Now, you know as well as I do the perceptions about our children. The nickname alone can raise eyebrows and inspire a head shake or two. “PKs” or preacher’s kids have long been known for being rowdy, wild and disobedient. Then a lot of them abandon the church as soon as the first signs of independence begin to loom.
But why? Why should a child (or children) with every spiritual advantage abandon the faith? The fact that a child blessed with a community of spiritual accountability, praise and love should leave the church is a puzzling concept, isn’t it?
No surprise to you that I have a theory, huh? Actually, I have several, but I’ll focus on one for now.
Fact: the role of parents in the lives of children is unquestionably significant. This is especially true during the formative years.
Even before they can verbalize it, children crave, long for and earnestly desire their parents’ attention, praise and time. That’s a no brainer, right?
Now, look at it this way; if both parents spend all or most of their time at the church, the family structure (your child’s primary nucleus) becomes unstable.
This instability and lack of attention can cause a child to act up or try to get parents’ attention in undesirable ways (i.e. acting badly).
In all fairness, it’s true that each child must one day choose whom he/she will serve. Still, I just don’t want to put any barriers (rooted in works-based religion) in front of mine choosing to serve God.
Barrier 1: “Dad loves other people more than me”
I personally I believe that even if moms stay close, boys remain at risk if the child perceives dad’s devotion [to ministry] as a rejection, it’s a bad thing. Even then, God can unscramble scrambled eggs.
Barrier 2: “Church before family”
Many Christians equate work (in a church building) as service directly to God. I do not. If that were so, such utilitarian values would demean those who are physically disabled or imprisoned. They can’t get to church, but they can serve God, right?
No, service takes many forms and varies by life season. For instance, for some service may look one way in one life season and another when children are older or grown. That’s another subject.
Back to the point. Preachers’ kids: debunking “PK” stereotypes
Am I against Christian service? No way, but “works” will never usurp my commitment to my family and children. In the end, God will hold me accountable for how I handled these beings that didn’t ask to be born. I will stand before God and be judged – not the church, not the community- ME. I don’t take that lightly.
My mantra is that my church will never get a “no” when I’m able to serve. That means, when needed, I will always do my best to “show up” and serve the Body. It also means I find ways to serve that don’t require copious amounts of time away from my preschooler. Praise God the skills He enabled me to attain allow me to do that.
My husband works seven days a week; well over ten hours each day. That’s his call and much of it, his choice.
He is building lives and legacy. He feeds people spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically.
In the meantime, I “feed” home. I protect it, so my children feel rooted, safe and have a reasonable amount of predictability in their home and family life. Likewise, my husband has an anchor in which to come home to. He does what he does and I do what I do.
My heart’s prayer for preachers’ kids: debunking “PK” stereotypes
My prayer is that my children never resent service but can see it clearly and for what it is, in part, because they had a balanced family structure. Our legacy must be balanced.
I pray that God graces our kids to debunk the “pk” stereotypes and mature into healthy, secure adults as my husband and I each embrace our roles, ministry and call.