An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. ~ Titus 1:6
READING: Titus 1:5-9
I grew up in a dysfunctional pastor’s home. It’s tough to be a pastor’s kid (PK). But my parents made it harder by constantly telling my brothers and me that our behavior (as a six-year old or whatever) directly affected our father’s qualification for his livelihood. Your daddy could lose his job if you don’t obey us! It was a staggering burden for little ones to carry. They exploited our fear of financial disaster to coerce us into rigid submission – or at least enough outward compliance to hoodwink the church folk. That dysfunctional message caused a great deal of damage.
Meanwhile, I married Jim, an exceptional father and elder. He handled this issue in an entirely different way. He gave our sons unconditional love and consistently disciplined them with a firm and patient hand. At first, it astounded me that he remained calm when our little boys messed up occasionally, as little boys do, even publicly, and didn’t harangue them. He never mentioned how their misbehavior might impact his career.
Jim gave our sons room and grace to struggle through the challenges of each stage of childhood, allowing them space to articulate their occasional questions about Christianity without reproach. And, almost every night, he stole into their bedrooms after they fell asleep and prayed over each precious boy.
By God’s abundant grace, our grown sons both love the Lord.
Jim had greater success fulfilling those elder qualifications because he understood that the lion’s share of responsibility rested on his shoulders to be a wise and godly parent, not on our sons to be perfect children.
Dear Father, Have mercy on my children and help me parent them well. Amen.
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