Millennials have more training than their parents, but a recent study acknowledges they are going to struggle earning more money than their parents. Let’s face it, the economic realities in North America are making it difficult for millennials to thrive.
Who are Millennials?
Some people think millennials are that young generation who have a long way to go before they become “real” adults. Many people from older generations have talked about their perceptions of work ethic when it comes to this generation.
In reality, millennials are the young families of today. Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 are considered to be a millennial. That’s right – millennials are anywhere from 23 to 38 years old. They are graduated from school, pursuing a career, and growing their family.
When I look at my own children, I often wonder how they are going to be able to make it financially in today’s economic climate. The cost of buying a home seems way out of reach when you consider the down payment required for a mortgage plus the cost of the home itself. There are a number of ways life will be different for them than it was for us and for our parents.
This is an opportunity. Previous generations have defined success based on what we own/possess. The economic (and also relational) realities for millennials are an opportunity for them to redefine what success means – hopefully to a more positive and helpful version of it.
When Jesus was asked how someone could become great, He responded by teaching His disciples that greatness was found in serving others. His idea of success is very different than how most of us would define it. I’m hopeful my own children will be part of a generation who redefines success to be more in line with how Jesus viewed it.
The one thing every generation seems to have in common is this: life can be challenging – especially when you are first building your family. No matter what age you are, there are seasons in life when you need to experience God for yourself. You need to encounter His ability to provide for your needs. In addition, all of us need to consider how to align our life with His financial principles and commands. It is in these places we can have our character shaped to be more like Jesus, and our faith shaped to trust Him more.
Can Millennials Make It?
Yes, they can make it! I am watching my own children grow up and begin to build their life. They are facing many of the same struggles my wife and I had to face. They are learning to make choices and live with the consequences or rewards of those choices. These are all healthy realities.
If you are a millennial, I want to encourage you to have hope. God is your Provider just as much as He has been a Provider for your parents or grandparents. What feels overwhelming for you is not overwhelming for Him. Seek Him. Learn and follow His financial principles.
If you are the parent or grandparent of a millennial: avoid trying to force your children to be like you were at their age. Let them be who they are. Learn to become a good mentor – asking good questions about life and their circumstances and sharing your wisdom when the opportunities present themselves. They will do things differently than you did – just like you had to do things differently than your parents did. But that does not make them weak, it just means they are living in a different reality.