Preachers' Kids...by Dr. J.T. Parish
Dr. J. T. Parish
“Preachers’ kids are the meanest kids on the block,” is a statement sometimes made in jest and sometimes as an honest appraisal of the children reared in the parsonage.
The humorous answer most often given is: “They got that way playing with the Deacons’ kids.”
The truth is that facts and statistics show that preacher’s children are the most favored people in the world.
Less than one percent of the population are preachers. Yet one-twelfth of all persons listed in Who’s Who in America are children of ministers.
The following famous Americans were parsonage products: Louis Agassiz, George Bancroft, Henry Ward Beecher, Henry Clay, Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Samuel F.B. Morris, Francis Parkman, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The parsonage has contributed to the birth of our nation and its upbuilding. John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a minister’s son.
Nathaniel Green, a general of the Revolution, was the son of a Quaker preacher.
Woodrow Wilson’s father was a Presbyterian pastor. Herbert Hoover’s mother was a Quaker preacher. Six minister’ daughters have been “First Ladies of the Land.”
Our hats are off to the preachers’ kids for they actually compare favorably with any group of young people in the land.
P.K.’s suffer from the old double standard. They are criticized for things people overlook in their own children.
They grow up in the parsonage which is often like living in a “glass house” under the scrutiny of the neighborhood.
People also have a tendency to make a great fuss over the one preacher’s kid who goes bad and to forget the fifty others who live consistent Christian lives.
P.K.’s sometimes feel the pressure of well-meaning, but ill-informed parishioners, who expect them to act like adults even though they are only little children.
Preacher’s kids are just kids. Unrealistic expectations of them are unfair and a hindrance to their growth as Christian young people.
The writer of Proverbs gave the formula for the rearing of all children:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”