Friday, January 27, 2012


I read an article last night that blew my fragile little mind. It was about a wide-spread phenomenon occurring with pastor's kids, but in particular, with pastor's sons.

You can go to the link here. (Full disclosure: I have no idea where this ministry stands on LGBT issues.)

Here's some excerpts:

"The pastor’s sons I work with are almost always separated, divorced, or on the verge of divorce. Their wives or ex-wives complain that they just don’t possess the kind of vigor or fire that they want from a husband."

"These men often have no definable self... these men don’t have a self to control in the first place. They are anchorless and are often too easily influenced by others."

"Because they’ve been trained to be pleasant to everyone, they often over-yes and under-no others. Many think that it’s simply wrong to tell others “no.” And when they do, they lose sleep at night. Being human, having boundaries, feels unnatural and sinful to them."

"They are known by many, but not knowable in part because they possess personas, an assumed identity, but not discernable personalities. They feel that they have been forced to play rolls in life, to wear masks (one of the original meanings of “persona”), which is exhausting and depletes them of integrity and healthy self-confidence."

"They know the right words to use in marriage—they know how to perform—but they don’t know how to deeply love another person."

"Pastor’s sons...have not been allowed to exercise a real will of their own. Instead, their wants, needs, desires and dreams have been subjected to the will of others. As a result, they are pretty much the ideal Christian child because they are tremendously pleasant to be around, but they later flounder in adult life"

Holy shit. I've concentrated on my sexuality being the main issue in my marriage, and to be sure it is. And I've always been aware that my upbringing as a PK has riddled me with issues.

But I've never seen it written out this way. It summarizes my past--and sometimes present--self quite well.

Free will? Not when I was growing up. I had to be an example at all times. I was not allowed to express, or HAVE, any negative emotion.

Years ago, I learned to speak up and stand up for myself. To express myself, and express my emotions. This caused my parents some heartache, but I knew even back then that living for someone else isn't really living.

I kinda became the black sheep. We still love each other, but they can't believe I've gone "so far astray". Meanwhile, my sister is the Good Child--and miserable for it.

Being raised as a pastor's kid is supposed to give a very strong foundation...but despite years of progress, I still feel anchorless.


  1. Sean, This is a great post - really brings back memories and gets me to thinking.

    When I was a HS freshman, the pastor's daughter was a junior or senior at the same school as I. She was smoking and drinking, rumors of drugs and sex. It brought shame to the pastor and his family and eventually he left the pastorate. Soon after the small Bible church had to merge with another and lost its identity. By then my dad had taken us out of that church and to another.

    By the way, I was an MK (missionary's kid) and now reading your post I think I had some of those same symptoms (the need to always be pleasant to everyone is overwhelming in me), but I didn't rebel in any obvious way - more like your sister.

  2. Hey Paul, thanks for the comment. You are right, I've seen this happen with missionary's kids, deacon's kids, worship leader's kids, even the kids of parents who are just faithful attendees. It seems most pronounced with PK's though.

    As a matter of fact my sister did rebel, rather worse than I did, to be frank. But now she puts on an appearance for the church and is herself at home.

    I'd call her a hypocrite, but I'm living a lie every minute of every day.

    What we ALL have to realize is that we have to be true to ourselves, and that is much easier said than done