Must Read Monday: Giving Thanks, Gender-Open Parenting and Expectations for 30-Year-OldsJuly 23, 2018
Pray the news…
Since I heard about the Duck Boat in Missouri that sank during a storm on Table Rock lake, I have been ardently praying for the survivors, the families of the victims, the Captain, the witnesses, the first responders and all the concentric waves of people whose lives will be impacted by the deaths of the 17 who perished. Top of prayer has been Tia Coleman who lost 9 members of her family. As the Coast Guard begins salvage efforts today and everyone looks for someone to blame, let us be the people who continue to pray for God to redeem, even this.
What is it? Who will be there and what do you need to know?
There are a lot of thank you’s in the Bible. Consider all the times, circumstances and ways in which God’s people render thanks. Thanksgiving is not intended to be one day a year, God intends for thanksgiving to be a way of life.
Here’s something I wrote on the subject a few years back.
Gender-open parenting and Theybies
Here’s a question our grandparents never faced: should I have a lavish gender-reveal party or should I conceal the sex of my child so they can decide whether they want to be known as a he or a she or a they? Research reveals that progressive parents in some very well-to-do enclaves in the U.S. are increasingly raising kids outside traditional gender norms. These parents do not reveal the sex of their child to anyone in what has become known as gender-open parenting.
From a Christian worldview, parenting is not about affirming every imaginative idea of a child’s fantasies. Parenting is about raising a child to live faithfully and fruitfully in the context of the real, albeit fallen, world. So even as the media and academia develop and glorify a growing array of sexual variants, Christians must continue to appeal to the reality that God made human beings in His image as distinctively male and distinctively female and then declared that design to be good. Exchanging that truth for lies is not new nor is the declaration that in Jesus Christ each and every one of us can be a new creation – not only with the hope of an eternal life but with the hope of real redeemed life here and now.
It used to be unusual in America for a 30-year-old man with a college degree to be unmarried and still living with his parents. Now it is the norm.
Today, 30 year olds are:
- Living with their parents: In 1975, when the oldest Boomers were 29, 57% of 18 to 34- year-olds lived with a spouse in their own household. Even as late as 1990, almost half lived with a partner. But in 2016, 31% were living in their parents’ home, making it the new, most common living arrangement for young adults, according to Census data.
- Paying more for college: In 1975, college tuition cost $2,450 for public, four-year colleges (in 2017 dollars). In 2017, it was almost $10,000, according to CollegeBoard.
- In more debt: In 1989, less than 20% of families had student debt, compared with 41% in 2013, according to the Census. The amount owed almost tripled in that time.
- Less likely to be homeowners: 57% of 30 to 34-year-olds were homeowners in 1982, compared with just 45% in 2017.
- The impact of significant student debt can be seen in lower marriage rates, according to Dora Gicheva, an economist at UNC Greensboro.
- In 2017, 57% of millennials were never married. In 1985 — when boomers were around the same age — only a third had never been married – and even if you account for unmarried people living with partners, the gap is not closed.
- Having fewer children: When Boomers were in their 20s, the fertility rate was 2.48, well beyond the replacement level of 2.1. Today, it is just 1.76.
- When a recent survey asked why they were having fewer kids, most young adults said “child care is too expensive.”
Now, consider for a moment the reality that Jesus was a well-educated thirty-year-old man who was unmarried, never owned a home and never had children. The same is true of the Apostle Paul. I point this out to illuminate the cultural expectations of upwardly mobile America versus the expectations God might have of an individual or even a generation. Our responsibility is not to cajole others to be like us nor to live up to a cultural expectation. Our responsibility is to encourage one another to advance God’s Kingdom always and in all ways amidst the kingdoms of this world. Maybe that means we need to ask better questions about and of the 30-year-old college age, unmarried men around us.