A Letter from a Parent to a Church

You matter to the kids in your church.  -christyfitzwater.com

Dear Church,

A decade ago, when you called my husband to be one of your pastors, I felt worried about my kids.

Pastors’ kids tend to go bad.

I was worried you might treat my kids differently because of their position, maybe set expectations high.

And you have.

You have loved them more and have expected great things.

You affectionately surrounded my daughter and cocooned her through difficult teenage years.

You have laughed at my son’s antics but have told him when to be quiet.

You have let my boy and girl be not perfect.

You have put them in leadership positions because you have seen what they can do and you have looked ahead to see where they can go.

You have clapped and hugged and celebrated their accomplishments.

You have had them over to dance Michael Jackson on the Wii and have bought them hot chocolate and burgers and milkshakes.

You have prodded them to work hard and rake leaves for elderly women and serve food in soup kitchens and clear rocks from bike paths.

And you have never once mentioned the pastor’s kid thing. They’re just kids and they’re family and you care about them.

You have loved Jesus for real –every day where my kids can see it.

I think my kids have grown to love God and to make good choices. That’s no small statement for a pastor’s wife to make. I’d like to think they’re good kids because I’m a super terrific mom, but I know a big chunk of the goodness in my kids is because of how you’ve wrapped family around them.

I’m grateful.


“…love the  family of believers…” (1 Peter 2:17 NIV)


  1. Becky Carpenter says:

    I am a pastor’s wife, and mother of four kids. I had the same apprehensions when my husband and I came here to our church. The first church he pastored was tiny, and my kids did get some of the “you’re a pastor’s kid, so I will loudly rebuke you during church if you even dare to look at your friend, while ignoring my own kids’ terrible behavior” treatment. When we came here, my kids were aged 8-13 (and my 13-year-old had a terrible chip on her shoulder!). This church had been around for 50 years, and my husband was only the second pastor it had ever had. The former/founding pastor had passed away, and his adult children never darkened the door of our church – though his widow was still a formidable force here! In addition, the church was reeling from the scandal of the pastor’s son posing as a financial advisor to many church members, only to have drained their retirement savings, as well as the church’s building fund. To say I was apprehensive about how my kids would be treated and perceived would be an understatement! One of our first weeks here, I had the need for a somewhat tense exchange with the above-mentioned 13-year-old in all her defiant glory in our church foyer. To my dismay, I saw our head deacon – a formidable man (but with a very tender heart, I would later discover) watching. I immediately apologized that he had had to see that. I’ll never forget what he said. “She’s a kid!”
    We have now been here almost 12 years. In those years, our church members have seen my kids at their best – but also at their worst. They have seen that angry 13-year-old turn into a godly (though still strong-willed) young woman. Some of my kids are wholehearted for the Lord, some I’m still praying in faith waiting to see that happen. I can honestly say, however, that every one of my kids knows that they are members of our church family, and are dearly loved and supported by our people. I am so thankful, that it still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it! Praise the Lord for church members who see kids as kids, and love them like their own as they help them and encourage them in their walks with the Lord!

    1. What a wonderful story of the grace a church can give to a pastor’s family. We have real kids, and it’s a gift when people know that. Thanks for sharing!

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