Americans born between 1980 and 1991, sometimes termed “Millennials,” put family first in importance in their lives, followed by friends, education, and career, according to a recent study by LifeWay Research. Religion came in sixth at 13%; other responses included finances (12%), happiness (12%), health (10%), and the future (5%).
In the study, conducted Aug. 2009, and recently released, researchers Thom and Jess Rainer said the priority of family was mentioned most often by whites, the more educated, those who were married, and those who self-identified as Christian. Friendships are more important to younger Millennials, those with higher incomes, and singles.
“Millennials are committed to family above other priorities, even though many are waiting to start their own families,” Thom Rainer said. “Churches with a strong understanding and sense of family–as well as those that are able to cross generations, allowing older adults to reach younger adults–will be able to more easily reach Millennials.”
In a world of constant flux, dysfunctional societal trends and developmentally distancing themselves from adults, today young adults are leaning more on their families and valuing it even more than previous generations. Family will grow to be even more influential than peers or popular culture. We all must resolve to make our family experiences an enriching one for the young ones in our nest.