It was Tuesday and, like any other Tuesday, I was sitting at my desk, Bible open, wrestling with the upcoming Sunday's sermon outline. In short, I was being a good pastor, doing the hard work of preparing to put another meal on the table for my church family. In the midst of my faithful stewardship of the pastoral responsibility God has given me (said in a pompous and sarcastic tone), I received the following text message from my wife:
"Ava said we haven't read our Bible in a long time…"
If you don't know, Ava is our four-year-old daughter, the oldest of our three kids. With a single sentence, my princess drove a sword of conviction through my heart. Nothing like being paid to pastor a church and being innocently reminded by the honest observation of your four-year-old that you're dropping the ball pastoring the most important people in your life.
The good news is that we have developed regular Bible reading as a habit in our home to the extent that it’s absence is noticeable. The bad news is, over the last month, I have neglected my responsibility as the spiritual leader in my home by opening the Bible with my kids.
I share this uncomfortable story for two reasons:
First, if you're a mommy or daddy failing to lead perfectly in your home, hopefully you're oddly encouraged. You are not alone. None of us leads perfectly, and, even when we fail, the grace of God covers us and the Spirit of God empowers us to greater obedience.
Second, maybe you need the same reminder Ava offered me. Our chief spiritual leadership responsibility (pastors and parents) is always in our homes.
Though it stings, I'm so thankful that God uses even my children to call me back to Him. I need His grace and His strength because I need to grow.