Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pastor's Son

Silver at REFLECTIONS left these questions: So.. how is it, i wonder being a Pastor's son? Is there some kind of 'pressure'.. while you were growing up?

My first response was, "Yes." I think I need to be a bit more forthcoming. Was being a pastor's son different from being, say the banker's son, or the baker's or the candlestick maker's?
Yes, I suppose in some ways it was; and yet I went to the same schools, played the same games, roamed the same neighborhood that these other guys did.

What 'pressure' could there have been? For starters, it was a given that if a church function was in progress we were there. So if going to 'church' would save me, and it won't, I was well served. There was no doubt that misbehavior in church would result in unpleasant consequences. And not just in the hereafter, either.

Then there was the reminder that "What you do is a reflection on your Daddy," a favorite of my mother, especially during my teen years (read "rebellious years") . It was probably only fair that I was reminded of this, but we needn't go into that.

Truth be told I recall that I was proud of my parents and what they did. It is likely that because that was true my rebellion was largely internalized and quite likely to have been sneaky rather than overt. Am I not human? When cut do I not bleed?

For any one of several reasons, I think other people may have expected something more of the preacher's kids. And some of them were probably secretly pleased when we were caught in a failing, for it made them look better when confronted with the shortcomings of their own kids.

The canard that the preacher's kids were the orneriest kids was addressed by Dad, and sincerely I think. He said that that could be accounted for by the fact that they associated with the parishioners' kids.

Personally, I think it can be accounted for in the truth that we are all sinners and lost but for the grace of God. Being a parson's son did not make me a Christian. God has no grandchildren. But we may each be His child by accepting His unmerited favor through faith in Jesus Christ.

I would not wish to do my childhood over; and I would not change the one I had, nor trade it for any other.
Drawing by Hank Ketcham


Silver said...

I totally understand.

I once had a close friend who was a Pastor's son. We went out once. I was 15 (i think) he was 17. I'm still not sure if that had qualified as a date even. We were so naive. Still a child. (in my days, not now.)

But when i knew him a little better, i felt that he was kinda "suppressed" in many ways. He looked like a perfect 10 talented kid in almost every way with a perfect cereal pack family- but upon close up, i think he had wished he could just be free from the scrutiny of parishes and especially of his parents even if it was only for just a day .

But would he regret being in that family. I think, NOT.


Lin said...

In a similar fashion, we have neighbors who are ultra-religious (Dutch Christian reformed) and they are extremely judgmental of others. I have to say--I wait for those kids to mess up. I love to see them sneaking around, lying, listening to music other than the required Christian music, getting speeding tickets, etc. It's not that I expect them to be different because of their religious lives--it's just that they are the first one to point fingers at everyone else.

It must have been hard with that sort of pressure behind you each day--feeling like judgmental eyes were watching. Growing up is tough enough, but that is some pressure.

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Looks like we had a pretty similar, that is to say decent experience as pastor's kids. Glad you and I both turned out okay!