The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I am young and need to learn. I am wondering about things in life, what girls look like, how to talk to them, you know all the boys' stuff. Should I get a close girlfriend and talk and find out? You know when you are you learning how to control yourself and getting to know girls it is difficult. I need to grow in relationships. Do I talk to older men about it or friends? If I like someone, do you kiss and eventually love one another so much that you get married?


While it is easiest to talk to other boys your own age, they will not be the best source. The reason you get along with them is because you have common experiences and views of life so far. But it also means that they have as little good experience with girls as you do yourself.

Learning directly is more relevant, but we must assume that the girl you date has as much experience as you do yourself. Both of you will be making mistakes. Now if both of you are understanding and tolerant of mistakes, then you'll grow closer together. Usually, though, it drives people apart.

It is better to talk to someone older and who has experience. This can be difficult because young people often think that older people don't understand. The problem is most often the other way around. Old people were young once. They all remember what it was like, but their experiences have broaden their view of the world. Many older people have a hard time reducing what they know down to a level that a young person without experience can other understand.

While not about girls, let me give you an example. When a young man, name Rehoboam, was made king, he asked the old men who were his father's advisors for advice regarding a request from the people to reduce the taxes. "And they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."" (I Kings 12:7). He didn't like that advice, so he asked his friends what they thought. "Then the young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, "Thus you should speak to this people who have spoken to you, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter on us' -thus you shall say to them: 'My little finger shall be thicker than my father's waist! And now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!'"" (I Kings 12:9-11).

Rehoboam wanted to show himself as a decisive ruler. He thought, as did his friends, that if he showed himself as a tough man, people would respect him. His friends' advice was exactly what he thought was best. But that is to be expected. His friends didn't know any more than he did about what was needed to run a kingdom well. Rehoboam went with his friends' advice and as a result sparked a rebellion that split his kingdom in two leaving him with just two tribes out of the twelve that followed his father.

Rehoboam was smart enough to ask for advice but he was foolish because he weighed the advice against what he thought best. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise" (Proverbs 12:15). Seeking advice is worthless if you don't trust the source of the advice and are willing to put that advice into practice. If you go to someone who doesn't know what they are talking about for advice, what kind of advice do you expect to get? "The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness" (Proverbs 15:2). A smart man seeks advice from smart people and heeds it even if it isn't always what he wants to do. He knows that others are more experienced that is why he needed advice in the first place.

So find older people who have good, solid marriages that you admire. Find people who have loving families. Ask them for advice in how to find a wife for yourself. Ask them what worked and what they learned and saw didn't work. Learn from other people's mistakes instead of insisting on making your own.

Yes, get to know a number of girls. Talk with them. Find out if any of them are interesting to you. Find out what they like and what they like to do. Figure out what kind of personality that they have. What you are looking for is someone who will eventually become your best friend for the rest of your life. Like most boys you are trying to rush things. You think that if you kiss a girl just right it will "make" her fall in love with you. Such is completely backwards. You find someone whom you deeply care about as a person first, and then things like kissing naturally follow later as an expression of your care and love for that person.

When you see something you don't understand or something happens that confuses you, ask. Find an older person you trust to give you good advice and have him help you work through the puzzle.