3 important principles

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

God has designed us to go through puberty. The changes to our bodies and minds during this phase of life are no accident but are perfectly designed by God to prepare us for new opportunities, to live independently from our parents and perhaps, one day, to have a family of our own. There is no doubt that with these new responsibilities come new possibilities to do good or to do bad. This can be daunting, but it is comforting to know that God is in control and knows all about it. We can also rest in the knowledge that though we and our circumstances change, God does not, and we can rely on Him and His promises.

During puberty, as we learn and think more about the world, we begin to develop skills to cope with the responsibilities that come with adult life. One of those responsibilities is to use our time well and to balance studies, work, sports, social life as well as looking after ourselves. As we get older and move away from the protection of our parents or carers, we also need to think carefully about the consequences of the decisions we make. We are confronted with different temptations. Sexual sins play more of a role as our sexuality develops during puberty. Puberty and early adulthood give us time to develop these skills and to be prepared for adult life. The Bible is full of help so that we can make wise choices even from when we are young [Psalm 119:9 [1], Ecclesiastes 12:1 [2] and the first 9 chapters of the book of Proverbs].

Here are three important principles to help you.

1. Be faithful in all circumstances

As Christians it is important that we are people of our word. Keeping our word reflects our trustworthiness and our faithfulness. It’s a godly trait and glorifies God. It impacts who we are, how we are as a family member, a friend, a student or an employee. Being trustworthy can be costly to us [Psalm 15:4 [3]]. For example,  if we have already made a promise to do something else, we may have to miss out on something we think we would prefer to do. That can range from small social engagements, such as agreeing to go to one party and then a more enticing invite comes along, or to much bigger things such as keeping our marriage vows. We need to practice faithfulness in the small things. The Bible tells us that if we are faithful in the small things then we will be faithful in big things.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful with the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

Luke 16: 10-11

2. Listen to good advice

As we grow up, we also grow in independence and are trusted to make more decisions for ourselves. But we rarely make choices in isolation. Our friends and our family can play an important role. It is important to listen to our parents and also to be wise in listening to our friends. Think carefully about the advice you get from friends, and do not act on their advice if it goes against the Bible’s teaching, no matter how good it might sound. Our ultimate guide in life should be the word of God [Psalm 119:9 [1] & Psalm 119:105 [4] ], which also encourages us to look to others for advice [Proverbs 12:15 [5]]. Be careful not to be pushed outside of God’s boundaries. Do not bow to pressure to break from what you know is right.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

Proverbs 19:20

3. Learn self-control

Feelings are powerful and often helpful, but they also change quickly. It can be difficult to try and stop our feelings from making big decisions for us. We all know how quickly we can change our mind about things, especially when we base our decisions on how we feel at any given moment. When we are angry, sad, upset or even happy, we can make spur of the moment decisions that are based on a wobbly foundation. These can be decisions about spending time with friends, how we spend our money, how we talk to our family or even how we use our bodies. The Bible warns us that when we don’t practice self-control we are left open and vulnerable in a way that isn’t good [Proverbs 25:28]. Growing up and dealing with all the changes is tricky, but we shouldn’t become discouraged. Instead this is when we need to practice self-control.

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Proverbs 25:28

Make sure that God and His word are the lamp to your path [Psalm 119:105 [4]] as you grow into maturity in your life.

  1. Psalm 119:9How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
  2. Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’;”
  3. Psalm 15:4in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honours those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;”
  4. Psalm 119:105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
  5. Proverbs 12:15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”