Nature or nurture?


My six-year-old daughter often makes the pronouncement: “I am not going to seminary.” I think it was her first full sentence.

And I always respond, “Okay, honey.” I don’t have any expectation that she would be a pastor. In fact, I’m a little relieved when she says it, because although I love doing it, I know it can be difficult. It’s not the sort of job that a mother wishes upon her daughter.

Instead, I’m always trying to put a lid on forcing her to live out my unfulfilled expectations. I always wanted to be an artist. All right–for some clarification–I wanted to be a lot of things: artist, missionary, writer, theology professor. And it’s kind of cool watching how it comes together under the umbrella of pastor. But I still don’t do as much art as I wish I did. So when I find myself nurturing my daughter’s creative instincts, I wonder if I’m expecting her to live out my dreams.

I was at dinner recently with the HOS and some friends. He’s a seventh-generation pastor. This happens in families a lot. In my lineage, I’m the first ordained pastor that I know of, but I come from a strong circle of female spiritual teachers/pastors/mystics. Which made us wonder around the table, “Is there a spiritual gene? Is there something in our DNA that passes down from generation to generation? Or is it just the environment?”

What do you think?

photo’s by soleclaw23


2 thoughts on “Nature or nurture?

  1. If there is a pastor gene than more research needs to be done as to breed pastors to fill the empty pulpits. It would be like that scene from the crappy Star Wars films, the Camino scene with the Clone Army. Only it would be a whole mess of McLaren, Jones, Merritt, Rigby, Graham, Bell, White clones. That would also be better for the robe makers. If we could clone a general body type they could pre cut and stitch the robes and one could be easily obtained upon ordination.
    I wonder what that would do for pastoral care issues and being relevant and vulnerable. Can a clone be vulnerable? What about sensitive? Perhaps we should just pray this never happens…

    All this aside, I do hope that there is not a gene that is passed down to my children, if we have any. That would hamper their dream of being a tattoo artist.

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