Emerging Adulthood – The Trials of the 20-Somethings

In May of 2002, my soon to be wife, Hillary, and I graduated from Taylor University and expectantly looked toward our future together in Colorado.  We were married in August and moved to Colorado without jobs but knew something would work out.  Like many before us, we were married in our early twenties and as I put it back then, “moved from the dorm room to the marriage bed.”  By the end of our twenties, we had two beautiful daughters and a job that paid the bills.

We are realizing that our 20’s were not like many of our fellow graduates.  We were the exception not the rule.  A growing number of people in their twenties are delaying important life events that used to be normal for college graduates. Robin Marantz Henig of the New York Times wrote this insightful article in which she details what some are calling a new life stage, “emerging adulthood.”

Here is an excerpt:

Among the cultural changes he [Jeffrey Arnett – Professor at Clark University] points to that have led to “emerging adulthood” are the need for more education to survive in an information-based economy; fewer entry-level jobs even after all that schooling; young people feeling less rush to marry because of the general acceptance of premarital sex, cohabitation and birth control; and young women feeling less rush to have babies given their wide range of career options and their access to assisted reproductive technology if they delay pregnancy beyond their most fertile years.

How will this impact our American society in 5, 10, 20 years?  How is and will this impact church ministry to this generation?  What parenting styles led to this generational shift?  The article definitely raises some interesting ideas.


About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on August 19, 2010, in Church and Culture, Family Strategies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nicole Baumgart

    Great post Joel. Nick and I are in the same spot you and your wife were. I’ve had a lot of people comment on how “weird” it is that I am 22 and married , but I simply respond that 20 years ago that was the norm. Instead of living out the “youth” of my twenties my husband and I will be young and energetic with our kids and then enjoy the “youth” of our fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties when they are in college! haha Certainly nothing wrong with “emerging adulthood” or waiting to have kids until later in life – just a different life decision. It will be super interesting to see how it affects parenting methods, church ministry, and future generations.

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