You may wonder why it is necessary to find purpose in life when you are young, but a young person who drifts along letting things happen to him, with no plan or purpose, will become an old person with the same failures. A person without a plan will be prey to destructive influences, but one who follows a time-worn path of success will avoid many pitfalls that are common to youth. Decide early if you want to have victory in your life, and begin the steps to success.
Choose High Quality Associations
Youth needs to listen to age. God has put adults in your life (parents, grandparents, guardians church members, and other leaders) for a reason. These people aren’t just doddering old folks or “biological” parents. They can actually warn you about things they’ve seen and experiences they’ve had, and save you a lot of trouble. There is an old saying worth repeating: “Learn from the mistakes of others. It is a lot less painful!” Too often, young people strike out on their own, “looking for answers.” Where are they now? They are older, purposeless people, still looking for answers on their own, bearing the fruit of shipwrecked lives.
One of the best lessons for youth is contained in Psalm 1. Reading and defining every single word in this chapter will have benefits beyond your youth. If your companions are scornful, they are not for you. If they scoff at loveliness and goodness, they are not good influences in your life.
You can save yourself a lot of heartache and many wasted years if you’ll suffer yourself to be led by those whom God has placed in your life as counselors. Other young people do not have the wisdom or understanding necessary to be good role models for you. Associate with people who are having victory in their lives morally.
Before you follow the crowd or listen to anyone else outside of these God-given authorities, have a good, hard look at their lives. The Bible says “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Do these people you want to hang around with have fruitful, productive lives? Have they spent years building a home and raising children with peaceful, productive lives? Can you learn anything from them that God desires in your life? Are they pure? Are they humble? Are they teachable? We cannot expect a life of purpose if we associate with those who are in rebellion to their teachers and others God has put in their lives.
Your life will be just like the people you listen to. If you listen to foolish people who have nothing to show for their lives (bad habits and vices, no job, no home, no happy family, no church family, wasted talents, of bad report in the community, and more), you will become just like them.
Find people to associate with whose lives are a reflection of what is lovely, true, good, pure, of good report, and virtuous (Philippians 4:8), who make wise use of money and possessions, and have steadfastness of purpose in their lives. It is no secret that we become like the people we associate with the most.
One thing that stands out in my mind regarding friends is a warning given to all Christian girls in Bible classes and also at home: to avoid young men who smoked, got drunk, dressed carelessly, treated adults disrespectfully, wasted time, did not work, and did not have an active church life. This was called “bad character.” It may seem mild by today’s standards, but that little rule saved many good Christian girls from falling into bad company.
By avoiding companions–both male and female–who do not have “good prospects” or goals and ambitions in life, who cannot earn a living, or who will become dependent on women, girls can save themselves and their parents many heartaches.
Until you find that perfect mate, be content with the men and women God has already placed in your life, such as brothers, parents, grandparents, and church members who are living right. These people can often provide you with a rich and meaningful social life, even at home, that may lead you to finding a mate.
Develop Your Talents
Besides choosing worthwhile companions, one way to develop a strong purpose in your life is to develop your talents. You may have to try your hand at a number of things in order to discover your talents. There are many books available that will teach you to sew, paint, decorate a room, cook and entertain, knit, or garden. Try everything at least once. The thing you go back to the most often may end up being one of your talents.
Very few people are suddenly struck with talent; it is developed through learning and practice. When you first start something, you may not think you have the propensity for it, but through learning and practice, you will master it. No one “suddenly” plays the piano. It has to be learned step by step, and each step builds upon the previous one: “Line upon line, and precept upon precept,” as the Bible teaches (Isaiah 28:10). You have to crawl before you can walk.
Even if you have wasted many years of your youth in worthless living, you can develop stability and purpose by learning one small thing and then another and another, until you have learned the whole talent or skill. There is something about knitting, sewing, painting, cooking, or decorating that brings a steady calmness to young women; a calmness and purposefulness that seems to have been lost in our modern society.
The world may fool you into thinking these endeavors are not very remarkable, but when people are hungry, they don’t go to a movie or play a video game–they eat, and they are most likely to gravitate toward the ones who can provide a meal for them. Being able to provide a delicious and beautiful meal on a well-set table is much more worthwhile than hanging out with friends and doing nothing.
When all is said and done, those who will be the most successful in life will be those who have the talent and skills to serve others. Think of different ways you can use your talents to serve, and you’ll be on your way to a very happy and purpose-filled life. There are books available with introductory kits for everything from calligraphy to crochet that will help you develop some fulfilling skills.
Developing talent brings stability to your mind and alleviates mental stress and depression. It gives you something worthwhile to look forward to. Without it, you will be forever dependent on others to give your life meaning. In developing your talents, you will find you no longer need the approval of your peers, and are content to be around those older and wiser than yourself.
Look After the Body God Has Given You
“Glorify God in your body” (I Corinthians 6:20). One mistake young girls make is to neglect their appearance. They don’t understand that boys are supposed to be masculine and girls are supposed to be feminine. To feel confident in your identity as a female, dress the opposite of men: in feminine clothes that distinguish you from males. Learn to take care of your hair and your complexion, and dress in a way that will enhance your natural beauty rather than detract from it. Use bath products that have the kind of scents that give you a lift. Take a free makeup lesson at a cosmetic counter in a mall, and get tips for hair care from a hairdresser. Look for every opportunity to improve yourself–your posture, your voice, and your manners. Pay attention to the amount of sleep you get. If you are overweight, you can actually reduce pounds by getting more sleep and eliminating simple carbohydrates in favor of fresh foods and proteins. Your body is the tool you have to serve others, so make it a priority to look after it.
When you first get up in the morning, drink a glass of fruit juice, take a shower, dress in fresh, clean clothes that are well pressed and give you a cheerful feeling, cover any blemishes, and do your hair. Even though you cannot see yourself, others can, and your appearance can depress them or inspire them. Appearance itself can be a ministry of joy to others. Just be sure you get good instruction about this and don’t choose clothing and hairstyles that shock the world.
Learn One Spiritual Principle Each Day
One of the things I look forward to the most is the quiet times in the course of a day when I can think about my life and the things I need to do, and the places I need to improve. I have a little notebook where I keep ideas of things I’d like to improve in.
Reading something like Proverbs will improve your character and make you a strong person who is better able to resist the temptations that are aimed at youth. In the most handsome notebook you can find, with the most beautiful writing instrument you have, carefully copy a proverb a day in your best writing. Beneath it, write your observations and experiences with that particular proverb, and what you think it means. Then with colored pencils or water colors, make an illustration. Not only will you improve in wisdom and understanding, but you may develop handwriting and art skills.
Remember that everything in life has a purpose. Make everything you do become beautiful and purposeful.
If you want to be a wise older woman someday, you have to determine to be a wise young woman. Light a candle early in the morning or late at night, and read your Bible. You will find a great feeling of contentment and peace will come upon you as you let its words teach your heart. “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding,” declared Solomon (Proverbs 4:7). Acquiring these things is somewhat dependent upon the people you choose to listen to. “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” Proverbs 13:20. Though you may acquire some wisdom and understanding through your own study, you need to closely associate yourself with parents and others who can help you maintain it.
Live A Selfless Life in Serving Others
If you are a young girl with no dependents, you may think you are free to just have all the fun you want and do as you please, but one day when you sober up and want to live a worthwhile life, you’ll regret it terribly. We are making memories each day. Everything we do will be a memory when we are old. Will those memories of your youth bring delight and gratitude to your heart, or will your face burn with shame when you think of them?
You alone have control of the people you associate with, the things you do, the way you look after your body, and the servive you provide for others. Imagine yourself writing your life story when you are old. Will it be fraught with foolishness and careless living, or will it show a life of purpose? Think about these things as you enter into your adulthood. There is no second chance at youth, so live it in the most productive way you can. Enlist the help of older people that are already in your life, and do not be distracted by worthless things.
Develop an attitude of service early in your life, and you’ll endear yourself to the right people later on in life. No one likes to be around someone who is a constant drain on their finances, time, or emotions. Learn to be the lifter, not the leaner, in life, and this will increase your value and life purpose. Even young people with severe handicaps have learned to make their lives count by being of service to others through their writing, art, or other ministries.
In summation: If you would have success in life, have wise companions, develop skills and talents which may eventually turn into service for others, take care of your body, and live selflessly. May God bless you in your youth, and may you live in such a way that no one will “despise” your youth.(I Timothy 4:12).