Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Parent-less Generation?

At least the Babyboomers had parents to lock the latch, aka their code name of The LatchKey Generation.

My generation had parents that lived in different homes, if we even knew who they were. If we knew their identities, we played home-volley-ball with our weekends and we were the volley ball getting tossed back and forth. One weekend at Dads while the rest of the week at Moms. I think our parents thought our lives were normal and that they could keep life up and we wouldn't notice. But we did.

Many of the young adult generation spent much of our time trying to convince ourselves that our parents divorces or splits were not our fault. But deep down inside we were convinced we were the cause.

Some of us grew up in married homes, but some of our parents were both full time career people. Our baby years were spent in daycare. Our week days in the classroom and then sport practice, daycare or some extracurricular activity. We came home to cartoons and snacks. When our parents got home they were tired yet we were desperate for their attention. You could say there was a lot of tension in our homes. But our parents were convinced the financial stability is what we needed to have healthy and normal lives. But deep down all the stuff in the world couldn't make up for the time and attention of Mom and Dad.

A kid is designed to know his roots. We are meant to grow up and married two parent homes is to be our norm, our standard, our baseline for healthiness, righteousness and security. We are supposed to know a home where the marriage covenant is respected, honored and protected. We should know the security of a Father and the tenderness of a Mother. We should see their interaction and communication, their relationship with one another, hard work ethic, servant heart, and commitment to a family community. We should learn to obey their discipline, be delighted at their affirmation and know they are around the corner ready for any sort of question. They should teach us to save money, look to someone else's needs besides our own and help us be the best we can be for God.
(see article from Heritage Foundation)

Why do you question the sane-ness of this generation when we've grown up so dishelved. When our own local "government" is not stable and healthy and balanced, how can we fight the growing federal government? Afterall the government systems in the forms of education, foster care, government food programs, and more, although unbalanced, are the ones who have been there for us!!

When you break it down, I don't know why parents and grandparents today are surprised when the Millennial generation "doesn't care" about cultural issues. We've spent our lives in fragmented worlds. No matter how many times the adults tried to make our lives seem balanced, we always envied "Susie and Sam" who had two married parents, who ate dinner together every night, whose parents were at their games, worked together in the yard and even laughed together.

For many of us, our parents just weren't there. Emotionally, physically or spiritually so I guess you could say our peers became our fellow survivors.

Does this blog post sound dark? Perhaps it's just a black and white picture of what the reality has been for many young people. The sad thing is that of the majority of those who lived through this and survived are even more blind now as they look to their children for what a healthy family unit looks like and why its desperately needed for a healthy society, a well rounded child and a balanced community.

We needed our parents affirmation, their assurance as we walked through the wickedly awkward teenage years that there was nothing wrong with us. We needed defended, protected, nurtured and stimulated. We wanted to share our small moments with our parents; we didn't want Mom and Dad to hate each other any more; and we wished we could get our parents attention that money doesn't really matter.

All we ever wanted, needed or longed for - was you.

Is this idea of a two parent (one man, one woman, married) family a Utopia? For some. Is it reality for others? Yes, a few. Is it something to understand and recognize even if we acknowledge it was our world whether as a parent, or child? Yes, although painful it may be we must be aware. We must examine ourselves so to help those to follow not make the same mistakes. If you finish reading this blog and you feel condemned I have failed as a writer. But if something in this strikes truth in your heart, it's simply something God is revealing as a tender Friend. He wants to heal us and restore us. He's just that kind of God. He redeems us, our families, our orphan years, our single parent roles, our broken pasts, our mistakes, our disappointments. And He lets less than perfect things work together for His beautiful glory. He makes everything okay again and bring things back around to just as they should be.

May this be our moment of clarifying truth: the Millennial generation is the way it is for many different reasons, but one of which is because we've not been secure in our own homes therefore why would we want be standard bearers for the preservation of the traditional family?  But if you'll help us and hold our hand toward healing, I think we might be willing to give traditional marriage and family a try. Because, after-all, that is the way God has designed us to thrive as a community, nation and people. So... let the healing begin.