Men are not growing up.
Modern culture devalues marriage in the highest degree, and young men aren’t growing up until they’re thirty. The average age of marriage in the US is 27 for females and 29 for males. (My grandparents got married at 15 and 17.) There’s a host of reasons for this trend, but I believe immaturity, laziness and promiscuity are the biggest causes. We’ve created a culture of men who just do nothing except whatever they want whenever the want and thus never grow into who they are meant to be and never become the servants that our generation needs!
I recently read an article entitled 21 Experiences Every Man Should Have Before Marriage. On the list? Date around, Have sex. Date online, Spend all your money, etc. etc. etc.
It’s this very mindset (have sex, date around, cuss your brains out, spend all your cash and drink the night away because one day you’ll have to grow up) that prevents men from doing that very thing: GROWING UP!
I want to bring some truth to the table regarding young men and what they should REALLY give their time to in their unmarried life. Young men, it’s time to GROW UP!
Here are 15 things I believe every man should do before getting married.(I’ll give you a hint, It’s not being a party-frat boy)
- Meet Jesus.
Don’t just meet him, be saved by him. Trust me, you’re not that great and she doesn’t want to be married to you. You suck. You would live in a pig-stye and watch marvel movies all-day long if she let you. She needs a man that loves her unconditionally and serves her even when she fights him. She wants to be married to Christ even if she doesn’t know it! Not to mention you just need his saving grace FOR YOURSELF!
We are encountering the most entitlement-minded generation this country has ever seen. When you marry one day, it will be your job to provide for your bride. If you haven’t got a J-O-B, you aren’t even in the game yet.
- Finish Something.
Something! JUST SOMETHING! College, vocational training, rehab, an internship, a bible school, a webinar, you name it! Start something, stick with it, learn something, and finish it! Sowing the seed of doing something and finishing well may be much more valuable in the long-run than what it is your doing to begin with!
Don’t “date around” for the sake of dating around. Sure, when you’re out of high school and looking at getting married and you spot a pretty young lady, take her out for coffee and don’t be a passive weirdo, but don’t waste your teenage years telling a bunch of girls how much you love them when you’ve got nothing more than your mom’s minivan and 10 borrowed bucks to pay for one movie ticket. You’ll do much better to spend time with friends and grow into a man they want to marry when it’s time!
- Learn Something
You need to learn something. Something that sets you apart and separates you from the pack. A trade, a skill, a degree, a mindset. Read a book, take a course, get a mentor, but learn something and don’t just stop there. Learn lots of things! Learn how to learn early, so that you’ll always be growing!
Be a penny-hoarder. When you get a paycheck from your job, throw a few bucks in the bank account. Pass up a hangout now and then. Start a 401k or lock up your money in a low interest cd just to get some return, but save some money. Saving is a habit and it’s not formed when your paycheck increases. Start young so you will save for life!
- Get a Vision
Your life is like a boat and your wife will have to jump on board. Saving money and learning something is like hoisting masts and plugging holes, but if you have absolutely no idea where you’re going, there’s going to be a lot of frustration. Before you get married, shoot before you even start college, ask yourself this question: Where do I want to go? This solves a lot of problems on the offset. Oh and just for free, ladies love a man who has a plan! She’s looking for an adventure, not just an existence.
- Serve in a Church
Don’t just “join a church.” Get off the bench and get in the game! Listening to a man talk every week is great but Jesus said “Whoever wants to become first among you must be your slave.” – Matthew 20:27. Be a greeter, hold an offering bucket, start a small group, pick up trash. However you do it, serve someone and not just in the church but also in the workplace and in your day-to-day life. Serving promotes, and you’ll want a promotion.
- Have FUN
This seems counter intuitive to what I’ve been laying out but surely you’ve got to have some fun right? Look for a solid group of friends and paint the town red. Once you get some kids you’ll need to be in by 10.
- Swap Friends for Family
Don’t just have some friends but find some brothers. I’m talking about a group of men that have got your back for the long-haul. Not the ‘’ride-or-die” type pansies that the hip-hop culture promotes. They’ll sell you out quicker than you can say “sell.” No, Find a group of men that you can confide in and receive from. You’ll need it on your journey.
- Find a Mentor
Let’s settle it right now. YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. And you won’t either. The old adage is true: “At 16 you know everything and at 26 you know nothing.” Get an older Godly man that will speak into you, encourage you, and rebuke you so that you can become refined into the man you want to be! Refusing a mentor is like refusing a life-vest.
- Live Pure
I don’t care what anyone says. Having sex before marriage is a BAD IDEA. It was not designed to be enjoyed outside of covenant. When you sow the seed of pre-marital sex and porn you’re just asking for trust issues, adultery, shame, and the very thing you hoped to avoid in the first place: NO sex. One day your wifey will want to know that you keep your pants up. If you chase those petty pornified fantasies as a young man, you’ll only lust for more after the wedding day. Lust is lust, and it’s never satisfied. Trust me and trust God. It’s worth the wait.
- Make a Plan.
Don’t just have a vision, figure out how you’re going there! You’ll be tweaking this along the way but making plans is a process and a greatly needed one at that. Be the master planner of your home in finance, fun, career, family and so on.
- Love your Momma
She’s your lady right now. Forget what culture says. How you treat that woman is how you’ll treat your bride. Go all out! By her lunch, give her a great mother’s day present and don’t be too arrogant to lean you 6 foot head down and give her a kiss on the forehead. LOVE your momma.
- Know the Bible.
You are not wise on your own. If you don’t seek the word of God you will fail and it will hurt. You’ll be throwing down on video games, eating Cheetos in your momma’s basement at age 30 without a penny to spare. Joshua 1:8 says that if you will meditate in the word day and night and do all that is written in it you will make your way prosperous and find good success. You wouldn’t fix a broken appliance without consulting the manual! (Well maybe you would. In that case you should read an article on fixing things.) Why would you bank your life on experience? Take it from me: Don’t be the young man that sleeps and sloths his way around until at age 60 he comes to himself and thinks, man, maybe I should do something with my life! I’ve met this guy, and he’s not happy. Get the word deep deep deep down in your soul, know it, fight for it, and live from it all the days of your life and this list won’t even be necessary.
So there you have it. 15 of possibly 1500 life lessons all young men need. I’m urging you, go against the grain. Don’t squander your future so you can indulge today. Don’t be the lazy, pot-smoking, video-game addicted, arrogant, drinking, teenage love-bug that loses in the long-haul. Build something. Dream! Fight for your future! Be the man that God has destined for you to be!
Thanks for the read! For more resources, check out my brand new blogsite, jarredmoss.com ! And follow my blog for my latest writings and devotionals! You won’t regret it!