Authenticity and Action

Two Essentials for Parenting Well

The temptation of any child of vocational Christian ministers is to see the work of the ministry as just another thing, just a religious gig. Parent-ministers must break through the “stage show” perception of religious work if their children are to understand that this isn’t big business, a slick profession, or an entertainment arena where Mommy or Daddy puts on a performance.

(Image from Pixabay)

The key word is authenticity. Not perfection, for no one gets it right all the time. But being real. Admit your faults, own them completely, ask for forgiveness, be quick to give it, allow children plenty of room to fail, and let them see you live your life behind the scenes with love, grace, and humor.

All of that takes time and effort, both of which will cost you productivity on the job. Consider it a priceless sacrifice . . . a permanent investment.

Disintegrating families have parents who refuse to face the severity of their children’s actions. Eli knew how horrible his sons had become, yet did nothing!

I’ve seen parents in such denial that they cannot bring themselves to admit that their child has a serious problem with drugs or pornography or sexual promiscuity or stealing—behavior that most others would consider signals to stop and take immediate action.

Yet they act as though the crisis will resolve itself if given a little patience. Wrong.

If you have children who are young, you have those around you who are impressionable. Now’s the time to make your most important investment in them.

If you wait until they’re as tall as you, you will have already allowed them to sow seeds of self-destruction.

If your children are nearly adults, take responsibility for your part in their poor choices, then do whatever is necessary to save them. Because you’ve waited so long, there are few options that don’t have grave consequences. So consider the long term, and do what you must.

It is never too late to see the signs and take action.


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2 thoughts on “Authenticity and Action

  1. Loved the article. We have striven to be very real to our kids and to include them in our ministry as much as possible. Helped them take ownership. We have kept them close and for sure the sacrifice of that is worth it all but at times has taken its toll on them and us. They are the only gift that we can take with us when we leave this world. Hard to imagine any sacrifice great or small being to much. God help us!!

  2. My father did an amazing job with giving me time while serving in ministry. He attended a pentecostal church that taught extreme legalisms, weird and unfounded biblical teachings, and the complete opposite of the value of family time. From the pulpit you received instruction to be in church 7 days a week and 5 times on Sunday. “Praise and Worship” lasted about 2 hours and was full of emotionally charged music with the leader forcing you to “feel” the Spirit. The sermon lasted another two hours. This was a normal service that took place many times during any given week. Holidays were spent in church or you were labeled an outsider. The priority of any family was church, church, church, church giving, your job, and if there was any time left over, your family. Thankfully my dad never bought into this. The demise of such a ministry is ugly; a pastor, leadership in the church, band members (not worshipers), and many others with disintegrated lives and families. Stories that make Eli’s children look like mother Teresa’s kids … oh stop! You know what I mean! The worst part is many of them simply imitate what they see their parents do. Aside from uneducated pastors or leaders in ministry, failure to see and live authentic lives is a big problem. My dad is an authentic guy. He didn’t hide the cracks! He admitted when he was wrong and apologized. He taught us the value of spending time with our Heavenly Father in scripture and prayer. He taught us the value of family time; first mom and then us kids. He taught us the importance of working with excellence and integrity. He taught us the obedience of giving to our Lord and the benefits that come with being a faithful steward. He taught us the importance of serving in ministry. It is because of that model that I want to preach and teach the Word. He also later apologized for keeping my siblings and me in a crazy church like the one I describe above. Sadly, many of my friends still attend “churches” like that. I love what you wrote Pastor Chuck … “Consider it a priceless sacrifice . . . a permanent investment.” Noah didn’t save a church, he saved his family.