Succeeding as a Pastor, Failing as a Parent Part 4

Aug 29, 2022

We’re continuing this blog series today called Succeeding as a Pastor but Failing as a Parent. You can read the rest of the posts here:


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


The goal for this series is to share with you some mistakes that I made in the first 10 years of being a parent and some things we’ve tried to change and do better as parents over the past 6 years. I’m still not perfect and I still make mistakes, but hopefully the mistakes outlined here will help each of us move closer to God and build our relationship with our kids.

4. I lied to my kids.

I didn’t set out to be a liar. Lying to my kids wasn’t something that I consciously thought to do. It just happened here and there. One of my kids would get in the car and be really excited. “Hey dad, do you think we could play football when we get home.” My response: “Absolutely.” We would get home and I would get distracted or start watching TV and we wouldn’t play football. “Dad, can we go to the mall tonight and look for some basketball shoes?” My response: “We can’t tonight but maybe later this week.” In my mind, I knew we wouldn’t be going to the mall, I was just trying to pacify him.

My dishonesty didn’t stop there…it spilled over into my teaching on Sunday morning. I would exaggerate stories and embellish here and there to make an illustration during a message on Sunday. We would get in the car and Trish or one of the boys would say, “You know that story didn’t play out like that.” or “Dad, I didn’t say it like the way you said it today.” It wasn’t an obvious lie, just a subtle shifting of the truth.

Through these distortions of the truth, I began to notice that my kids were questioning my word. When I said I would be home at 5, would I really be home at 5? When I said I would be at their game would I really be at their game? When I told a story from the stage, would they respect me for telling the story or inside would they be embarrassed for me as I stretched the truth of the story?

It may seem like a little thing, but respect is earned through integrity. Over the past six years, I have worked really hard to have my word count. When I say I’ll be home, I’m home. When I say something from the stage, I try to nail the details of the story as they actually happened. The worst thing that could happen is for others to think more of me than the people closest to me. That is me building my reputation while my character dies a slow death.

How are you at truth-telling with your kids? Do they think your word is trust-worthy? Maybe the single greatest thing you can do to improve your relationship with your kids is simply tell the truth. It has been a redeeming act in our family.