Being a pastor's wife is hard. Being a mom is also hard. Being both is something else entirely. My husband and I have been in ministry all fifteen years of our marriage. Last year, we jumped off a cliff and planted a church on Easter. Did I mention, we have eight kids? They range in age from 1yr-15yrs old and no I'm not sure if we are finished yet. When I think about my kids being saturated in the culture of church there are three things that stand out to me.
1. I refuse to sacrifice my kids on the alter of ministry.
In my life, my kids come before my ministry, period. I will not allow them to grow up with a skewed view of the church because they played second fiddle. This church plant is our baby, but I feel like I would be doing a disservice to the calling on my life if my physical babies didn't come first. Now, I will say we do not believe that our universe revolves around our children. But it is my job to make sure they know their place in my heart. My favorite way we combat this in our family is to allow the kids to pursue their passions within our community. I have one son who loves graphic design and video media, so he creates all our videos and a large part of our graphics. One of my older girls loves children, so she serves whenever she wants in the nursery. My hope is that my kids will remember their passions being utilized, not stifled in the church.
2. My kids will know it is a privilege to serve the church. We get to serve the kingdom, we don't have to. Because our church is so new, my family facilitates almost everything. From bible studies, to Sunday morning services, to youth, to janitorial and the nursery. I'm human, so this service can sometimes feel like a burden. But I get to decide if my kids feel that same burden by the words I choose to speak and the attitude in which I carry myself. Our family has been called to a very difficult and heavy task. But if I keep my perspective right, I will remember it is a joy to serve these people, and it is a blessing to speak into their lives. We have the privilege of bringing the beautiful story of our Savior to the forefront of peoples thinking and we get a front row seat to changed lives. That my friends, is a gift and I intend for my children to see it and remember it as such.
3. My kids will not hear the"nasty stuff" that happens behind the scenes of ministry. Now having a front row seat to changed lives means you see a lot of junk before the change. Not only that, but I think sometimes the church contains more politics than the government. People can be mean and nasty. We are walking targets, and our kids are too. But again, I get to dictate their view and knowledge of all of this. I choose not to speak negatively in their presence about anyone and I should probably work on not doing this at all. Again, I'm human. But I really do work hard to not change their view of people by the words I speak. Our words are so powerful, and I will work my tail off to speak life over my family and over the church, God has called me to. I also make it very clear to them that you cannot expect people who are not believers to act like those who are. We are called to bring living words to a dead people, and sometimes it hurts.
As moms' and pastors' wives, we will shape the view of the bride of Christ that our children carry to adulthood. This is heavy yo, so make sure your kids understand your passion for the church. Make it clear of their importance and your first call to shepherd your family. Identify your kids' passions and partner them with someone in that area of ministry. Remember that little ears hear everything, so use your words to shape your kids world and their view of the church. Because the next generation of pastors and pastors wives might be under your roof.
Ashlee Baker, the girl who sleeps with the pastor (Tulsa, Ok)