Hurts and offences are never easy to deal with, and they become especially painful to us when they are directed (whether intentionally or not) at those we love. The fact that you and your family love going to church is a wonderful blessing! Each of you, no doubt, has some very special friends that you have become very close to over the years. The fact that a hurtful experience has occurred, and may jeopardize your future fellowship with those you love is unfortunate. Our spiritual “family” plays a vital part in our Christian development. Wise counsel is given in Hebrews 10:24-25, which says: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.” The Lord knows his children need all the love and support they can get from each other, to face the foes and besetments of the world and its influence. In this evil day it is especially important for our children to be surrounded by Christian friends with good morals and a Biblical standard of right and wrong. By having Christian peers they know they are not alone in their day to day struggles. Attending a church fellowship on a regular basis also sets a solid pattern for life. The decision to isolate yourself and your family, while certainly an option, may not be the most spiritually beneficial for all those involved. The blessings you and your family bring to your church fellowship are valuable, too!
The scriptures abound with admonitions in dealing with our conflicts with others. While Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:15 may seem very difficult to do, in reality, they offer the best advice to follow. “If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” Approaching the pastor in a private setting, and discussing how your family has been made to feel, could resolve the issue. Could it be that the pastor was totally unaware that he even caused an offense? Could it just be a misunderstanding? If, in fact, he said or did something scripturally wrong or inappropriate, it is very important that he be made aware of it. This will allow him an opportunity to make amends and apologize if that is what is called for, and in so doing, will aid his own spiritual growth. A good pastor is a faithful servant to his flock and should lead an exemplary life. This fact, however, does not mean leaders in the church don’t sin and make mistakes! This experience, in turn, could also be an opportunity for your family to show your pastor the forgiveness Jesus desired his followers to display – “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Mathew 6:14, 15) Family devotions and praise is always in order, but need not replace attending a more formal gathering of Christians who gather for Bible study, praise, worship, and fellowship.