7 Minute Read + Scripture readings


Ezekiel 20:1-49
Hebrews 9:11-28
Psalm 107:1-43
Proverbs 27:11


Proverbs 27:11 (CSB): “Be wise, my son, and bring my heart joy, so that I can answer anyone who taunts me.”


Many have joked about “Preacher’s Kids” (PKs) for years. For some reason, many folks see humor in the fact that some preacher’s kids grow up and essentially abandon the faith.

Since I’m a preacher’s kid, I’ve got an inside scoop on why some PKs go bad:

  • Sometimes, it’s the incredible pressure put on them as they live in the glass house of the Pastor’s home.
  • Sometimes, it’s the overheard conversations of how Deacon so-and-so (or a number of other church members) has been treating dad or talking about him in the parking lot or committee meetings. So, they develop a distaste for the church … and maybe even the Lord.
  • Sometimes, it’s because dad has pastored churches that were content to remain spiritually dead and the PK never got to see an alive and vibrant church that made them want to keep going.
  • Sometimes, the PK strays from the faithful because of his own sinful heart. 

But, sometimes, the blame falls on the pastor, himself. What he appears to be in the pulpit is not at all what he is when he takes his family home and closes the door. The child essentially gets a front row seat to a hypocrite and comes to believe that Christianity is an empty game of “pretend.” They base their beliefs upon what they see (and not the Bible) so they come to believe that Christianity isn’t valid.

I once told a group of guys, as we talked about credibility, that I had adopted the mindset of one of my former pastors. He used to say: “I can always get another church. But, if I lose my family, I may never get them back. So, my priority is my family.”

I have made this my aim. I love my wife and 3 sons so much that I want to consistently live out my faith in front of them whether I am at church or whether I am at home. As they observe what television programs I watch, how I talk about people when they aren’t around, how quick I am to confess my sins, how I behave, and so much more, I want them to realize that while I’m far from perfect, I’m serious about following Jesus.

One of the reasons this is so important is because our children often demonstrate who we really are. If you want to see if a man is fit to be your pastor, look at his children. More times than not, their character will demonstrate whether or not a pastor (or pastoral candidate) is the real deal or a hypocrite. In fact, read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (esp. 4-5) to see that obedient children (at least while they are still living in his home) are a qualification for elders.

So, parents, focus on your children. And begin by focusing on yourself and your walk with Jesus. Model for your children how a Jesus-follower lives and be quick to confess your faults in front of them. Let them realize that while you aren’t perfect, you’re the real deal. And they will, generally speaking, be motivated to follow in your path.

Then, as people wonder if you’re a hypocrite or if you are a serious follower-of-Jesus like you appear to be at church, all they will have to do is look at your kids.

Proverbs 27:11 (CSB): “Be wise, my son, and bring my heart joy, so that I can answer anyone who taunts me.”

P.S. Of course, the best of parents can have a rebellious child. God is the greatest Father of all and we see what happened to Adam and Eve. But, that should be the exception to the rule that in no way undermines the general truth of Proverbs 27:11.