11 July 2014

"The Problem With Being A Preacher's Kid Is That You Can't Be A Normal Christian" (Kari)

I have found many stories in my research so far, many are incredibly honest, and beautifully written. This particular article really caught my attention. This extremely honest piece is written by an American preacher's kid named Kari Morris. Her personal story gels with many I've read but few have been this straight-forward and heart-achingly written. I've included an excerpt here relating to church being different for clergy kids. The full article is well worth a read so I've included the link (original blog contains explicit language).

The Problem With Bein' A Preacher's Kid 
-a monologue by Kari Morris-

The problem with being a preacher’s kid is that you can’t be a normal Christian.
To you, Christianity is not a religion, nor a spiritual path, nor a choice: it’s a family business. You are born into this family business, one that consumes much of your family’s living room, telephone line, holidays and weekends; and since you’re part of the family: you help. Since your preacher parent often feels they have to be eleven places at once, it’s wonderfully convenient if they have a family: because then they can. Parishioners ecstatically latch onto you as a much-needed ministry appendage, and you wonder to yourself, “is it selfish that I just wanna go outside and play?”

But you quickly put that aside, out of your mind and learn, firsthand, how to be long suffering. You teach, you counsel others, you answer deep theological questions, you lead the services and activities no one else wants to bother with, you always welcome people into your home even when you’re exhausted and sick, you get to the church early in the morning and leave late at night, and you especially learn not to ask yourself, “How come Dad gets paid for all this work but I don’t?”

You learn to be secretive about any and all of your parents’ faults, especially your own: because kids have more. You ache to join in with the other kids’ antics, the other kids’ play, but the adults in the congregation are watching you: your perfect behavior is the full measure of your preacher parents’ suitability for ministry. Not that the other kids want to hang around you anyway. They begrudgingly do, but secretly they resent you. For you are the moral prodigy their parents always hold over their heads. Oh yes: you are resented. The kids live to break you. They poke you, prod you, steal from you, mercilessly tease you, touch you. “How much can they take?” the kids will wail. You are the wonder, the science experiment they can’t crack. And they hate you for it all the more. They hate that they can’t expose you as a human, tell on you, get your family fired, and be rid of you. But ’til then: you’re good entertainment. Not that you’ll give them the satisfaction. Nope. You shut your body down, jut out your chin in defiance, and you don’t crack an inch. You. Are. Perfect. Until…someone comes along…and wants to know you. You. Who?...(KEEP READING HERE)

What do you think? Is this story a bleak representation or have you had a similar experience?
~ Rachel