. Even though I may not have always liked it, now that I am older, I truly appreciate it.

Cara said...

There will be a time in their lives, when your boys will "choose" to love the Lord. Right now they love him because that is all they have known. You can't force any one to go to church or to be a Christian and I think the PK's that turned away from the Lord may have had Christianity shoved down their thoats until they had to rebell. I think you guys are doing a great job in raising your boys, just remember you can only give them the materials to succeed and the rest is up to them

Joan said...

Communication is always important and you are doing a great job at that. We see it in your blogs. Along with that, and this is my opinion, it seems to me that the ones who have walked away from the church are the ones who were continually told that God did miracles, God delivered, God was involved in their lives but they never really saw if for themselves or made aware of God's involvenment except to maybe be told that God wouldn't like what they were doing and they better follow the rules. I believe as parents we need to continually show our children where God is working in our lives and in our world. Discuss with them what they are seeing God doing and PRAY together keeping note of what you are praying for and the answers you are getting. God told the Israelites to build altars as a rememberance. So build altars in your family to remind your childred of who God is and what He has done for them and your family. Also, keep in mind that the trials and difficulties we go through are always for a purpose to deepen our relationship with Jesus. If we are never in want we will never know that He will provide. God has incredible plans for Parker and Kent and we will all be amazed as we watch God impact their lives with His Spirit and power. Their destinies are secure in Him and He is able to complete what He began.

Mrs. B. said...

My sister and I have talked about this lots. We have been trying to study how some ministry kids have "stayed on track" and others have gotten painfully sidetracked.

We've decided it's in the parents (usually). And it depends on how "real" you are.
Be real. Be humble. And PRAY!
Your boys will see the real-ness of your walk with God. There is no denying it and that will affect them.
Also, humility...being able to apologize when you screw up. I don't know how many times my dad apologized to me w/ tears in his eyes. Instead of bringing my estimation of him down, apologizing brought it up. I loved him for that.
Pray. Pray. Pray.
I swear my parents prayed, "Lord, catch Ashley in any sin she may find herself in."
I got caught EVERY.TIME. Nomatterwhat.
I could never get very far in doing wrong because I would be found out and that lead to me just never doing things that were rebellious...I just didn't want to get caught.

But really? We just decided it is all about transperency and real-ness. (Is real-ness a word?)

Sorry it got so long...but that was a great question.

P.S. You've been awarded over at my blog! :)

dflattery said...

Did you read the article in the last Enrichment magazine for ministers? They had a whole section about the minister's family. They interviewed several pastor's kids. It was excellent. If you don't have the magazine let me know and I will let you borrow my copy.

Megan said...

As a PK it was never an option to go to church. I think growing up I only asked 1 TIME and when I did the answer was..."did you really just ask that question." haha

I believe my parents raised me with great values and taught me very well. I don't believe it was shoved down my throat. I did though run away from God for a while in middle school. I was very verbal with my parents on how I didn't want to go to church and I didn't love God. They continued to love me even more. Nothing changed. I then finally let God back into my life before entering high school. God smacked me around pretty good. I believe that no matter if you are a PK or not you will have your times of struggle. I look back and LOVE the way I was raised. I love my parents and everything they taught me. Middle school was rough for me and them, but in the end I made that choice on my own to serve the Lord. I LOVE being a PK and I always did. There were certain things about it that I didn't like, but I didn't mind having my dad as my pastor.

I believe if you continue to raise your children the way God wants you to raise them than He will bless you and your family. There is nothing you can do other than that. Pray and give it over to God.

The PK's that do fall away from the Lord are ones that I believe have been misguided in some way. I have seen some parents turn their back on their kids. I think that is when PK's go bad.

No matter what your child says or does love them EVEN MORE and pray for them EVEN MORE!


Bobbi said...

Bethany, I've started to leave a comment on this post several times but never really knew where to begin. I was a PK gone bad...thankfully now I have a personal relationship with Christ but it's been a long journey. As I've read other comments I think Joan hit the nail on the head. Also, the comment from Mrs. B "Be real, be humble and pray" is another great point. In my childhood my parents did not set very many good examples and there was an overload of rules...also there was no openness to talk about things. It's been difficult for me now to honor my parents because I don't have much respect for them. Most of the time the message they portrayed was to put on a front that everything is perfect on the outside no matter what. From reading your blog it seems you are doing an excellent job parenting and it's refreshing!

Judith and Lance said...

My dad once told me not to date a guy who was a member of our church for fear they might leave if we broke up.... that REALLY hurt me. So from that story I would just say to always make sure that Kent and Parker know that their lives, needs, wants and hopes are more important than anything and anyone @ the church.

Also, mom mother always always always provided unconditonal love for me and I honestly think that covered anything that she ever did wrong as a parent. Because regardless of what I did or she did I knew she would love me and always be there for me.

From what I can tell, it seems that you are doing a fantastic job, Bethany. Keep up the good work!