One of the most damaging concerns which a Preacher's Kid faces day in day out, in this age which gives them a wrong impression about the gospel, is that Pastors live double lives. Some Pastor's Kids feel their parents are not consistent with the truth.

Many pastors are good actors in the church and will do better in Hollywood or Nollywood movies, but it is very difficult for them to act when they are at home with their wives and children. The children see them more often than an average member of the church will, they know most of their best-kept secrets, and so can accuse them of not living up to what they preach.

Most pastors do not live by examples, and their kids are witnesses to this. Their lifestyle in the church is different from that which they live at home. The members of the church are exposed to the polished, well packaged and nicely branded personality. The children at home know the real temperament, and seeing the dark side of the pastor's personal life can be very disillusioning.

The problem some Preacher's Kids have with the church is caused by the impression their parents have given them about the same. The kids know the sins that their father still struggles with, and they get disturbed when he corrects them on the same issues he still battles with. To them, he is more of a whitewashed tomb; with decomposing interiors, but looking glamorous on the outside. Only the ones who know what goes on inside know the true status, and there are just two of them, the pastor's immediate family members and God.

An average churchgoer believes that the preacher is closer to God than most members and thereby is likely to live a holier life than the same, hence goes to him for prayers because God is going to listen to his requests. Contrary to what most people believe, only the Preachers' Kids know that standing behind the pulpit does not imply perfection. To sit down in the pew and watch your father preach from the pulpit, knowing fully well that some of those things he says are not completely true, or that he does not live the life he claims to live, can strengthen a Preacher's Kid's mind against the same gospel which his father claims to promote. This inconsistency in the words and actions of the pastor always leaves the Preacher's Kid confused, and he keeps wondering what he means when his father quotes "whosoever covers their sins shall not prosper".

This kind of pastoral lifestyle creates a lot of division and unanswered questions in the hearts of the Preacher's Kid. Preacher's Kids who grow up under this atmosphere do not see Christianity as a religion or a spiritual path. To them, it is more of a business venture. Their father's business is pastoring, and just like a doctor who discourages people from smoking cigarettes but can take as many sticks as he likes, damning the consequences, their father can also teach one thing and live another. They are used to that. Although he desires to follow God, but he is torn between following God's precepts and following his father who is indeed not following the same precept, even though he is called 'pastor'.

At this level, what most Pastors' Kids do is to be secretive about their parents' fault. They do not want to destroy their parents' image and integrity before the members.

On the other hand, some pastors live a very pure life at home, but the challenge is that they are a loving pastor in church, but a cruel father at home.

Living the life you preach is not just about avoiding sin, it is about consistency in what you say and what you do.

Either way, the actions of both preacher-parents (the one who engages in sin and the one who is nicer in church than at home) will end up increasing the chances of the P.Ks inclination towards rebelling against the church in the future.


No Man Is Perfect

You need to know that life is not a constant journey. The people you trust today may let you down tomorrow. Those you hold in high esteem today spiritually may engage in things tomorrow, that may cause their ruin and break your heart.

This is because we are all humans; no one is perfect. Our perfect example is Christ, and not man, no matter how spiritual he claims to be. So, quit looking at man; start looking at Jesus. Always remember that you are born into the pastoral family for a reason, let your focus be God and not man. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

If you are waiting to have a perfect father, you will wait until you get to heaven. Your father in heaven is the only perfect Father.

Decide To Be A Better Version

You need to learn to rise beyond the bar your parents have set for themselves. If they have chosen to be bad examples of believers who live on the altar a life different from the one they live at home, rather than allow that to discourage you from going to church whenever you grow up and can take decisions on your own, let it make you decide that you will be a better believer.

Decide to be a better version of your parents. You should not decide to go into hell fire simply because your father is on his way there; and that is exactly what you, unconsciously, plan to do if you allow your father's wayward life (as you are opportune to discover because of your privileged position) influence your spiritual life. Do not forget: Everyone will speak for himself on the last day.

Have a personal experience with God. Develop your own personal relationship with Jesus. Go all out to find Jesus and know Him for yourself. Do not just be limited by what your father's denomination believes in. Grow in the word of God.

Make Up For Him

You may stumble on his weaknesses once in a while, but be there to make up for him. No real son makes merchandise of the weakness of his father. Remember the action of Noah's son when he found his father drunk after the flood. The immature one made jest of his father while the matured ones covered up their father's shortcomings. The former was cursed while the latter was blessed. You also do not want God to frown at you because you are making a mockery of his servant. Always remember that he is still God's anointed one, and he deserves to be treated as one because God is still jealous of him.


Live What You Preach

Being a preacher, it is disastrous to allow your children to question what you preach because of the way you live. One way by which you can let your faith come alive in them is by allowing them to see what you preach in your daily Christian living. Do not pretend to be what you are not. Your children see it all. They can discern things better than you think they can! If your children begin to openly act out to a higher degree the exact attitudes they have seen in you, how proud of them will you be, as a father?

It is always difficult for Pastor's Kids when they see their preacher-parents fail to live up to the standard they require of others. Whether you admit it or not, it gives your son or daughter a lot of disillusions when they see that your life at home is far different from what you preach or your life in church. To them, this is like living a double life. They see this as a high level of deception on their parents' part each time there is a disconnection between their beliefs and their actions. It makes them conclude that most of what their preacher parents say from the altar is not meant to be done; they are just good enough to be said on the altar.

With your attitude, your kids may begin to look down on all other men of God they meet, because they may reflexively begin to think everyone is just like their father who says one thing but does another. This may, in the future, become a big blow on their psyche and they may naturally tend to become nonchalant towards spiritual authorities which will be reflected in their reception of anyone introduced as a man of God.

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Everyone desires to improve himself from time to time, either to be a better employer, a better employee, a better spouse, or a better person. You also must have a desire to be a better preacher parent, just as you desire that your kids will become better Pastor's Kids. Make the life of your children count by endeavoring to live a personal righteous lifestyle at home and faithful exemplary leadership in church.

Be Their Role Model

Be an example of the believer, in church and at home. Good examples go a long way. Children always look beyond what you say to what you do. This is why every pastor needs to try as much as possible to "live" what he "preaches", especially at home. Your children may argue with you on what you preach, but do not give them reasons to argue that you do not live what you preach. They may contend with what you believe, but once they do not have any reason to doubt how you live the life you believe, you will soon win them to your side.

Let the call of God upon your life bring your children closer to God and not drive them farther away from God. When pastoral parents are Godfearing, pastoral kids are godly. Be their role model by modeling a genuine growing communion with God. If how you live is in consonance with what you preach, your children will have no serious challenge living the life that their father is both preaching and living. However, if all they do is to hear it from you on the pulpit and they do not see it in you at home, you will have serious difficulty convincing them to live what you preach. Be sincere in your faith by intentionally allowing them always catch you living the life you preach. This will go a long way to encouraging them to trust the words of the scriptures.

This is what godly parenting is; consistency in your lifestyle and your sermons, your actions and your words. What they see you do from time to time becomes so strong that it blocks their ears, making it difficult for them to hear what you say to them from time to time. How you live at home deafens them to your verbal instructions on how you want them to live. If all you do is to tell them with your mouth what God desires without showing them with your lifestyle, you are opening wide doors for rebellion in the future. Deal with your own blind-spots before your children begin to pick on the dark blots.

Once they see that your relationship with God is not masked, they will desire it. However, if you allow them to discover hypocrisy in your faith, you have sent a silent wrong message to them, and they will begin to see all of this 'Christianity thing' as a disguise. From that moment, they begin to nurse the idea of backing out, not just from the pastor's family, but also from the church and most likely from Christianity.

Live In Integrity

Whatever you are not going to do after leaving the pulpit, do not say behind the pulpit. Always remember that it is of more importance to live with integrity before God than it is to have the approval of some church or some person. Talk is always easy; it is when you line up your words with your actions that your words begin to have meaningful impacts in their lives because that is when they can identify with it.

Every besetting sin in our lives which we find difficult to let go off, no matter how insignificant they look, (be it anger, malice, hatred, lies or unfaithfulness) and which we refuse to own up and admit as weaknesses before our kids, can set them up for a future filled with so many bad decisions. These errors, either of omission or commission grow with them and dominate their memory until they unconsciously begin to reflect in their actions. This may continue until they genuinely meet with the Savior.

They may not support or like your unscriptural actions now, but over time they will begin to unconsciously emulate the exact issues they find in your life, and that time, at a very high degree, either in quantity or quality. You may even have repented and made your ways right then, but you have left a seed unknowingly in the lives of your growing Pastor's Kids. This is summarized in the law of sowing and reaping. Whatever you sow, you shall surely reap.

Ask For Grace

You will need to earnestly ask for grace from God to live beyond whatever weaknesses you have. No excuse is good enough in this regard. All you need is humility to admit to God, and request for grace to overcome such besetting sins. This grace is available if you ask God in prayer with faith.

Open Up To Them

It is not ideal, but it is also possible as a minister of the gospel to have a weakness which you are still struggling with in your life. Depending on the severity of the weakness and the maturity of your grown-up child, you may need to open up to your son about this your struggle and let him know you are doing your best to overcome it. This will prove quite difficult to do, but it might be one of the things you need to do in order to overcome such a weakness.

If you mistakenly allow them to catch you doing what you should not do, do not pull a boldface. Admit in their presence that you are wrong, and apologize if you have to. While confiding in him (since he already knows about it anyway) you may request that he lifts you up in prayers at his personal prayer sessions. This will not reduce your paternal authority over them; it will help him to realize that you are human too, and so are not perfect. He can still count on you whenever he faces his own temptations and challenges too.

In addition to this, make sure you ask for forgiveness of sins from God, and more importantly, let him catch you do it, probably at the family altar. Say something like, "Father I ask that you forgive me the way I amplified the testimony yesterday in church during the sermon. Help me to remember the needed facts next time, so I will not sound as though I am lying to those who know the real facts, in Jesus name I pray."

This will make him appreciate the human face of your spiritual assignment; that you are also tempted like he is, which in essence will help in his personal relationship with God too. It will silently teach him the importance of taking his weakness to God so as to receive grace for mercy in times of need. If he is struggling with issues in his life which you know little or nothing about, he knows where to take them to, learning from your own experience. He has learnt to always go back to God in prayers when he goes off the edge once in a while. It will also help you too, to be more cautious at other times, knowing that you are being watched by your children.

Be On Guard

If you find yourself still struggling with this weakness while waiting for the grace to overcome it and doing everything possible to stop its operation in your life, be conscious of yourself anytime you are around your kid. If you mistakenly fall into this error again in his presence, God will understand your struggle and may be quick to forgive you once you ask Him, but your son may never understand. You may have passed a wrong message to him. Remember, Jesus said "whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea"( Matt. 18:6).