THE LOST BOYS
1 in 4 young people aged 25 to 34 living in their parents’ home (about 2.2 million) neither go to school nor work (United States Census Bureau).
What was once ubiquitous in their 20s is now not commonplace until their 30s – a trend that some demographers describe as a new stage between childhood and adulthood. They call it “emerging adulthood.” (United States Census Bureau)
I'm reminded of a children's story titled, Peter Pan. If you remember, Peter lead a group of boys called, "The Lost Boys". They were boys who never grew up. They played, went on adventures, fought pirates, and were care-free.
“We were still children, for all that we thought we weren’t. We were in that in-between place, the twilight between childish things and grown-up things.” ― Christina Henry Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook
Unlike the Peter Pan story, the "Lost Boys" today, are not gender exclusive. Both boys and girls are still living at home with their parents, even into their thirties. These aren't simply economically minded individuals saving a dime by living with mom and dad. These are unemployed children who have been living with their parents for twenty-five to thirty years, or more.
In May of this past year parents in New York sued their thirty year old son for not leaving home. He was not contributing to the family income or completing household chores. He had been given several notices of eviction, but refused to leave.
In 1 Timothy 5:4 Paul instructs families to put their ". . . religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God." How are children going to care for their parents when they have no income or are not contributing to the family?
Boys and girls have grown into adults without the ability to produce income or contribute to the family. When parents and grandparents age, there will be no one to care for them. Worse, when those parents are gone, who will care for the adult children?
It's important to repay our parents for the way they cared for us. Rebecca and I have a six month old in the house. She can do nothing without our help. She relies on us for everything. She cries and I wonder what need she has. I hold her and sing as she fights off sleep by screaming. When she is bored . . . she cries, hungry . . . she cries, and sleepy . . . she cries.
I smile thinking of myself, as an old man, driving my daughter crazy one day. I can't wait. It will be her responsibility to care for me.
It's important we learn skills now, to one day be able to provide for our parents and grandparents. We will not be children forever, there is no Never, Never, Land.
Life is not about pleasing yourself.
It takes hard work, but there are times to enjoy the rewards of that hard work. Paul continues in verse eighteen, ". . . do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain, and the worker deserves his wages." Enjoy the benefits that come with your hard work; but work.
A generation is growing that does not know what it means to work. A generation of children unable to care for themselves or others. As a parent, give your students and children responsibilities. Hold them accountable at a young age. If you do not, you're raising a monster that will suck the life out of you.
If you're a student, learn skills that will repay you. So, one day you will be able to repay the kindness your parents shared with you. Don't take, it ends in despair. Give, and you will find life for yourself and others.
Stop making excuses, and do something. Stop blaming others and take responsibility for yourself.
May you find the skills that multiply your joy.
May you find the courage to be the parent your child needs.
May you find the wisdom to build on what your parents invested in you.
May you be found. You are not a Lost Boy. You are a Kingdom Builder.
What are you building?
In His Service and yours,