Yes, I am a Christian...No, I’m not perfect: Life as a PK

Category:  Opinions
Thursday, April 14th, 2016 at 2:52 PM
Yes, I am a Christian...No, I’m not perfect: Life as a PK by Macala Leigey

Yes. I am a Christian. No. I do not think I’m better than you. Yes, I am a pastor’s child. No, I am not a stick in the mud.

And before you put this article down, no, I’m not going to preach to you.

As a pastor’s child, my entire life has been defined by the dual expectations that I am either a fragile, innocent, proper young lady or a rebellious, out-of-control, reckless she-devil. Sorry to diminish your stereotype for “PKs”, but neither of those descriptions fit me.

I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle of the innocent and rebel spectrum, and though it may shock you, most pastor’s kids are right there in the middle with me.

For most of my life, being a pastor’s kid has instantly branded me with the “goody-two-shoes” stigma, which I am not a fan of.

It was senior year, and my high school’s Key Club was volunteering at the local March for Dimes event. We were in charge of the face paint and coloring booth, which was slowly losing the attention of the kids to a man with a helium tank and the ability to create animal balloons. So most of us abandoned the booth to socialize. My friend Brian came up with the great idea to pass the time by describing each other with one word. Most of us just made snide remarks, but then Brian started the description game by describing me as a “unicorn.”  Justifying his odd description by calling me “innocent” and “pure.” And of course mentioning my mother’s profession. Catching a glimpse of my highly unamused face, he recovered himself by saying “unicorns are rare,” and implied that everyone loves mystical creatures. Slightly offended by the stereotype, I went back to the booth.

While being described as a unicorn is by far the most unique way I’ve been called a goody-two-shoes, I’m still not keen on the description.

“As far as people in church or adults, they definitely assume I’m supposed to be a straight ‘A’ student and dedicate all of my time to the church. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I definitely feel like someone is always waiting for me to crack and not be ‘perfect,’” fellow pastor’s child Anna Brower said.

Pastor’s kids, and Christians in general, are not perfect. We make our fair share of mistakes just like everyone else in this world.  As a Christian, I can tell you that some of the most flawed people I know are Christians, including myself.

I stormed down the hall way, fuming with anger, cussing under my breath. We had this fight almost every day, and each day it got to me more and more. Why can’t she just let me go? She has no good reason for me not to go. I am 18 now, I can make my own decisions, and I don’t need my mother telling me what to do. She, equally upset, followed me to my room. “Young lady if you don’t cut the attitude you won’t be doing anything the rest of your senior year.” With a snobbish smirk and sarcastic tone I replied, “Yeah. Okay.” After another exhausting 30 minutes of lecturing, highlighting the commandment “Honour thy father and thy mother,” and the occasional snarky remark from me, she left. She went into her room sobbing with disappointment, and I grabbed my keys. Slamming the door as I left.

Just like everyone else, I’ve made mistakes. I’ve said things I’m not proud of, and I’ve done things that probably are not favorable in the eyes of God, but I’m human. I’m flawed by nature. We all are, Christian or not.

However, when I mess up in life, not only do I feel the guilt of upsetting or disappointing whomever was involved, but I’ve also let God down, and that’s the worst part. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus died for me and God loves me unconditionally, so to diminish that kind of unfailing love can wreck a person on the inside.

I tore out of our driveway, blasting my music and going extremely too fast for our dirt road, selfishly not caring about my distraught mother or the hour and a half scream fest we just had. I just wanted to be with my friends. I only got a few miles up the road before the tears started to fall. Not only had I sufficiently disrespected my mother, but also my Heavenly Father. Where was my head? Where was my heart? I disappointed one of the most important people in my life, along with diminishing one of the most important things in my life: my faith. I turned around, and headed back home.

But luckily, God forgives. Human beings, not so much.

In today’s society, it’s hard to be a Christian, let alone a PK. When I tell someone I’m a PK, or that I’m a Christian I instantly become anxious. Not because I’m insecure with my faith, but because the human race is exceptionally good at stereotyping and forming prejudgments.

“I’ve definitely got a lot of judgmental looks when I say I do things involved with Christian activities on campus, and back in high school,” member of Edinboro University’s campus ministry, Chi Alpha, Jacob McCool said.

Edinboro United Methodist Church’s Rev. Lisa Grant also commented on how Christians are viewed in today’s society, by saying, “I think the larger issue is that we’ve got some stereotypes.  If people have had one bad experience with someone who has claimed to be Christian, meaning that they’ve experienced us as mostly as judgmental or zealously in people’s faces, then they throw away all Christianity.”

One of the most common misconceptions that has led to this stereotype of “judgmental” Christians, is that Christians hate homosexuals. Considering I have several friends who identify as homosexual, and by faith I’m to be an accepting individual, this idea is irritating.

“Macala, is he gay?” Surprised by the question, I took a moment before responding. While I may have questioned one of my close friend’s sexuality, I never thought of actually asking him about it, nor did I really care if he was or not. I was still going to love him the same. With this thought, I quickly text back, “I don’t know. You should ask him, not me. Why would you think that?” Not really caring for an answer, I set my phone down and walked away from the conversation.

 “We’re [Christians] supposed to be accepting of other people. If you call yourself a Christian, you should be able to look past other people’s faults, or other people’s viewpoints,” McCool said.

Brower added, by saying, “Personally, I don’t have to agree with someone’s lifestyle or religion to love them and care for them.”

Christians, just like every other stereotyped group in the world, have their fair share of daily battles. And for some of us, especially the PK population, the stereotypes are harder to fend off.  But if you’re never persecuted for what you believe in, do you actually believe in it?

For me, my stereotype happens to be a “goody-two-shoes” pastor’s child, but I’m okay with that .I believe my faith is worth more than a label, and there is always more to a person than society’s stereotypical observation.

Tags: voices, opinion

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