A reader sent me a link to an article which states that the responsible thing for adult children to do after college is remain at home with their parents. I decided to share it with you because, as many of you know, I also think that in most cases, the best thing for an adult daughter is to remain at home until she marries. Only I believe that the reasons the author of this article gives are all wrong.
Remaining at home is described as a period of rent-free housing, self-indulgence, relaxation and financial freedom. Every line shouts out loud, "me!" My money, my job, my career, my goals, my needs…
There isn't even one word about how it can be beneficial for adult children to continue learning from their parents' wisdom; not one word about the many ways in which they can be a blessing and asset to their families; not one word about ageing parents or grandparents who might need attention and care, help around the house, or simply company; in short, none of the reasons why I consider my own decision to remain at home until I marry a blessed opportunity to serve and love and honor my family.
In some traditional cultures, it's common for several generations to continue living under the same roof for a lifetime. It doesn't mean, however, that adult children take a self-centered attitude and remain lifelong Peter Pans. The family operates as a unit, and each family member is expected to be a productive part of the household.
We have my 91-year-old grandmother living with us; we love her, and I feel it's an honor to return even a bit of the love and care she generously gave us for as long as I can remember. Grandma isn't as capable, physically, as she used to be; she has needs to be tended to; she needs someone to take her to the doctor and serve her meals, and she loves it when someone can eat with her, and talk to her and just sit beside her and knit. Someone in your family probably has greater needs, too – the very old, the very young, the ones with less-than-perfect health. Always easy? Always pleasant? Certainly not. Rewarding? Beyond anything you can imagine.
I must tell you, however, that the point of view that article presents isn't new to me at all. During my years in college, many of my fellow students rented apartments or lived on campus, but many others continued living at home with their parents. Not many of these young women did anything to ease their mothers' loads. Most of them couldn't cook, some had no idea how to compile a grocery list, and a few couldn't even operate a washing machine. I guess someone forgot to tell them that laundry doesn't wash itself automatically, and meals don't just appear on the table out of thin air.
I believe that we, as adult unmarried daughters, have a unique opportunity to show today's self-centered world what it really means to honor and cherish our parents, to serve cheerfully and put our family first. We can show what it's like to be productive, industrious and creative; self-sacrificing, loving, and faithful; serving, generous, delighted helpers to our parents and siblings.
This vision of daughterhood is beautiful. It's powerful. Let us seize the chance and live it – for the glory of God.