Have you ever heard something in the lines of ‘Pastor’s kids are the worst, they are proud people who hide their rotten habits under their parents’ religious influence…’ and it goes on and on like that almost to the point that when a religious leader brings forth children, people automatically label them as a catastrophe waiting to happen. After all, it’s not a new thing, you must remember Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s children in the Bible, who dragged their family name to the mud with their immorality and utter disregard for God. What then would make Deacon Lagbaja’s son different??
This way, the child is constantly trying to shape himself in accordance with the admiration, anxiety, and bloated expectations in the eyes of his friends, his family, and the church members. That queer suspicion that comes to your face when you hear ‘My father is a pastor’ from another person, yeah that suspicion is what I’m here to address and my job is to put you in their shoes for a couple of minutes. For some, you’ve never felt the need to feel suspicious of pastor’s kids, in fact, you find them really lucky to have such a privilege, well that’s all well and good, but I doubt that there’s a high percentage of people in your category as compared to the others.
I know you’re saying ‘Where exactly are you going with this??”, stay with me and I’ll tell you. My primary school became a dagger point for me because our church rented the school playground for mid-week services and Sunday services and my parents were the General Overseers. Not only were my parent’s pastors, but my school was also my church, my parents being the amazing people that they are, were kind to the teachers in every way that they could.
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Everything was smooth until Primary 5, my teacher put me under constant scrutiny, she felt like she had a hand in shaping my destiny in her own way. I wasn’t allowed to fail my exams or to pass exceptionally, if I failed my teacher would call me horrible names, nothing hurt more than to be called ‘an utter disgrace to my perfect parents’ and those who scored even lower would think that I was ungrateful and selfish with marks.
If I passed too much, a certain group of my classmates would say that it’s because my parents use the school for church services that I pass, after all it won’t take me anything to change the score marks myself on Sundays. To them, Pastor’s children are rotten children anyways and I was no different.
As a result, I barely had stable friends, I thought I was going to die from all that toxic pressure, everyone seemed to be watching my every move, it was not until later in life when I saw different versions of pastors’ kids that I found that not all of us had the strength to turn all that pressure into power.
For some, their parents put the church first before anything else, they never have the luxury of scary bedtime folktales that my Dad used to tell or the pleasure of an exiting dining table caressed with many stories and jokes that we nearly choke while eating in my home. Some have never been hugged intimately or told ‘I love you’ by their own parents.
For others, their parents are dead silent when the church leaders seat and decide whether the children of the Pastors and the Deacons would study either Law, Medicine, or Engineering. They forget that they have lived their own lives and should at least ask the opinion of their children before making decisions in their absence, they’d rather force the child who wants to be a musician to study petroleum and gas engineering because they don’t want to hurt their own pride and prestige in the church.
I’ve met some who are like Kambili in Purple Hisbiscus, the one who has to pass her exams exceptionally or have peppered canes burn off her foreskin all in the name of sparing the rod and spoiling the child. Or the other girl who wants to be a fashion designer but is taught to bury such evil desires since makeup, trousers, and wigs are worn by seductive daughters of Jezebel while her father is responsible for the pregnancy of the choir mistress and three ushers in church.
There are others who sit under the sound of their parents’ sonorous voice on the pulpit, pointing fingers at the sinners and blasting in fiery tongues, and then later sit under the fierce thuds of their parents’ kung fu spiced with different degrees of insults and bruises. Or some whose parents sexually abuse them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit and have it covered under the Blood of Jesus.
Nowadays, most of us just pick scriptures and twist them to suit our preference instead of taking them as it is. I heard that as a Christian, you have to act like Christ ‘cause your lifestyle might be the only Bible that some people would ever read. This is why no amount of morning devotion or fire and deliverance services would draw these kids close to God because the very first Bibles that they ever read were not in alignment with the nature of the God that their parents preached
I’ve come to realize that the final outcome of every child is determined by the will of God, his environment, and his decisions. One cannot glorify one of the factors and leave the other out. I thought about it hard and with God’s help I came up with the following solutions;
- Never Let Your Parents’ Mistake Be Your Own Curse
If I were Lucifer, watching and waiting for the next catastrophe that’ll happen, seeing that your parents have done the major work, what I’ll just do is fan the flames by zooming in a plethora of dark thoughts to your mind every day to keep the fire burning. Yes, your parents might have failed at their first assignment but it doesn’t change the authenticity of God’s existence, do not decide to run wild to torment them, it’s a trap!!
You’ll end up losing yourself and your identity in the process, first determine within yourself that your own kids wouldn’t go through the same thing you’re facing and that cannot happen if you decide to run wild. To be all that your parents are not would take discipline and a sound mind on your part, that way you turn that pressure into power. I know that trouble doesn’t last always and the trauma would last a while but you have to struggle every day to keep your better angels afloat.
- Try Not To See God Through The Lens of Unstable People
This part is the hardest ‘cause it’s hard not to judge a God that you cannot see through the lens of His diverse instruments. When I was young, we used to have this sister who would always fall under the anointing, speak in tongues and break a few chairs almost every Sunday. She was never stable, always causing fight everywhere and I’ll always wonder, ‘God, is there something she’s doing that I’m not doing, abi wetin dey occur’
I cannot properly explain why she always fell under the anointing even up until now but I began to see God as partial who barely cares about what you do with your life as long as you come to church on Sundays. Not until I found this part of the Bible, ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and do not love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal’ (1 Corinthians 13:1)
Try getting to know God on your own, if you seek to know His true nature in earnest, you’ll find Him for sure (Jeremiah 29:13). He doesn’t need you to change stuff on your own before coming, come just as you are and allow Him to walk you through the change that you seek.
For others, their parents are perfect godly people, they say the Word of God and do the Word of God as it is without mincing words. There ain’t nothing scarier than coming after a great speaker, internal arguments on whether or not you’ll be able to carry on your parent’s legacy without making terrible mistakes will pop up like thorns under rose bushes. I double dare you to keep progressing anyway, have the salient knowledge that God would never have put you in that position if He didn’t give you the capacity to finish strong (Isaiah 46:4)
For others, your parents are perfect but they just never understand you and it feels like they never will. It’s choking for you, you’ve tried everything to make them understand you but it feels like the more you try the more complicated it gets. Why not try to understand them? Come closer, forget about you, and try to walk in their own shoes, they’re first humans before they are your parents and as much as you would love them to read your mind to know what you want, it’s not possible. But if you go closer and you consistently grow the relationship, then you’ll get to understand each other better.
Always remember that the aftermath of an individual is not just a factor of his own decisions but of his environment and his upbringing. So before you point fingers at their faces, try walking in their shoes first just like you’re doing now.
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