Why Do Preachers’ Kids End Up Being Some Of The Wildest Ones?

13 comments
March 15, 2013 ‐ By Charing Ball

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Yesterday, I caught the very first episode of the new Lifetime series, Preachers’ Daughters and this show is why I canceled my cable.

But seriously, outside of the controversy the show has created among some, who object to these families-of-the-cloth parading their foolishness around on TV for a few bucks, the show itself is not bad. In fact, I believe it offers keen insight into the difficulties that are associated with growing up. For those who have yet to tune in, basically, the show revolves around three daughters of various Protestant church leaders, who each have their own crisis of faith happening, including Olivia Perry, the 18-year-old daughter of the pastor of the Everyday Church and single teenage mother, who – after years of drinking, drugs and basically wildin’ the hell out – questions the paternity of her child. You may commence with waving your church fan. Despite being a sound-stage away from an episode of Maury Povich, Olivia has nothing on 18-year-old Taylor Colemen, because, you know, nobody quite brings the TV shenanigans quite like black folks:

Eighteen-year-old Taylor is set on pushing boundaries established by her strict father, Ken, a pastor of City of Refuge Pentecostal Church, who, following the mistakes he made with his older children, wants nothing more than to keep Taylor as his little angel. Taylor craves freedom from all of the rules in the house and occasionally rebels by sneaking out, kissing boys and giving into temptation, all the while trying to maintain her relationship with her Lord. While her mother Marie tries to keep the peace between Taylor and Ken, she fears his stern rules will push Taylor to act out even more, especially when she gets to college. Conflicted and frustrated with her father’s demands, Taylor confides in her half-sister Kendra, who Ken kicked out of the house when she was pregnant at 20.

In the first episode, we see Taylor, gyrating in her bedroom mirror wearing only a gold-lament cut out one piece swim suit and some booty shorts. She sneaks out the house to see her ex-boyfriend, a foul-mouth weed-smoking, possible degenerate, at the beach, who promptly tongues her down and squeezes her a**. In the same scene, Taylor confides in her girlfriends that she is considering a career as a stripper or Adult Video actress, a la Montana Fishburne, because they have more freedom than what she has at home. Further along in the episode, Taylor’s half-sister Kendra dry-snitches to their parents about Taylor’s professional aspirations and in the next scene we see Pastor Coleman, kneeling in the family’s den, praying to the man upstairs to, “please God, don’t let my daughter turn into a p**n star.”

I don’t know why I found that scene hilarious. Oh wait, I do: I’ve actually known some preachers’ children and for the most part, what I see on television is pretty accurate. IN fact, I would argue that what we see on television is a bit sanitized. Like in college, I knew this one girl – let’s just call her Jezebel – whose mother ran a church inside the living room of their family’s home. Every day, she would come down stairs for a bowl of Cheerios and be greeted by a room full of devout evangelical worshipers, singing “There’s a Leak in this Old Building,” on folding chairs her preacher mom had set up between the sofa and the dining room table. Jezebel once described her preacher mother as very stern, restricting her from activities like dating and television, watching out of fear that the Devil would “get her.”

Now I know that some folks, who constantly complain about the lack of guidance and parental involvement within urban areas might find this situation ideal. Obviously, this is a parent who cares enough to have complete control over her children’s welfare. And they would be right as it surely helped Jezebel to stay on the straight and narrow, long enough to get accepted to college. However, once she stepped foot on campus, all that righteous and moral upbringing went out the window and Jezebel spread herself so far around campus that there wasn’t enough rebuking of Satan that could shut those legs closed again. And I mean that with sincere love because overall, Jezebel was pretty cool, she was just pretty damn promiscuous too. Like, I remember one such occasion where we were at a party at a friend’s apartment with some of the university’s new basketball players. Well, our girl excused herself under the guise of refreshing our drinks and came back fifteen minutes with a story to tell. “You see that guy over there,” she said whispering in my ear. I nodded, “Yeah what about ‘em?” She giggled, taking a sip from my cup, “I just slobbed the knob.” And then she handed me my drink back. I handed it back and said, “Naw, you can keep that.”

Of course, we can argue that Jezebel’s story is not indicative of the fate of all children of the ministry, however it is not unique either. Although I do wonder, are we holding preachers’ kids to a different moral standard than we do other kids in this society? I mean, the added pressure to be better examples for the other children in their respective congregations has to be burdensome. Or as Pastor Ken Coleman (father of wannabe stripper Taylor), said recently in an interview with OK magazine, “We wanted people to see what we deal with as parents being pastors and preachers and dealing with our daughters. We’re just like everyone else. Our children are just like everyone else. They sometimes put a higher expectation on them but we want to let them know our children are just like regular children.”

I posed this question on my Facebook page and a friend of mine reminded me that sometimes, a religious leader will put his or her church before the family, thus dismissing the needs of their children, who end up rebelling as a way to show the world, but more specifically their parents, the hypocrisy in what they preach and how they actually live. I don’t know if this is totally true, but I think it holds weight. I mean, if the same teachings the pastor expound on on Sunday mornings are not digested at home then you have to wonder what good is the doctrine for the rest of flock? Likewise, if you want to keep the kid off the stripper pole, its probably best not to wh**e her and her problems – no matter how common they are – out on national television. I’m just saying.

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  • Patricia

    We all know that pastor wives, pastors, preachers daughters and sons have private and personal lives. Why for a few $$$ for reality television fame and foolishness you want to put you business out there? It sad that some of these people don’t realize how reality television is destructive for families and marriages. All because maybe a producer or a family member want to pitch an idea for their own reality tv show for quick money and get rich scheme. I know some of the children are wild and acting like the way they do because of their strict upbringing. You have to use wisdom and common sense along with the word of God. You just can’t take scriptures and interpret in what you think it may say when the scriptures is cut and dry. I know you have to have balance in family at the sametime, you want to win people to Christ. You cannot win or encourage people to give their lives to Christ with stuff like this going on. Even though some of these shows are scripted, some of these people do and say stuff because of the camereas are following them and of course, the producers want to “spice it up or encourage people to be aggressive or act a fool” for ratings. I have seen the excerpts of this foolishness and to me it just continuing to try to exploit churches. They could at least pick somebody who is actually trying to live right for God and to be an true example. I guess people won’t watch it unless it destructive, fighting, cursing each other out, acting ignorant.Iwill not be supporting this show. You wonder why people don’t want to be bother with the church and they think churches, pastors, and parishoners are a joke and they are laughing at. Also the producers are laughing their way to the bank.

  • FromUR2UB

    Preachers’ kids and chlldren of other people who spend a great deal of time at church, are often neglected. There usually isn’t much one-on-one time with them, yet those parents seemingly assume the kids will turn out right through osmosis…just being in a church environment. I once knew a woman who was in church every time the doors were opened. It was a COGIC church, so you know those were some long services, several times a week, twice on Sundays. She was having problems with her 12 year old son, which isn’t unusual, but I imagine that had to be a tough life for the kids because there didn’t appear to be time or money to do anything else. Also, as other commenters have mentioned, there are so many restrictions that deny the kids privileges which are normal and reasonable for their age group, such as listening to secular music, for example. When the answer is always “no”, then kids will rebel. They end up pushing the envelope so far, that it’s the only way some parents become willing to compromise. There has to be some balance.

  • icequeen71

    Cops kids are “bad ” too who’s worse?

  • J

    Too much pressure to be “perfect” point blank period We all know the more someone tells you not to do something the more you want to do that very thing. These kids should be allowed like all other kids to make mistakes and learn from them and move on.

  • Nikki

    I was raised pretty strict and I never acted out like that. I never snuck out because my mother was best friends with the belt in her top drawer and the switch outside on the tree. She didn’t play that. At any rate, does this girl have a job? If not, who is buying her clothes?

  • KJ23

    My mother wasn’t a pastor but she was extremely strict and in the Word. We couldn’t listen to secular music, read any Harry Potter films, or watch regular sitcoms. I didn’t necessarily wild out, but when I got to college I didn’t want to even look at a church for about a year. But as an adult I’ve broadened my horizons but still have a few restrictions on myself, so I guess I understand.

    • ieshapatterson

      Lol it sounds like your mom and mine,would be best friends.everyone knew me as the good girl.i wasn’t perfect,but it was rare when i acted out.everyone who knew me,knew that my mo

    • hollyw

      That’s exactly my point. While kids w/a lot of restrictions def push back when they come into their own, it is highly unlikely that they will actually end up on the pole.

  • hollyw

    It’s just a stereotype, just like Catholic schoolgirls being sex-crazed or ALL priests being molesters b/c of being forced to abstain. There’s something to be said about bad side effects of over- restricting, but for the most part, children who were overly disciplined tend to continue being that way as adults…

    I think the stereotype is mostly frm EXPECTING PKs to be upright, so when they do overstep, even w/normal teen rebellion stuff, they’re seen as “wildin out”.

    • fried chicken

      Well, i don’t agree with you. If you observe very well, the line is there. Those kids often go to the extreme. Not really about normal teenage rebelliousness but those kids know what you and i wouldn’t know. This is from experience when i was a teen. i mean i had to ran from them. it’s actually a shock. But i just think Satan needs them just to destroy their parents’ ministries.

      • hollyw

        LOL that’s fine, it’s a forum, differences of opinion are allowed. Mine obviously comes from “observing very well” and personal experience, also. At the end of the day, your perception is your reality. Good day:)

  • tdot

    A lot of times they rebel because of the pressure to be holy. If u keep beating your kids over the head with the bible they will go against it. Accepting Jesus is a choice and if you force them to take it without their hearts fully invested, eventually they will just break out and find what else is out in the world .

  • JaneDoe

    Speaking as a pastor’s grandchild who was partially raised by my grandmother I can say that my bad girl ways was due to the fact that I lived my early years with heavy restrictions.. I had to sneak to do what most kids were able to do. Even to this day I am still a sneaky little thing. And when you have to sneak and hide to do things it usually comes out worst than if you had the ability to just do it