Pastors’ children can walk the faith in a wild world
When Rev Dr Peter Wanyonyi, a pastor at Christian Revival Church’s wife gave birth to their first child in 2005, he was over the moon.
“I immediately gave her the name Favour and my name changed to Baba Favour up to date,” he shares.
He now has three children; two girls and one boy. Favour is 17 years, Enoch is 13 years and Purity is 11 years. One of the most exciting thing in his parenting journey is watching his children grow.
“Watching them grow from infancy to now teenage is thrilling. It is, especially exciting watching my son take after me when it comes to praying and playing musical instruments. The two girls take after their mother— singing and taking care of household chores such as as washing and cleaning the house,” he says.
Rev Peter shares how pastors in the past had no time for their families. That is why he is careful to spend quality time with his family.
Of pastors absent at home
“I am a pastor in church, but at home I’m a husband to my dear wife and a father to my children. I provide to my family everything they need and I answer all questions my children ask. I’m always there for them. Many old generation pastors ended up as absent fathers — they would spend time out there shepherding the church, forgetting their families. The new generation pastors have at a good percentage corrected the error because they are now informed. Any pastor who is absent from the family for church work is still not informed,” explains the pastor, whose church is based in Webuye, Bungoma county.
One thing that Peter is proud of is that as a pastor, he has managed to instill the fear of God in his children.
“All my children are God fearing and they serve together with me in church when they are on holidays. They are also disciplined, respectful and hard working. As a family, we always have evening devotion—singing, reading the word and praying together before we retire to bed and before they do their studies. I believe this is a trend they are growing with. This is the same way my parents raised me,” he narrates.
The dos and don’ts
He also has put various restrictions to ensure that his children are disciplined. “When it is time to study, they have to study and when it is time for church, they have to be there on time. I also try to know their friends and their characters and I advise them accordingly. In addition, I am keen on what they watch on Television and make sure they are not doing it all day. They know they cannot own a phone at their age. They can also not go out as they wish and I have observed that this has assisted them in concentrating on their studies and building their character,” he explains.
Rev Peter has also observed that some pastors don’t allow their children to interact with others and consequently, this affects their social life. So, when they get a chance to escape they get involved in a lot of vices.
“Some fail to teach their children Christian values assuming that they will get it in church, only to learn that the children are social misfit. Most pastors leave the responsibility of raising children to mothers, they fail to guide and mentor them and are not there to discipline them. This is where the problem lies,” he says.
And when it comes to dealing with judgment from the social media or the society when they do things that are against the norm, Rev Peter urges pastors to be more vigilant in ensuring that their children and family are protected.
“It’s true that most of pastors’ children become unruly. The truth is that this is more spiritual — the devil will always fight pastors’ family through children or close member to ruin the face of the pastor. To deal with this, let the church know that it is a spiritual warfare and pray for pastors’ family and not condemn them. As a pastor, it is also important you keep on praying for your children and involve them in church service early,” he says in ending.