The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

Share this page with your friends

Bookmark and Share

Question

I would really like for God to show me what He intends for me. I'm 16, I'll be 17 in three months and I just feel like I am running out of time to decide what to do with my life. Everyone tells me "Oh you're 16, you're still young, plenty of time!" but I don't feel like I do. I mean, time goes by so fast. I remember walking into the boxing club doors when I was only 10 years old, it seems like yesterday to me looking back at that! I'm also still with my girlfriend. I've been depressed for a couple of weeks because I still can't see with my own eyes if she is the one for me. I don't know what it will take to convince me if she is or isn't "The one" for me.  But I try not to think about it too much because I don't think it is right to dwell on things. It just makes things harder knowing that I've never had a girlfriend before and I don't know how to react in situations like this and am not used to it.

Answer

Why should you or I or anyone demand of the Almighty God evidence of what He wants us to do? The Bible tells us that God has told us everything we need to know, "as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3). Life and godliness are broad subjects and Peter says God has given us everything that pertains to these subjects. That doesn't leave much out does it? Yet, there are people who insist that this isn't enough. They want more.

Don't get me wrong. I know God is involved in our lives. I've seen His hand in too many things to doubt it. But I'm willing to following the life He has set out for me and won't demand that I know where the end is before I take the next step. You want to know where your life will lead you at 17 and I'm nearly 50 and realize that I don't know what tomorrow holds. But I've also learned that it doesn't matter. "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil" (James 4:13-16).

The other problem is that too often we want answers now. But consider what David said, "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!" (Psalm 27:14). God knows our needs, but He works as He sees best. The Lord is not at our beck and call.

There won't be enough time in this life to do everything you want to do, but there is plenty of time to enjoy life as it comes.

But when it comes to love, here I can help you greatly. Far more people think they are in love than those who know what love is. Please take a moment and read the article "Love is ..." Next, I want you to take a piece of paper and for each point write out how you do or do not demonstrate each point to her. Then write out how she does or does not demonstrate each point to you. If you are like most of us, you will find that there are areas of weakness which both of you need to work on. But if there are things about your relationship that just doesn't match the description, then you are not really in love. It might develop into love one day, but it isn't love yet.

Notice also what is missing in Paul's list. There are no butterflies in the stomach, no passion, no sexual feelings.

While you are wondering if she is "THE ONE!" the truth is that there are thousands of girls in the world whom you could possibly marry and live happily with for the rest of your life. God has not made us to be limited to just one person in this world. There have been people in the past who have had their spouses picked for them and they have had long and happy marriages. What makes the difference is if the two people can blend their lives into one. Instead of saying, is this my one and only. Ask yourself is this the person with whom I want to spend the next 70 years of my life. If you are constantly arguing and fighting now, then can you put up with that for the rest of your earthly life?

The big factor that will answer your question is time. True love doesn't fail. Infatuation and erotic love always fail after time. I recommend that couples spend at least a year of time getting to know each other after they seriously decide they might want to marry. There are exceptions, but I seen some awful failures when people rushed into marriage. You have just over a year before the very earliest that you can marry. If you were in my state, you would have two years before you could get married. Use that time wisely to decide if this is the girl you want at your side in good and bad times. Don't romanticize it. Don't overlook the problems. Problems should be addressed as early as possible in a relationship before they get out of hand.

It is really tough facing a failed relationship. I was talking to a boy a few hours ago who finally realized that the love of his life didn't really love him to the extent he loved her. He had tried "rescuing" the relationship by trying to use lust. I had scolded him severely the day before about it. But today, after he told her no more until marriage, he realized that she wasn't excited to talk to him anymore. It hurt more than he could imagine that she wasn't interested in him as a person; she wanted someone to complain to about the "misery" in her life and someone "bad" to get back at her parents. I don't know if he realizes the latter fully yet, though I think he suspects.

That is why time is so important. Can you imagine marrying someone and then come to realize that she only wanted you to escape her parents? So give it time.

Enjoy the ride through life day by day. Even gloomy days give life variation. When it gets to the point that you can't imagine living life without this girl and you seen the points in I Corinthians 13:4-8 proven over and over, then it would be a good time to ask her if she would consider marrying you.