It was my own choice to marry a preacher’s kid, even though I knew then what came with the territory. There’s something so infinitely sad about a child who has to compete with Almighty God for his father’s attention and love. There’s something so brave and lost about a child who learns early on that his behaviour AS A LITTLE BOY could affect his father’s livelihood. And most of all, there’s something poignant about a man who grew up that way and is still carrying on with his relationship to Christ. That, my friends, is dedication to Taking Up The Cross.
When I was a kid my pastor and his wife were childless, so I didn’t grow up with The Pastor’s Son in my youth group. In retrospect I think that was preparing me for the rest of my life because it let me have foundational years without prejudicing me against the phenomenon of the Preacher’s Kid. That respite lasted until 8th grade, when a minister moved his family to town and sent his daughter to my Christian school. Evangeline was the first preacher’s kid I was ever friends with, and being a teenager alongside her taught me a lot about the expectations and pitfalls of that life.
There are different types of Preacher’s Kids; or maybe I should say there are different ways that a Preacher’s Kid can present herself to the world. There’s the easiest way–going along with the program and being the Good Example everyone expects. Then there is the hardest way, which is the exact opposite and involves all sorts of rebellion and trouble. I love both of those for their honesty and bravery. My husband has taken the easiest way at times and the hardest way at others, now he’s landed on Easiest Way, and that may be easier now that his father has passed away.
The worst way for a Preacher’s Kid to be–and the way I hate with every fibre of my being–is the Middle Way. I call it the Eddie Haskell syndrome. All the parents and other adults in the church think that the kid is the best thing since sliced bread; a good example of how good parenting produces good children. Once this little deceitful person is away from The Adults, they turn into Bad Seed Central. An egregious example was in a youth group where several girls were raped by the Preacher’s Kid but none of the adults would believe it. But there are other examples that hit closer to home for me, and I’m dealing with one right now.
Facebook followers know that on Monday night I had to go into the backyard to yell at two kids who were throwing things at my dog and taunting him from the hill that looks over our privacy fence and into our yard. They also know that last night the father of the boys came over and told me to never yell at his kids again because it was “unacceptable” for a strange adult to yell at his children. He said the boys weren’t doing anything wrong and when I told my side of the story he emphatically denied that it was true. Apparently strangers yell at his children for no reason at all other than to disrupt their angelic contemplation of the mysteries of Christ. The conversation ended well, but when I googled him (I google everybody) I found out what I should have known all along. His kids are PKs. And I do feel sorry for them. But I swear I’m not in the mood to deal with deceitful and cruel children living two houses down from me.