P.K.'s are Special!

Having been a P.K. for nearly twelve years, I can tell you that P.K. stands for more than just Preacher's Kid.

Holly R. Martin

Growing up in the John R. Rice family made me feel both special and odd.

I felt special because:

  1. My parents really walked with God and practiced what they preached.
  2. I daily saw God's faith­fulness in answering prayers and providing all our needs.
  3. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful Christians from around the world and to see people saved and transformed through my parents' ministry.
  4. Many people loved my parents dearly, and I glowed in that atmosphere of love and appreciation.
  5. Family life was stimulating, fun, and full of healthy activities.
I felt odd because:
  1. My parents' standards were higher than most of my friends.
  2. Dad and Mother had to be away from home frequently. Often I was very lonely.
  3. Sometimes my parents received cruel letters and hateful treatment because of their stand for Christ.
  4. Occasionally I felt "left out" because of my parent's com­mitments and limited finances.

Having been a P.K. for nearly twelve years, I can tell you that P.K. stands for more than just Preacher's Kid. I was born a Preacher's Kid. I was also the last of six children—the "baby" of the family. That made me even more special. As I grew, I grew to love my dad's church—and they loved me back. They made me feet very special. I soon came to learn that P.K. also stands for Privileged Kid.

Growing up in my dad's church was one of the greatest experiences I can recall in my childhood. I loved the attention that the church family lavished upon me. I was the center of attention in every activity. I was always picked first for church plays, children's choirs, and as learn leader in Awana. I soon became accustomed to being the life of the party.

I soon learned that P.K. also stands for Perfect Kid. There is always a little more expected of a P.K. because we arc believed to be perfect. How could we not be perfect? We have perfect parents and a perfect upbringing. Right? People put P.K.'s on sucha pedestal that no one could possibly fulfill every role we are expected to play. Of course I would become a great pastor's wife or church musician or have some other ultimate purpose in life. Even with this great weight upon my little shoulders, I tried to keep up my end of the bargain. It was my price for being a P.K.

Although I was very mis­chievous, I alv+iays managed to win the prizes for memorizing verses and selling candy. After all, I was supposed to be the role model for all the other children in the church. And because I was the P.K., some people let me get away with a little more than other children. Everyone in the church was my friend and they all enjoyed the entertainment I brought them.

All this came crashing to a halt when I was almost twelve. My father sat me down in the kitchen and informed me that in order to take a higher position at the university where he taught, he would have to step down from the pulpit at our church. And we would now attend another church.

I couldn't believe my ears. I was dumbfounded; I hadn't known anything else but being a P.K. How could I make such a drastic change? I would now become just a regular kid. A nobody, and certainly no one special.

As it turns out, I would not only be changing churches, but changing schools also. It was a drastic change for me. One I was not really prepared for. And on top of all of this, I had just become a teenager. It was a devastating time for me. As I look back, I can mark that time as the beginning of my troubles as an adolescent. It was very difficult for me to say good-bye to my friends at church whom I had grown up with and grown close to. I would no longer see them except on special occasions.

Although I eventually made new friends at my new church, I was never quite as popular as I was at my old church. I was just an R.K, now—a Regular Kid. I was no longer the center of attention—no longer special.

I still remember the first time I returned to my old church to visit. It was very strange. I saw and spoke to the same people, but there was no connection with them now. They had new P.K.'s to enjoy. I was no longer needed. I guess I thought when I returned, everything would be the same as when I had left. I was wrong. It was time to move on. Grow up. Be content without my title of P.K.

I still have rich memories of my dad's church and my experi­ences there. There is one thing people need to remember when dealing with P.K.'s. We're not perfect. We are only human beings. Never put a P.K. on a ped­estal. They should be involved in church activities, but never expected to perform more than a regular kid is able to. Being a P.K. can be a wonderful experience and believe me, I enjoyed it to the fullest!

But life always brings changes —and with God's help, I even­tually came to appreciate the blessings of being an R.K.— a Regular Kid! Like Paul, I'm learning to be content, "in what­soever state I am . . (Phil. 4:12) whether a F.K. or an R.K.