Adulting 101: Habits To Form As You Enter Adulthood
Wow, I can remember being 17, 18, and 19 and just wanting to be grown up! We want everything and we want it now, but there is a process of walking out our time and growing and becoming adults. It is a process that starts in our later teenage years and can feel like it lasts forever. But one day you look up, you look back, and you realize, “Wow, I am a real adult!” My husband and I always joke with people we mentor that it happens when you are 25 because you can rent a car or drive a church van.
Truthfully, we never stop growing and developing--never! Life is an ever-changing growth process from the day we are born until the day we leave this earth. But I will admit there is a pretty solid transformation from being a kid to becoming an adult. It is not any one event that finalizes this process, but instead it is more like a change and maturity on the inside. I can’t tell you the exact age you become a “real adult,” but I can tell you the process starts in your later teenage years.
So I want to give you some advice, something I wish someone had told me between the ages of 17-22. These are things I have looked back on and learned during those years of my life.
1. Decisions are not little anymore, no matter how little they may seem.
Okay so this one may seem a little confusing, but this is something I can look back on and really see moments big and small that changed aspects of my life and others’. The older you get, the more important your decisions become. When you are in the moment and when you are young, it is hard to understand that some of the decisions you are making now will touch you even at the age of 33, but some decisions you are making now will. They will reach out into your future.
I am not saying every small decision should consume your thoughts, energy, and life, but these small decisions add up and will shape your future. I will just encourage you with this: as decisions come your way, both large and small, stop and think--can this affect my future? Will this decision shape me and my path? Pray about all things large and small! Learn to hear God’s voice in all decisions.
John 10:27 | "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
Jeremiah 29:11 | "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
2. Know how to deal with and LOVE all kinds of people.
When I was about seven, there was a girl in my group of friends at church. She was a girl I saw at church, school events, and birthday parties. She was a little bossy and pretty difficult to be around. I remember telling my mom that I did not really want to be her friend. My mom then told me some of the most solid advice that really has helped me throughout my entire life! She told me that for the rest of my life in school, jobs, and sports there would be difficult people. But you can’t quit a job, school, team, and church just because someone is difficult. You have to learn to love them for who they are and where they are. You have to figure out how to get along with them and how to make the best of the situation you are in.
Wow! This was huge. I took this and used it for the rest of my life. My mom was right: I have always encountered difficult people in every season of my life. I have always found a way to work, participate, and live in and around these people, and it is life changing when you figure this out.
As I got even older, God began to show me that He died for that difficult person! He made them. He knew them even before they were in their mother’s womb, and maybe I was in their life to show them this love! I hope that you can take this and instead of living a life full of conflict with difficult people, or avoiding life and situations because of difficult people, that you can show them Christ’s love. Don’t be a doormat, but do learn to work, live, play, and participate around these people.
John 3:16 | "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
3. Be humble and quick to admit wrong.
I will say that for the last seven years of my life, God has grown me a ton in this area. As He shows you when you have done something wrong, don’t just ask for His forgiveness, but also go out and seek the forgiveness of those you have wronged. Be able to admit your shortcomings to the people in your life, and watch as you walk forward stronger with those relationships. This will not only be huge in your friendships, but also in your marriage and family. It will be so important to be able to admit wrong to your husband and then walk forward stronger. Be open and sensitive to God’s conviction.
There is growth in walking forward from where we have done wrong.
James 5:16 | "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
Author: Avery Forrest
Image: Erin Girouard