Hell raisers

I received the following comment on my Parents of unbelieving children post:

"Some of the 'best' hell raisers I've met have been the children of pastors."

Now as the child of a pastor I've got a bit of insight into this phenomenon. Christians tend to put their pastors up on a pedestal and worship them almost as if they were gods. And take pot shots at them. Pastors are expected to be all and do all for their congregations. Their families are put on those pedestals with them as well. Their wives and children are expected to be perfect at all times and in all things.

From on top of that pedestal pastors and their families have to contend with the fact that they are indeed human and will make mistakes. They also have to deal with the sniping, back biting, and gossiping that is all too often a part of internal church politics. When they fail, as all humans do, they fail publicly and are run through the gossip mills and hung out to dry.

Pastors' children are no better or worse than anybody else's children at being "hell raisers" just more noticeable because everyone's watching them. We hold them up as some how better than your ordinary average Christian and expect them to avoid making the same mistakes we ourselves make every day.

All of those high expectations can put a lot of pressure on pastors and their families. Can you imagine being a kid in those kind of circumstances? Rather than turn against our parents and our faith (as some children of pastors do) my sisters and I closed ranks around our family. We'd seen too many others stumble and fall fracturing the relationships within their families to repeat those mistakes.

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