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Consequences of the Glass House

Living in the glass house often leads to many difficulties later in life. From the lack of support to the learned behaviors that are difficult to break, each child growing up surrounded by glass walls comes away with their own issues and problems.

Because of the experiences of growing up in the glass house, these children find it very difficult to make true friends. While they are often very outgoing and social people, it is not very often they can make a true friend. Many times they will wonder if someone just wants to take advantage of them for something they can be used for. A best friend? Absolutely not!!! They might find out something and cause problems in the church. That is a definite no no. Its better not to take a chance on being hurt. The preacher’s kid is sometimes the loneliest kid around. Many times because they don’t know who they can trust. Of course many church members won’t let their children play with the preacher’s kid because the preacher’s kid might go home and tell something they saw at their house to their dad. This will frequently carry over into adulthood even after the children have moved away from the glass house.

It makes finding a spouse sometimes next to impossible unless you settle for a "good dependable church going guy or girl" who meets the qualifications of the church but doesn’t meet yours. Preacher’s kids often find themselves being encouraged to date either other preacher’s kids or perhaps someone in seminary. They have never expressed the freedom to love and should one happen to fall in love with someone who doesn’t fit in the "accepted norm" it often is counted as rebellion. Many preacher’s kids do end up continuing to live in the parsonage either as a minister or perhaps a pastor’s wife. This is a safe environment. While it is not perhaps the ideal situation, it is a situation that they are familiar with and know how to deal with. They know what is expected because after all they grew up there. They aren’t going out into unfamiliar territory and facing new fears.

Preacher’s kids learn early on to "put on a happy face" anytime they are in public which in their case is often 85% of the time. They learn to "be cheerful about serving others" because after all that’s what a good Christian does and they live in fear of "doing anything that might cost daddy his job". They learn they can’t have the latest fashions because either its too worldly or they are clothed by hand me downs from the church members who don’t think it’s a wise use of money for the pastor to buy his children the "name brand" jeans just so they will fit in at school. They learn to teach Sunday school or play piano or sing solos because its expected of them. By 14 a preacher’s daughter should be old enough to teach in the toddler class. After all she’s been schooled in the basic Bible stories since she was in the crib. They learn they must never show anger or disappointment or sadness because "the Lord knows best" (disappointment) and "its not up to them to want revenge. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord" (anger) or "the joy of the Lord is my strength"(sadness). They learn early on they are held to a higher standard than the rest of the youth in congregation because "they are a role model whether they want to be or not".

Another consequence faced at different times is the fact that no one is willing to accept they are human. They have their struggles, they have their trials, and often are no more able to deal with the issues than anyone else. Growing up in the glass house did not give them an edge or additional insight. In fact, most times it only added to the confusions because of all the shades put up to keep prying eyes out. People are not willing to listen to problems the preacher’s kid may have. If they do open up enough to talk about whatever is bothering them, they are told very politely that they should just give it to God. They are expected to always have answers to everyone’s problems and be a listener but never have anyone who is willing to listen to them. This can lead to anger. Anger at God, anger at parents, even anger at church members.

Ironically enough although many preacher’s kids have felt angry at God and have walked away for a time after a while they come to the realization that God loves them just as they are. That God isn’t in the church members and those people they have strived so hard to please but God is a separate being from the church and its members. God loves them with their faults and all. They are often quick to spot the hypocrites and have to learn to ignore those and work on their own relationship with God.

Yes preacher’s kids are as human as anyone else. Don’t judge them by higher standards than you hold yourself to.




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