October 3, 2020

Subject: Want a New Perspective of Millennials? Meet Paradigm’s Chelsea Price

Philippians 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Ed Croteau

In their May 2019 article ‘Why are millennials abandoning divorce? Sex, Money, and their Parents’ , Business Insider explains why Millennials are having a huge impact in lowering America’s divorce rate.

“The Millennial generation is fueling a 24% decline in divorce rates since 1981, reported Hannah Smothers for Cosmopolitan. They are being driven by their fear of divorce. Many have or know of divorced parents and are doing what they can to avoid an unstable marriage”.

What are Millennials doing to try and avoid future divorce? The article gives 2 main Millennial behaviors before deciding to marry: 1) living together and 2) being financially secure. Let’s look at both.

1) Living Together: “To ensure they find the right partner, millennials are taking the fast-track to hooking up, but the slow lane to tying the knot. Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist and senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute told Smothers: ‘Marriage used to be the beginning of a relationship. Now, it’s the finale.’ The number of couples cohabitating before getting engaged has increased. A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family said living together ‘has become part of the pathway towards marriage.’

2) Being Financially Secure: “Millennials are prioritizing financial success before getting hitched, like establishing a career and paying off student loan debt, which allows them to enter marriage with less stress and less fights over things like debt. Indeed, marriage itself is more popular among wealthier millennials, meaning that it too is a symptom of the affordability crisis.”

But are all Millennials seeking sexual and financial fulfillment to overcome their fears? There is an example that contradicts this image of American Millennials: the phenomenon in Lees Summit known as ‘Paradigm’.

Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit defines ‘Paradigm’ as “Our weekly gathering of KC’s college and 20-30 somethings who have a desire to see Jesus made known throughout the city.” Each week, up to 500 Millennials gather to study biblical principles on growing in their relationship with Christ and each other.

These Millennials have found the real secret behind a successful marriage. It isn’t living together nor being financially secure. It begins with the Christian truth that real freedom from fear and anxiety only comes from living for Someone greater than yourself, who is living within you – and that Someone is Jesus Christ.

In her personal testimony, Paradigmer Chelsea Price explains here early years of struggling with fear and anxiety due to her parents’ divorce, but then her transformation as she decided to trust Christ fully with her life, giving over those fears to Him: “I grew up in a Christian home, and I started a relationship with Jesus at a young age by turning from my sin and asking him to save me. My family was very involved with our church, but I never really knew what it meant to truly live for Jesus.

My freshman year of high school, my dad left our family, rocking my security. I grew up hearing your earthly father was supposed to be a representation of your Heavenly Father and because mine left me, I thought Jesus was going to do the same, which made me more fearful to live for the Lord. This led me to having extreme anxiety and be passive in my faith for years, not wanting to share my faith in fear of being rejected.

About a year and a half ago the Holy Spirit challenged me through community and discipleship to not just say I love Jesus, but to actually live out my life for Christ and die to myself. I saw others on fire for Christ and I no longer wanted to contain His Spirit in me. Jesus birthed something new in me when I gave my fear to Him. I started taking risks to live for Him and began to truly feel free!

Now, I’m still a work in progress, but I continue to give my fears to Christ daily, and I pray that I keep holding fast to His promises and let him continue to do a good work in me.

My theme verse is Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.” This verse is a reminder that once we have Christ, it is He who is always working in our lives. Following Christ is a lifelong journey. He will finish what He started in us.”

If you are a Millennial who is looking for answers to the fears and anxieties of life, come visit Paradigm at Abundant Life Church every Tuesday at 7:00pm. Chelsea, and many others, would love to meet you!

Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.