launching adults • when they don’t get married 

Imagine this. You have a 26 year old daughter. She meets *the* guy and after a period of dating he pops the question and you’re on the track to launch your daughter into the world. 

There’s an engagement party. Friends and family gather to express their excitement and joy. A handsome collection of towels, platters and salad bowls are given to the happy couple and stored away while preparations for the BIG day roll on. 

The house is bought or a rental property secured and furniture is purchased or gathered from friends and family looking for a charitable reason to upgrade their own. 

The bride is treated to a Shower or Kitchen Tea – where the women in her world huddle to exchange recipes and tips, play random games with pegs, stock her pantry and laundry closet with hundreds of dollars worth of consumables and thirty tea towels and, more importantly, let her know that there are women in her world cheering for her and supporting her in this next stage of her life.

Then comes the wedding day. People come from interstate and even overseas. They file into the church in their finery – the married ones reminiscing about their own special day and everyone feeling the privilege of sharing in such a sacred and momentous occasion. Then they eat and dance and raise their glasses as parents and best friends speak blessing and hope on behalf of everyone. The wedding gift registry has been bought out; providing tableware, appliances, linen and decorative items to ensure the couple are well established as they create their first home. And the questions commence about when you might be expecting the arrival of your first grandchild. 

Now imagine this. 

Your daughter is 26 years old. 

And she moves out of home. 

That’s all. 

Perhaps she has a housewarming. Maybe she receives a couple of cards and a few candles or table runners. 

Exchange your daughter for a son and though there’d be some differences in the narrative the end result is similar. A well celebrated, highly affirmed, and practically supported launch into the world. 

The contrast ought to raise a few questions for us. 

Who knows if there is marriage in their future or not. Maybe there are still the engagement, showers and wedding to look forward to. But maybe not. 

What do you think? How do we launch adults with any sense of ceremony and passage without the engagement and wedding process? What is missed for those exiting home and establishing themselves independently without these experiences? What mechanisms might there be to facilitate intergenerational connection or verbalised support? 

5 things every kid needs to grow in faith || another voice

#3 another voice

“So, if David told you to jump off a cliff would you?” “If Sarah stuck her hand in a fire, would you?” 

I bet you’ve all had a parent or teacher make this kind of argument to you. Maybe you’ve said something similar as a parent or teacher? This would normally be in response to a child using the argument (or defence), “but David told me to” or “but Sarah was doing it”! 

Of course, as a kid, you thought this was just the proof you were needing to confirm that your parents had officially lost the plot!

“Yes Mum, of course I would jump off a cliff if David did. Because I’m stupid and I do stupid things!” [written in bold ‘sarcastica’ font] – complete with eye roll and huffy body language. 

Or “Sarah wouldn’t put her hand in a fire, she’s not stupid, why don’t you like Sarah?!”

But here’s what we know for sure. The reason parents say things like that is because they genuinely worry that the influence of others on their kids’ lives could legitimately lead them to do really silly things! It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where there’s a group of friends hanging around a fire and Sarah sticks her hand in and everyone joins her! 

They know – and subsequently fear – that people do become who they hang around with. That they will mirror the behaviour and attitudes of those they admire. That they will gravitate to any people or groups that extend belief, acceptance or respect. They know a young person’s sensibility and sense of consequence is easily overridden by the intensity of their need to belong. 

Parents get this. Teachers and leaders get this. So the logical next step is to use that power for good rather than evil! 

To grow and persist in faith young people need voices other than their parents reinforcing the life changing message of Jesus. They need other adults and invested “older” people who will show them a way of living after Jesus that is relatable, attainable and authentic. 

While parents will always be the number one influencers in their children’s lives they also say dumb things about fires and cliffs! (wink) Children are looking for other people to affirm or contradict the values and beliefs of their parents. People that provide relational connection, belonging, respect and safe places for exploration of doubts will win a place of influence in the heart of young people. 

Faith communities and families can work together to nurture these relationships and our young people to maturity and flourishing in life and faith. (Read more at how to fix your church). 
 5 Things Every Kid Needs || Think Orange

#1 a really big God

#2 other people who believe what they do

#3 another voice 

#4 uncommon sense

#5 nosey parents