Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pigeonholing the Preacher's Daughter

Last year, I was joking about something with another pastor on staff, and I referred to my wife, Joanna, as being a “PK” (preacher’s kid). He finally stopped me and said, “You realize that you have three PK’s yourself, don’t you?”  I definitely had not thought about that, and I felt the weight of the moment. Growing up in a small town in the south, it was easy to see the pressures that a child of a pastor could feel. (And I am not the most sensitive person, so if I could see it, it must be true.)  People come with their own expectations towards PK’s.  In light of these thoughts, I really could appreciate this article from a preacher’s daughter. Here's an exert:
“[W]hen it comes to stereotypes, Christians don’t do halfway. Even if you don’t fit neatly into one box, people tend to put you there. Debate evolution just once in science class and you’re bona fide Bible-thumper. Date one questionable guy, and you’re the town harlot.”

What are your thoughts? 

--  Joey Espinosa


  1. I'm not a PK, but I have seen people stereotype PK's (especially daughters). I have also met PKs that fit into the 2 stereotypes mentioned in the article. Now, is that just how they decided to live their lives or were they living out the stereotype placed on them by people around them, namely their church? I'm not sure. Another interesting group with a name abbreviation to look into are the MKs (though some people are now calling them TCKs - Third Culture Kids). There are a few stereotypes there, too...

  2. Growing up in a very small town as a PK, I was always on my best behavior because the news of whatever I had done would make it home before I did. I think I felt a responsibility not to tarnish my parents' reputation. I chose a college that was 5 hrs away to experience living somewhere that I was just another person and not "the preacher's kid".

  3. Growing up as a PK, I often felt that not just myself but my entire family lived in a "glass box". There are certainly many expectations for the pastor and his children. In my personal experience I have found that often times society as a whole seems to forget that PK's and their families are just normal people like everyone else. They are not perfect. I do agree with the above author's comments! I think the statement covers believers as a whole and not just those in ministry.

  4. I grew up in a very small rural church, but was fortunate in the fact that our church family had the same expectations for us as they did for their own kids, and not a different standard. However, outside our church has been a different story. In the community growing up I felt a huge responsibility to be well behaved, good student, not be in the wrong place, etc because that's what they expected and if I wasn't it would hurt my dad's reputation. And since leaving home I've run into the sterotypes of PKs more and more from people. When they find out I am a PK their first response is always "Oh what kind of PK were you? A goody, goody or a wild one?" Apparently, I either get to be perfect or have no morals what so ever...either way I feel like my actions get judged one way or the other after people find out I'm a PK.