When I was 15 years old I went to the DMV to get my learners permit. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I failed the exam the first time I took it. The section of the test that did me in was the one on road signs. I failed the exam because I couldn’t read the signs. When it comes to friendship, dating, and marriage there are signs that we must learn to recognize. These signs point out traces of immaturity that must be dealt with in order to be a good friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, and/or spouse. If you never learn to recognize these warning signs, you’re headed for trouble relationally. Just like we’re expected to know what road signs mean in order to drive a car, we must also be prepared to recognize certain warning signs in life in order for our relationships to be fruitful.
Here are 11 warning signs to help us recognize immaturity and ultimately grow up. These come from Clayton & Charie King’s book “12 Questions to Ask Before You Marry” (whether single or married, I highly recommend it). See if any of these look familiar:
1. You have yet to keep a job for more than six months.
2. You lack self-control in your life (eating, drinking, drugs, video games, porn/sex, etc.)
3. Your relationships look more like a roller coaster than a marathon.
4. You always play the victim.
5. You tend to speak negatively of other people.
6. You are plagued by jealousy.
7. You don’t finish what you start.
8. You can’t say no.
9. You fall in love too fast.
10. Your dating relationships are too physical.
11. You have a problem with authority.
The Apostle Paul said this:
I Cor. 13:11 – “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
Framed within a chapter that emphasizes love as its central theme, Paul is making the case that the appropriate time to act like a child is when one is a child. In essence, Paul is declaring that if you want to show true love to others, you have to grow up. There must come a point where we acknowledge warning signs such as these by repenting of childish ways and growing up. If not, we run the risk of destroying our futures, damaging relationships, and dishonoring God.
So exactly how do you grow up? As in all things, God’s word is our guide and Jesus is our example. When you’re confused on how to live, look to and learn from the Master. Personal maturity will flow naturally from a life that is surrendered to God. This will include, but is not limited to, a God-empowered resolve to cultivate Godly convictions and embrace responsibility.
That being said, are you willing to grow up?