Stories of transformation are powerful. There is something that happens when you hear an amazing account of someone turning his or her life around. These tales snare your emotions, renew your sense of hope, and deepen your faith in a God who is all about redeeming and transforming. This is why it is so important regularly share about the transformation that’s happened in your life—especially transformation in your relationships, marriage and family.
In all honesty, family life and marriage are two areas in life that need constant renovation. No one pushes your buttons the way that your spouse and kids do. We are our best, and worst, with the loved ones who experience life with us the most closely. To have good marriages and healthy relationships with our children we must act selflessly. This is incredibly hard to do, and requires the relentless transformation of our inner selves by Jesus Christ. With him, we are daily becoming better husbands, wives, and parents. It is therefore imperative that we are honest about our struggles, and triumphs, with those around us: youth group students, parishioners, other parents, friends, and so forth.
These people need to see the normal struggles we have, even though we are leaders, and they need to hear the ways we are being transformed on a regular basis for a few reasons:
1) Unrealistic Expectations – Some people have an unrealistic view of what Christian leader’s marriage and family should look like. Yes, Scripture does say we are held to a higher standard, but that standard is not perfection! Our students and churches need to see that even their leaders wrestle with issues. They also need to see us pushing through and leaning on God for His transformation and help in these areas. We encourage one another by sharing, which feeds into the next point:
2) Creating A Healthy Standard – Many students don’t have a healthy view of marriage and family life. It is so important to help our students develop this long before they find themselves seriously dating, getting married or becoming parents. This is why Jake regularly teaches middle-school students about marriage and why he’s pretty honest about the transformation we’ve experienced in our decade together.
3) Community Building – When someone shares their story of transformation, it helps others in the midst of struggles to have hope that God can work in their situation, too. Many times we feel alone in our problems, like no one else could understand or empathize. Embarrassment and shame can also come into play when issues are sensitive. By sharing your stories, you can help build community and restore hope to many who might feel hopeless and alone.
Thanks for being real!
Jake and Melissa Kircher
*COME HEAR Jake K. speak at Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2014 in Columbus, OH!*