What I’ve heard about the latest reality tv show isn’t encouraging, let alone edifying. Thankfully, there are teenaged preachers’ daughters who aren’t doing drugs, getting drunk, pregnant, and ruining their father’s reputations. Some of these young ladies, from different denominations, countries and families, answered a few questions about being pk’s for our second post in this series. We have left out their names to give them privacy. Their answers give insight into what it’s like to have dad as the preacher and give everyone some encouragement: there are many godly pastor’s daughters out there!
Would you marry a pastor?
1. “This is something that I have thought about a lot actually and have had pretty mixed feelings about. In some ways, I would like to marry a pastor as I think that it would help me to go deeper in my faith and having grown up in a pastor’s home, I have experience and knowledge that would hopefully enable me to be a blessing to a pastor. However, growing up in a pastor’s family has also opened my eyes to the amount of spiritual and emotional trials that many pastors deal with on a regular basis. There is much blessing in the ministry but also much hurt and trial. However, if God has it in His plan for me to marry a pastor, I hope that I would be able to use the experiences He has given me (especially the opportunity to observe an amazing example in my mum) to be a strong and wise pastor’s wife.”
2. “I do not want to marry a pastor. I think that very often at least one kid in a pastor’s family either marries a pastor or becomes one themselves, but I don’t feel like it will be me in our family. A pastor’s wife has to be patient and so, so outward focused, and I guess I feel that I am not really strong in those areas. Who knows, though, maybe that is what God is preparing me for.”
3. “There are blessings and challenges of growing up in the manse. It’s not the kind of work that you can leave at the office at the end of the day; as a pastor’s kid, it was not uncommon to only see Dad for a couple hours a day between sermon preparation, hospital visits, and meetings. It would be even more of a challenge living that kind of lifestyle as a pastor’s wife, sharing in the stress of shepherding a congregation, supporting a husband who is supporting so many people, and raising a family through all that business. Simple things like sitting through the church service with multiple kids become a lot more difficult when you’re the only parent in the pew. It would be hard.”
4. “Though I do not have the ability to say I will marry a pastor, I am in no way opposed to the idea. The truth of the matter is I would love to marry a pastor. I do not say this lightly, fully realizing the unique calling it is to be a pastor’s wife. One reason for this desire is the importance of my husband being my spiritual leader – challenging me and encouraging in my walk with the Lord. The ministry opportunities this position would offer are also rather tantalizing. I love people and being able to serve them as the wife of their spiritual shepherd would be an honor. Also, I would cherish the privilege of supporting and being the helper of man who has sacrificed his life upon the altar of the Church and the mighty kingdom of God! These are some of the promptings behind my willingness to pass my life by the side of a pastor.”
What was the hardest thing about growing up in a pastor’s home?
1. “I would say the hardest thing about being a pastor’s kid for me was watching my dad struggle with the ongoing temptation to become discouraged in the ministry. When my dad was down, it affected all of us and it seemed that there was nothing we could do to help him in the spiritual battles he was facing. The positive side of this was that it drove me to really begin praying earnestly for my dad in his work.”
2. “The hardest thing about being a pk, I think, is that it feels as if the weight of all the problems of every other family in the church is on dad’s shoulders. This, plus stress from preaching, prayer meeting, teaching and other pastoral duties, spills over on the rest of the family and makes it very hard. Also, people in the church except pastor/elder’s kids to be a great example which is a lot of pressure!”
3. “One of the hardest things about being a PK was living with the stereotypical image of a goody-two-shoes who memorized the larger catechism by second grade. I sometimes felt like people expected me to be more holy, like it was in my genes or something. I think as a pastor’s kid there is definitely a lot of pressure to be the one who welcomes visiting kids your age, helps with Sunday school, and sits attentively in church.”
4. “Having to share your dad with over a hundred other people is no easy task. Session, presbytery, and counseling meetings took him away from home often enough to make him sorely missed. Also, because Dad was a shepherd of a flock beyond my family, I sometimes felt as if our home had become no small sheepfold. I struggled sharing my home and my dad with others, and selfishly wished more than once that these needy, complaining individuals would just leave him alone.”
What is the best thing about growing up in a pastor’s home?
1. “The best thing about being a pastor’s kid in my experience was being able to have an amazing resource readily available to answer all my questions related to Christianity, religion, the Bible, etc. The consistent, solid and loving Biblical teaching that I received from both my parents and saw first hand lived out in their lives has had a huge influence on me and has helped me to develop in my own spiritual walk. I’m so proud (in a good way!) of my dad and the work that he does, the extent of which I get to witness more than most other people in the church.
2. “The best thing.. you get so, so much prayer. Everyone in the church (at least in ours) is constantly praying for the pastor’s family!”
3. “One of my favourite things about being a pastor’s kid were the many visitors that passed in and out of our home. I can count on both hands the number of Sundays I remember that we did not have visitors. Some were entertaining, some awkward, some difficult. Although constantly having visitors in our home often meant upsetting the baby’s schedule, less rest for Dad between services, or entertaining toddlers for an afternoon, it has taught me so many things – things like how to fold a cloth napkin, clean a house in half an hour, stretch a pot of soup, or keep a conversation going longer than you thought was possible. But witnessing my parents minister to everyone who walked through our front door has shown me invaluable examples of selfless hospitality, gracious words, and putting the work of the kingdom before personal convenience. This aspect of being a pastor’s kid is one I wouldn’t trade for a hundred Sundays filled with naps.”
4. “I accredit my sinful attitude to a woeful misunderstanding of the Gospel and the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Our Savior gave Himself to people, both in His earthly ministry and in ultimately pouring His lifeblood as recompense for their sins. When this is my perspective, I can view the hospitality of my family as an absolutely awesome privilege. We are to be imitators of Christ. I have been so blessed by the many individuals who have stayed under our roof. I have met incredible building blocks of God’s kingdom from all around the States and even the world! This has stretched and challenged me in my own hospitality, and been fascinating to truly get a glimpse of the universal church. God used one of the most challenging aspects of growing up in a pastor’s home to honestly be one of the greatest.”