Articles by Stan Dean

A Course In “Adulting”?

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I was sitting in my recliner while reading the other day. My wife also had the TV on in the background tuned into the news. So while I was reading, I had one ear screening the news stories. Before long, one of those news stories captured my full attention.

Apparently there is a popular trend now for young adults (namely, “Millennials) to enroll in classes for “Adulting.” So, what is “Adulting”? Well, the name is pretty self-explanatory- - it is learning how to be an adult. As the feature explained, “Adulting classes teach millennials basic skills like sewing, cooking, how to handle their finances, how to deal with relationships, etc.”

I could not help but stop and give thought to this “Adulting” phenomenon. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the concept. If you do not know how to be an adult, and you are one, you have to learn somehow! But my thinking was more along the lines of wondering “Why is there such a growing need in our day for classes about being an adult?”

I doubt that this is the definitive answer, but if I had to sum it up in one word it would be “time.” Most of the instruction for youngsters in learning how to be adults- - comes from adults- - primarily our parents. Some of it comes through verbal instruction, but a lot of it comes through osmosis. Both take a lot of time which is often lacking between parents and their kids in our day.

Several years ago, Cornell University did a study on contact time between parents and their children. In the study they wired average middle-income fathers for a couple of weeks to record how much actual interaction time they spent with their kids. Their study concluded that the average time was 37.7 seconds a day! I have seen other studies that were slightly better, but even so, the contact times were still astonishingly short.

To take this thought a step further, the lack of time between parents and children also takes its toll on spiritual maturity. Note God’s words to Israel about spiritual training in the long ago: “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up…” (Deuteronomy 6:6ff). One key ingredient for fulfilling this command is once again, time.
May God help us as parents- - and may God help us as Christians to take the time to mentor those who follow in our footsteps (cf. Ephesians 5:15-17).

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