Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Newsflash: Yes, I am a preacher’s daughter.
This may be a surprise to some, fascination to many, puzzling to others. I understand all of the reactions.
Let me clarify first. My father does not have his own church. I wouldn’t actually call him a preacher, (but for the sake of most understanding, the title will stay). My dad was “called” into the ministry when I was young (probably still in elementary school) and I have never been excited about the idea. He has spent the bulk of his ministry, not actually preaching but counseling married couples and doing mission trips to Africa and Asia.
This role that I was thrust into by no choosing of my own has brought about several dimensions of conflict, being that I am a modern adult who was once a “regular” teen who does believe in the importance of faith, but also believes in the importance of self-realization, actualization and many other -tions, isms, and necessary possibilities that make me a walking contradiction in the eyes of the church and sometimes those of my dad. But I’d like to call it human. What my father does, has always in my eyes been his choice and while some of my life choices mirror his expectations of me, some definitely defy his beliefs and wishes.
I find that these conflicts of life plague many people, not just the other PKs (preacher’s kids) that I know. We are often held to some unrealistic and unfair standards, that personally have resulted in me not even bringing up the fact that my father has this life path. I am an individual who thinks that my best learning in life has come out of actually living and while I do not take pride in every decision that I have made , they are mine. However the discrepancy between my decisions and my father’s expectations of how I should live my life at times seem to have put a very clear wedge between he and I. I would love to have a more transparent relationship with my father, but how can you tell the preacher that you don’t really think its wrong to live with someone before you’re married (sure it causes drama in some cases, but it is not wrong). And honestly some Sundays, I’d rather go to the beach, and run in the opposite direction of church. I like to party on Saturday nights in dark clubs with my girlfriends and I don’t shy away from the occasional martini. On my iPod, I have the spiritual and the dirty. I unwind with both. I have tattoos, and piercings and in a lot of ways, am pretty liberal. But I walk the line.
My respect, love, and need for God and a true sense of a “higher calling” are requisite parts of my life’s blood. All of these things combined make me who I am and I cannot fathom denying any parts of it. However, I often find myself asking What Would My Father Think as opposed to What Would Jesus Do? And both can contrast with What Do I Want? I realize though that there are many of us who walk this line. The one of pleasing others and pleasing ourselves. Living the life that other’s want for us and the one we create for ourselves. It was a fight when I was 15 and wanted to date just as much as it is at 31 and want the same. There is no true definition of individuality and while so many of my peers may have begun to accept this, it is imperative that generations before us do as well. Never have I signed up to be a preacher. My father did. And that was his choice, just as being the head-nodding, praying, and tattoo branded individual is mine. Yes, I am a preacher’s daughter. But first, I am me.