Being a Shepherd

In 1 Peter 5, Peter writes to the elders:

Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s ⌊will⌋; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory (vv.2-4).

Yes, he’s writing to the elders of the church. And I think church leaders should take that pretty seriously. But this also speaks to me so much as a parent!

While reading these few verses, I couldn’t help but consider:

  • … how much am I “lording over” my children, using stronger language than necessary, just because I am older?
  • … how often do I ask them to do things I don’t do? What kind of example am I being?
  • … do I see my children as nuisances sometimes, or as sweet sheep “entrusted” to me to provide for and love?

These three sweet miracles have been entrusted to me by God. They’re not always going to be good. I’m not always going to behave perfectly. But can I step back for one minute when I am angry and think … these are my sheep. Am I a tender shepherd?