You’ve just turned 18—or maybe you’re about to—and the call of freedom is irresistible. “Dad, I’m an adult now! I can make my own choices!” Sounds familiar, right? I too echoed those words when I stood on the brink of adulthood, convinced of my newfound maturity. But here’s the truth: being an adult is not merely about reaching a specific age; it’s about making choices and facing the consequences that come with them.
Understanding True Adulthood
Legally, you’re an adult at 18, but life experience—something you might lack at this stage—plays an equally vital role in defining adulthood. Scripture teaches us that wisdom comes from God and is cultivated through experience and guidance (Proverbs 2:6). Your parents, acting as earthly guides, offer advice not to hinder your freedom but to steer you away from pitfalls they’ve likely encountered. When they caution you, saying you’re not quite ready to live on your own, they’re essentially expressing love through the lens of their own life experiences.
The Weight of Choices
Choices are integral to our Christian journey. Joshua 24:15 poses the ultimate choice: “Choose this day whom you will serve.” Every choice has consequences, be they immediate or long-lasting, positive or negative. Too often, I encounter young men deep into the aftermath of their decisions, only then realizing the weight of their choices.
The Double-Edged Sword of Freedom
Let’s talk candidly. As an 18-year-old, you have the freedom to engage in sexual relationships. However, the Bible advises us to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). The freedom to make a choice is accompanied by the responsibility of facing the repercussions. Living a promiscuous lifestyle might seem enticing, but the spiritual, emotional, and physical toll can be catastrophic. The Bible warns against fleeting pleasures that lead to lifelong burdens (Hebrews 11:25). Consider the life-altering impact of sexually transmitted diseases or the responsibility of unplanned fatherhood. Your actions don’t just affect you; they influence everyone around you, including your current or future spouse, family, and community.
The Importance of Godly Counsel
The Bible tells us that wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 15:22). As you navigate this transitional phase, it’s crucial to seek wise counsel from trusted sources. Don’t underestimate the value of your parent’s advice or the wisdom of spiritual mentors like your college pastor. Their experiences can offer you a balanced perspective, and their prayers can add a layer of divine guidance to your decision-making process.
Recommended Reading: “Life on the Edge” by Dr. James Dobson
When I was 18, one book that had a significant impact on my understanding of adulthood was “Life on the Edge” by Dr. James Dobson. This book offers practical advice grounded in Christian principles. If you’re looking for a resource to help you navigate the complexities of young adulthood, this is a must-read.
Turning 18 is an important milestone, but let’s remember that age is just a number. True adulthood requires wisdom, accountability, and an unwavering commitment to walking in Christ’s footsteps. You don’t have to traverse this path alone; listen to your parents, seek godly counsel, and most importantly, draw near to God, the ultimate source of wisdom and strength.