Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What Is It Like Being a Pastor's Kid?

I remember the time when my friend Anne and I went on a ride to Jack's Ridge when I jokingly asked her to give me that cute little tin box from her car's dashboard drawer to which she was hesitant at first and told me she'd give me the Bible instead. I replied, we have a lot of that at home in different versions and translations as a matter of fact. Then she started asking me questions about the Bible to which I promptly and precisely answered. We discussed the Bible to the point that you can tell how much I know so much about the Bible. I even told her I read the whole book of Revelations, which is my favorite book of all.

She gave me that look of utter disbelief. Well, I couldn't blame her. I am known for being stubborn and mischievous, and being someone who have read the Bible is too far from how they've known me. Don't get me wrong, I just know the Bible - the same way I know my Science lessons. So, it's not what you think it is. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I'm not a devotee, a religious freak or something. But what shocked her the most was when I told her I am a Pastor's Kid (PK).

"PK ka pala? Really?!"

"Oo. Hindi pa ako pinanganak, pastor na papa ko."

"As in?"

"As in."

"Sure ka bai?"

"O, lagi!"

That kind of reaction isn't new to me. Di daw halata eh. You don't see me post and share biblical passages on Facebook. You don't see me raising my hand up, proclaiming 'Hallelujah' in church. You don't see me say grace before meals (but I do, just on my mind). You don't hear me say 'Thank you, Lord' always. I am never vocal about my spirituality. I admit it, I've got horns. So it's very unlikely for me to be one. But I am, unfortunately.

"I know a lot of Pastor's kids and they carry a burden" were her next words.

"I don't have a burden as a Pastor's kid," I said flatly out loud.

But now, as l looked back, I finally understood what she meant.

I heard a lot of stories about being a Pastor's kid. And there are actually common stereotypes about being a PK. First, one is perfectly just as expected as how PKs should be. Being a PK, you are expected to posses moral superiority and be biblically knowledgeable. Well, it is as if people see this like some sort of genes that can be passed on to the offsprings. Since the dad has it, well, it is expected that the children should have it.

Second, you screw up. Simply, a total opposite of  the first one.

I am glad to be neither one of those. I'm far from being a goody-two-shoes nor a screwed up directionless being (well, I may have screwed up a little but I've already learned from that). Living as a PK puts your life under a microscope, where everybody is watching every detail of you. Your actions, your words or the way you dress will be under everybody's noses. And most of the time they're too quick to judge your misbehavior, missteps, and failure. "Umayos ka nga, anak ka pa naman ng pastor", is what I commonly hear from the congregation whenever I didn't act the way a PK should be. Oo, para kang artista, lahat napupuna nila. Well, all throughout those years I've learned how to deal with that. I've accepted the fact that there is no perfect church, and that some members can be, I'll be brutally honest, jerks.

Well, aside from having a life in scrutiny and struggling to build my own identity (Oo, ako YUNG ANAK NI Pastor Andres), I am well aware of the pressure around me as I have to live up with people's expectations. So as a child, I have always equipped myself with lots and lots of memory verses, I always have to top and win the bible drills (I have memorized all the books of the old and new testament and I know just where to find them fast), I have to dress up decently at church, I have to be prim and proper, and I have to be a role model - someone just as good and as great as my dad. Not because my dad told me to (except for the dressing up in church, that's my mom's working). It's because that's how people see how a PK should be.

It was not easy. I realized being a PK can be tough at times. The more I think about what people will say and think of me is the more I am becoming less of myself. And the more I drift away to becoming what was expected of me.

I am a stubborn PK. I've had shares of getting bored and I sleep during our daily bible devotions. I only wanted to go to church because I have a lot of friends there (mostly other PKs as well) because we love to goof around the church. I only became active to church activities because of my friends. I sleep during sermons. I was never at the front pew. I am not a born leader; I would grudgingly say 'yes' whenever I am asked to lead a Sunday school for children. I am never religious to begin with.

But I am glad that my dad acknowledges me as a human, that just like everybody else, I am a sinner too. That I cannot be perfect and that I can make mistakes and learn from it. He gave me a room to grow and fail, which means, none is expected of me to be like him. I am far from being raised to perfection. I am raised and loved as I am. I was raised as a regular kid. And I believe this is the reason why I haven't totally gone astray.

As tough as it is to be living as a PK, I wouldn't have it any other way. One thing is for sure I am proud and forever be grateful growing up as a PK, my dad instilled in me the value of appreciating life's simplest blessings. Like being alive and well each time I wake up in the morning. That alone can change the way I see life and the world. Life, as we know it, is full of shit. But there will always be a reason, big or small, to be grateful to it. Those small blessings that oftentimes go unnoticed are manifestations of how much I am loved. And that has kept my faith in Him all these years. That's how I see things beautifully and positively. That's how I begin to see each little thing, in one way or another, as a blessing.

Having a positive outlook in life leads to positive thoughts which lead to positive actions which can be experienced and passed on to others which will eventually lead to becoming a positive being. And just by that, I know I'm making a difference even though I do not have a preacher's mouth or a minister's religiosity.

Looking back again, I am thankful that I am a girl whose dad happens to be a pastor. And I'm so glad that he's regarded a great pastor, but even more so, a greater dad.

Back when I still wore dresses and joined activities in church. Hehe


  1. Hi, Sarah! :) fellow PK here. That photo of you singing with the other kids made me chuckle. I have a similar photo you know typical PK singing with fellow PKs wearing the best Sunday dress. Haha! I love this post. Right on point. I first came across your Adulting post and you took the words out of my mouth. After reading that, I saw this entry under You Might Also Like. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on being a PK. :)

    1. Hi ysshael! I think, if not all, most PKs can relate to this. It's not easy to be a PK. The struggle is real. Haha. I'm really glad you dropped by. And oh, your blog is nice, too, btw. :)


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