One day in the early 1990s when the news was filled with the story of the Menendez brothers, my wife, Jane, was driving with our three-year-old daughter, Callie. A reporter said something about the Menendez brothers killing their parents and Callie asked, “Did they say ‘kill their parents’?” to which Jane quickly replied, “Yes, they were bad boys, weren’t they? We don’t kill our parents.”
A lot of parenting is covering the basics: don’t eat the dog food, don’t bite, don’t put your feet on the table, don’t kill your parents. Like parenting, much of pastoring is teaching the basics: love God, love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemies, forgive those who hurt you, serve the needy, pray always.
Kyle Childress is pastor of Austin Heights Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, and author, with Rodney Wallace Kennedy, of Will Campbell, Preacher Man: Essays in the Spirit of a Divine Provocateur (Cascade).