Thursday, December 13, 2007

Are young adults full adults?--see survey results

Today, USA Today gave some statistics on whether or not young adults (18-25) and their parents viewed them to be full adults.

According to the survey less than 20% of both "young adults" and their parents saw 18-25 year olds as adults.
Some studies show that the brain is not fully developed for most people until age 20. And yet, decades/centuries ago, a great number of people married at age 14-16. For the Jews, a boy was considered a man at age 12.
It is true that in American/Western society today, almost no one would view a 12 year old as a man or woman. And the "kid" status has been extended until age 25 now. We need to realize, however, that this is a cultural phenomenon, and a relatively recent one, not primarily a genetic setting.
We need to challenge our teens and young adults to take responsibility and serve God, work hard, and be committed and involved Christians. If people once could be married at age 14, then surely they could serve in great ways if challenged.
I would love to hear from those with teens and young adult children on this.
What do you think teens and 18-25 year olds could be challenged to do? When should they be viewed as an adult?


Anonymous said...

I agree that this is a cultural phenomenon, and this point should be stressed more often and with more vigor to our teens and adults. I help teach a young Christians class on Sunday mornings. Last Sunday, we were covering a lesson that dealt with contributing to the Church. We had read several verses from Matthew 6, and I asked our group how they thought treasures were layed up in heaven, as opposed to on earth. This group is made up of about ten young ladies and young men ranging in age from thirteen to eighteen. Not one person in this group was willing to attempt to answer this question. The only response I was able to coax from this group was "we've never been taught this before". I had to control my anger. First, I know that at least one member of this group had at some point heard this topic discussed in either a sermon or bible study. Second, but more disappointing and alarming in my mind, was the tendency of immediately casting responsibility on someone else. I believe that we have nurtured this tendency by "spoon feeding" and by setting such low expectations of our youth. If a twelve year old was considered a man during Jesus' time on earth, surely we can expect someone of this age to have a basic understanding of the elementary principles of God's word.

Kyle in Oklahoma