The Perfect Pastor’s Family

At times, the specter of the perfect pastor’s family haunts my days. The Perfect Pastor’s family eat all their meals together, ending with devotions. The perfect pastor’s wife sings and plays the organ. She pays personal monthly visits on every church member and to first-time visitors she takes a pot of homemade jam from strawberries in her garden. She teaches Bible study in her perfectly kept home, serving homemade goodies she baked at 6 a.m.

The perfect P.K.’s were born again by age five. They each teach a Sunday school class and never whine about the restrictions they feel as PK’s. They tutor less-fortunate kids in their spare time.

The perfect pastor is young with 30 years experience, forceful with a gentle nature and, while scholarly, preaches sermons that are easily understood. His family sits on the front row taking notes.

The perfect pastor’s family doesn’t exist, but our preoccupation with perfection can keep us from seeing our contribution to others. Shakespeare said, “comparisons are odious.” In fact, they’re a lot like a carnival’s trick mirrors. Stopping at one, I view my middle-aged form transformed into a svelte image, but the happiness only lasts until the next mirror where I see myself as dumpy. It is silly to feel good or bad about either reflection, since neither are true.

Comparisons only measure us against someone else, never against God’s expectations. When I compare my singing ability to Sandy Patti’s I’m downhearted, but when I contrast it to Tiny Tim’s I feel better. Yet neither says anything about my potential.

Comparisons are a phantom, conjured up by what you feel constitutes a “good pastor’s wife.” Mind games are a specialty of Satan’s. He’ll place you under bondage as long as you buy into the fiction that being effective means being perfect. Remember the Apostle Paul who said, “In our infirmities, He is made strong.” So relax and allow God to use you.

Reprinted by permission, Letter’s To My Friends, Vol. 1, Brynwood Publishing.



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