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My college-aged children seem to focus mostly on hobbies. I want them to find joy and fulfillment, but I’m concerned about their ability to pay their bills in the future. How do I bring up my concerns with them?

In my work in campus ministry I often listen to young adults wonder about their future. Some have extensive plans with clear next steps, and others speak about being open to whatever is next. Regardless of their planning, most feel uncertain about the future, whether that be pursuing a career or having a family. Many have seen people lose their jobs or not get the jobs they were qualified for. They’ve grown up in the housing crisis, and the current costs of housing feel overwhelming. Can you imagine what it’s like at 25 to have the sense that you’ll never be able to buy a house?

As someone who is older, you’ve been able to experience God’s presence through good times and challenging times. When your children feel that you’ve listened to and tried to understand their situation today, hopefully you can share with them the hope and wisdom you’ve gained from your experiences. Because of God’s grace, neither you nor your children need to look to the future with fear. 

It can be hard to know which choices come from wisdom and which are born out of fear. Choosing a practical major can be a way of trusting in our own efforts to secure a safe future. On the other hand, choosing a major where there is little likelihood of a job can be a way of avoiding looking honestly at one’s talents and/or the future. Somewhere there is a healthy middle where one can enjoy and even study music or sports while also developing practical skills through taking classes or through part-time jobs.

I pray that your conversations together might allow you to mutually encourage each other as you discern what it looks like to trust God, to enjoy God’s gifts, and to live wisely.

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