I've heard the stories of far too many damaged pastor's kids. "Dad was married to the church." "I just wanted him to listen to me." "I don't remember him paying much attention to us." They're talking about pastors. Not bankers, brokers, or corporate tycoons.
As a pastor's kid, I emerged from childhood rather unscathed. I'm grateful that my father set boundaries. But the longer I'm in ministry, the more I see that my experience is far from common. Pastor's families are laden with scars and festering wounds. Better men than I have had families broken to pieces. Scandals, infidelity, misconduct, and unhealthy coping mechanisms are all evidence of dysfunction. I recently came across ExPastors.com which addresses many of the issues facing pastoral ministry.
I am assuming a new pastoral role - senior pastor of a mid/large-sized congregation. As I do so, I'm astutely aware of the occupational hazards. There are sacrifices that a family makes for the sake of ministry. But there is a difference between making sacrifices and being sacrificed. My family makes sacrifices for ministry. Jesus is the only One who has been sacrificed. I'd like to keep it that way.