Resources for parents
Elaine and Willie Oliver discuss how pastors can have healthy and positive relationships with their kids.
This is a report from a study of the stressors faced by Seventh-day Adventist pastors and their
families in the North American Division. While the data are extensive and complex, we feel that
the results are clear: the front-line leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist church, pastors and
their families, experience levels of stress that are not sustainable for the future health of the
Church. The results of this study comprise a call to action on the part of the higher levels of our
Church organization to intervene and reduce the stressors associated with pastoral roles,
expectations, and family life.
The pastor’s family What do Scripture and the writings of Ellen G. White have to say about our responsibilities to our families?
“If anyone does not take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8, ISV).
“Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air” (Proverbs 11:29, The Message).
“There is no more important missionary field than our own home”*
There are many feelings we experience when we are overwhelmed. It can be everything
from that sinking feeling in your chest, knowing that you have too much to do, the all
too real fear of not keeping up and the fear of careening out of control. There is the
feeling of hurt that comes when you think you are letting people down, even yourself.
There is even guilt in not having enough time to spend with your spouse and your
children. Then, there is the physical manifestation when pain sets into the muscles in
our backs, our necks, and our shoulders. All of this can happen when we have gotten
our priorities out of balance.
Roger & Kathy Hernandez with Willie and Elaine Oliver on Real Family Talk
Among other reasons, God created families in order to protect, nurture, and train children. The family is also a setting where children learn the language and core values of their culture. While some detractors of the family system have tried other alternatives, God provided no substitute for His original plan for the family. Seventh-day Adventists have always emphasized the importance of the family. Given the high rate of divorce, single-parent families, and family conflict, our current society faces a crisis in the family that has a destructive impact on society and the church.
My teenager isn’t engaged in our family anymore. What can we do?”
“How can I protect my children from the risky behaviors all around them?”
“My daughter is struggling with school; how can we help her at home?”
“My son’s always on some sort of technology and tunes me out. What should I do?”
Have you ever had anyone ask you questions such as these? While we all know there is no cure-all for anything in life, there is something simple, inexpensive, and available to all—your family, parishioners, and community—a powerful tool to face such problems that relate to kids. Connect with your kids and help make them healthier, improve their test scores, and reduce the chance of risky behaviors by using this simple tip: eat family meals together!