Weekly Meanderings, 14 October 2017

Now

Where are those millennials moving? Wow!

It’s no secret that young people are getting married and starting families later in life than their parents did. It is, however, a bit of a secret where they are choosing to settle down.

Big cities and their big employers have always attracted young workers, and that’s still true. But a combination of factors — sky-high home prices chief among them — have sent Millennials across the country looking for alternatives. Unlikely places like Ohio and North Dakota have benefitted.

The Millennial Effect on the market

Older Millennials (aged 25 to 34) make up 13.6% of the US population but 30% of the current population of existing-home buyers, according to Realtor.com. Where they move matters to the real estate market.

Ellie Mae, a mortgage data firm, has a Millennial Tracker that highlights which towns have high percentages of mortgages closed by Millennials. That data, in turn, can help future homebuyers and real estate professionals alike identify new, accessible housing markets….

Understanding where millennials are buying homes is important both to the housing industry and to young people looking for alternatives to oppressive monthly mortgage payments.

“As Millennials continue to enter the housing market, we are seeing great activity in the middle of the US, where inventory is generally more affordable than on the coasts,” says Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae.

Tyrrell offered the example of top city for Millennial homebuyers — Athens, Ohio. The the average home loan in Athens was nearly one-third the average home loan in Boston, Mass.

Using the traditional 30%-of-income affordability standard, about one-third of households have unaffordable mortgage payments, according to a recent report from Harvard University. What’s more, the number of severely cost-burdened homeowners — those who spend 50% or more of their income on their mortgage — has skyrocketed from 1.1 million in 2001 to 7.6 million in 2015.

Numbers like that have young people considering homes in smaller places.

Go ahead, sleep with your dog: Allyson Souza:

We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t do it: inviting your dog into your bed. People believe it’s dirty, and it’s just not good for you. People have been saying it for years.

But, what if we told you that maybe that isn’t entirely true.

There are actual health benefits to letting your four-legged best friend spend the night, and it isn’t just you who’s better for all that cuddle time.

It’s better for your dog, too!

And who doesn’t want to do everything they can to make sure their little one is as happy as possible?

So to all you dog lovers who love snuggling up with their warm, fluffy buddy at the end of the day, keep doing what you’re doing.

Chances are, you’ll sleep better at night and we all know that better sleep leads to a better day.

It really is a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Sit down, gather yourself, and read this:

In 2016, conservative American media outlet Christian Broadcasting Network published a piece in which Dr. Benjamin Keyes of Regent University (Virginia, USA) reported that, “Unfortunately, in Christian marriages we have a much greater frequency of domestic violence than we do in non-Christian homes.” That’s significant in a country where one in three women has been subjected to abuse by a partner or ex-partner.

For too many women, this isn’t just a staggering statistic, it’s a daily reality.

Research shows that Christian men who sporadically attend church are more likely than any other religious group (or secular men) to assault their wives. Apparently men, especially those only nominally engaged with Christianity, are finding justification to abuse. They are not finding a message sufficiently forceful to change their behavior.

How is it that any man who walks through our church doors—whether once a year or once a day—can walk away believing that domestic violence is justified? Perhaps because precious little is being done to challenge it. A 2014 Sojourners survey revealed that only thirty-five percent of pastors have spoken more than once about domestic abuse.

This statistic is alarming, but must not blind us to this truth: all pastors teach their congregants about abuse one way or another. When we preach, lead Bible studies, or interact pastorally or socially with people, the language we use and the way we present topics will either reinforce or challenge an abuser’s narrative.

Given the prevalence of domestic violence, every pastor should assume they are preaching to women who have been subjected to abuse and to men who have perpetrated abuse. How should that change the messaging and culture of the church? The answer would be exhaustive. But as a start, here are five areas where popular teachings collude with abusive behaviors, and tips to reframe these issues to challenge abuse.

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