Oct 14, 2019

My Story: From the Heart of a PK

The hardest thing about being a Pastor’s Kid would probably be being held to such a higher standard than other kids. I feel that this remains true as an adult. Everyone looks at us to be good examples, when all we want is to be is a “normal kid.” Growing up, we had many “parents” outside of our real parents to judge and scold us when we were wrong. That was difficult.

My Dad (the Pastor) struggled to find a balance between church and family. In our younger years, he worked a full-time job and he was a full-time pastor. On evenings and weekends my dad would spend most of his time resting and studying. He spent time with us and played with us, but for the majority of the time he was studying, visiting church people, or helping a fellow Christian. We didn’t take many vacations, because our dad felt it wasn’t right for him to take time off from church. Our family didn’t have many friends, because people didn’t want to be friends with the pastor, or the pastor didn’t want to get too close to anyone with the fear of getting hurt. We definitely wouldn’t have close friendships with any ungodly people. In summary, I love my dad. I am grateful for the way he raised us, but I do wish we could have had more fun times with him.

Growing up, my parents were strict, but they never expected us to be perfect, knowing that the only one who is perfect is God. However, they did have high expectations for us because we should know better. We were raised a certain way (the right way), but it didn’t leave much room for mistakes and learning the hard way. I always felt that no matter what I did, it could lead to disappointment from my parents. I had no idea who I was as a person. I was always told and expected to be a certain way. I began to resent my parents for this and I rebelled, which I greatly regret now.

We were always in the spotlight. We still are, and not always in a good way. Everything we said or did was a reflection on my dad and on our church. That’s a lot to carry when you are a kid. We had seen some people leave the church because of our personal opinions. People we didn’t even know would say negative things about me to others based on assumptions. Often times I wanted to hide under a rock! Even at school I would say something that would shock people, and they would say “but your dad’s a preacher” or “does your dad know you do that?” We could never escape the light and judgment. Even now as an adult, and a member of the church where I grew up, I am still treated as the pastor’s kid. It continues to exclude me from friendships.

As a child I did not notice anyone saying anything to me about my parents. As an adult in the church my dad pastors, I can now see how he is treated. Our church is great and I love them very much, but sometimes it gets personal for me. I get offended when they don’t think about their pastor, and have to be reminded and pushed to do things for him myself. For me he’s not just my pastor, he is my dad who I love and care about. I am a daddy’s girl, so you can imagine how defensive I get when I see this. Yet as a PK, I can’t speak up and suggest anything because it’s personal. Communication has been more indirect about my parents. For that, I am thankful.

There are so many things I would tell to my younger pk self. To begin, I would say no matter how hard it is to have expectations to be a certain way, it is important to be yourself instead of being someone others want you to be. It is imperative that you don’t go the opposite direction and rebel as I did. You will pay for it in the long run and you will regret it. It’s not worth losing the trust of your parents and then having to work twice as hard to gain it back. Never think that you are unloved. No matter the expectations and scolding from your parents, they love you with all of their heart and would do anything for you. YOU ARE LOVED by Jesus Christ who laid down His Life for you! Seek Jesus not the world to fill your void and loneliness. I cannot stress that enough. I wish I had done many things differently, but would have remembered these things especially.

YOU ARE LOVED by Jesus Christ who laid down His Life for you! Seek Jesus not the world to fill your void and loneliness.

The only thing I know would have helped me as a pk would be to have had someone to talk to about everything without judgment. Someone who could offer advice and keep my secrets. Even though most of the things I’ve noted about being a Pastors Kid are negative, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. God has blessed me so much in my lifetime. I now have an amazing relationship with my parents and with God. I have been forgiven by God and by my parents for my rebellion. And now, church is my life! You can say I have become like the pastor in many ways. I’m fortunate that my life turned around. Sadly, the life of brothers has not. They turned away from church and God. They resent our parents and the church for the way they grew up. Their opinions on being a PK differ from mine. I surrendered to the Lord and He changed my way of thinking. So, my advice to you is to cut your parents some slack, they’re doing the best they can.