On June 19, 2012 I took the most beautiful woman in the world to dinner for the first time. It was spectacularly filled with awkwardness. You know the good kind of awkwardness; the cute kind, with butterflies and thrills and chills. It was the best first date of my life. Since that time we have grown very close and she is my absolute best friend. And I am excited to say we have set a date for our wedding.
But, let me tell you. It has not been easy. Oh boy has it not been easy. When I asked Michaela out on our first date I had no clue what was to come. I had no clue that by asking her out, I was essentially inviting her family and her church into our relationship. I had no clue I was going to be dating and falling in love with her wonderful family and beautiful God-fearing church.
In essence, I had no clue I would be dating a member of the glass house—the life that is always under observation from others. She is a member of the glass house because of her father’s called and chosen vocation.
You see, he is a super secret assassin spy within a covert operation of the government stylized with an acronym you’ve never heard which is located on an island that you have also never heard of. Only his wife knows his real name. And for all apparent reasons, he does not really ‘exist’ in society.
Just kidding. He’s a pastor.
I remember the first time I went over to their house; he wanted to know about my religious beliefs, relationship with Christ, where my church membership was, what denomination I belonged to, and some other things. At the time I just thought he was being a protective dad, and while that is true, there was more to it. He wanted to get to know my basics right then and there because, yes, I was dating his daughter, but also because I would be associating with his family as a whole. And that is not to say that he was worried about appearances, but he was concerned for the spiritual well-being of his family. As a guy who has three younger sisters and desires to one day have children of his own, I, just like you, want all of those whom I love and cherish to find the right man or woman God would have them be with.
With all of that being said, there are two things you can always do for your pastor and his family since they live in a glass house.
The first is to pray for them. You can always pray for their well-being in any realm, be that physical or spiritual. I think this is the most important thing you can do for your pastor and his family.
The second thing you can do for your pastor and his family is to stop holding them up to a cookie-cutter mold of what you think a pastor’s family should look like.
Just because pastors live under observation of church members doesn’t mean they are all the same.
I have known pastors who drive sedans, sports cars, motorcycles, trucks, and minivans. I have known pastors who like to vacation and those who don’t. I have known pastors who have been married multiple times and some who aren’t married. I have known pastor’s wives who can and those who cannot sing, cook, bake, tie her husband’s tie, and lead a Bible study. I have known pastor’s kids who are both the ‘perfect Christian child’ and those who are absolutely rebellious, and some who are in between. But, none of that is important. What is important is that they love and follow God’s leading.
Hopefully, you realize your pastor and his family live in a glass house. And hopefully, by now you have realized it is not right to stereotype them. Pastors aren’t always potbellied, a pastor’s wife isn’t always a born singer, and a pastor’s child isn’t always an shoe-shined image of what their parents desire them to be. They are people who are complexly and uniquely created by God.
They live in a glass house, and truthfully a glass world. The church is always watching what they do because they follow their pastor’s lead. However, is it fair for you to place upon them burdens they aren’t fit to carry? No, it isn’t. Your pastor and his family were made in their own peculiar, beautiful way.