Scripture: Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. (1 Samuel 8:1-3 NKJV)

Observation: Samuel’s sons were corrupt and like other religious leaders at the time they took advantage of their position to exploit the people.
     The Israelites, on the other hand, wanted to “keep up with the Joneses” and asked Samuel, the God-given leader of his time, to give them a king to reign over them.  This obviously displeased Samuel.  God, however, understood clearly that it wasn’t Samuel but God they were rejecting, and yet, God kindly tried to show them what they would get if they chose a human king for themselves instead of God.

Application: As I visited with a pastor-friend over the weekend, we talked about PKs – Pastors’ Kids.  Even in the homes of the best of pastors, children have gone astray.  Even in the home of a beloved, life-long prophet like Samuel, his children went bad.
     How is it possible that from godly parents would come children who leave the church, some even leave God?
     I recognize that it’s not always a single event or situation but rather a number of these which drive them to take those steps.  Maybe it’s the “constant” moving from one church, one community, one school to another.  Maybe it’s leaving friends behind and being put in the position of meeting new ones only to leave them again a few years later.  Perhaps it was the school or series of schools they attended.  Maybe it was the series of teachers and principals.  Or maybe the church people, the conference, or what the view as “the church” in general.  Or maybe it was us, their parents, who spent more time doing the work of the Lord than spending time with His and our children.  Whatever it might be, we certainly recognize the challenges of our, and other, PKs, and how much pain their decisions cause us.  I said to another pastor-friend that maybe God, considering the pressure and the challenges that PKs live under has a special dispensation of His grace for them.  At least that is my hope and prayer for my own PKs.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, I pray for our children, particularly PKs, who are targets of the enemy and sometimes even of members of the church family.  May Your grace be sufficient for them, too.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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