My daughter, Dana, recently graduated from college. At 22 years old, she's at the beginning of a life journey that I am more than half-way through. She has so much of life ahead of her. So many great adventures to still experience.
I started thinking recently about what I wish I knew when I was 22 and ready to face the world. And I passed those things on to my daughter whom I pray is heeding them daily. Psalm 90:12
instructs us to “number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" and there’s no better time than graduation to instruct our daughters, or any special young woman in our lives, to number THEIR days as well.
These are the 10 things I wish I knew at age 22 (and the 10 things I want my daughter to know now so she can live wisely and well): They are also 10 things you can begin incorporating into your life now if they aren’t there already.
1. People will come and go in our lives,
but the one who loves us most will never leave (Hebrews 13:5
). Therefore, his opinion matters more than anyone else's.
2. The things that seemed SO important to us in our 20s we can barely remember in our 40s. Think long-term, not short-term.
3. Life passes quickly
, so don't waste time worrying
about what you can't control. The Bible
tells us in Philippians 4:6
: “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.…”
4. God is the only one who satisfies,
so don't ever look to a man to do for you what only God can
. There’s a reason he tells us in Isaiah 54:5
“For your husband is your maker, the Lord God of hosts....”
5. Every man you date is a potential life partner.
So whether or not he's a mature follower of Christ, or doesn’t know Christ IS a huge deal. (Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14
not to be “bound together” with unbelievers. That doesn’t just apply to marriage. I know many a wife who wishes it was more important to her, during her dating years, that her boyfriend be a strong Christian.)
6. We are loved immensely by our Creator
and given the awesome privilege of serving our Savior. So don't look for validation in anything or anyone else.
(For a pick-me-up, take Ephesians 2:10
to heart: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”)
7. The things we allow our eyes to see,
our ears to hear, and our minds to process have a way of sticking with us far longer than we had imagined. So choose carefully what you expose yourself to
. (Romans 12:2
tells us to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” That renewal of the mind happens when we clear it of the junk this world bombards us with.)
8. The younger you are, the sharper your mind and memory. So store as much as you can of God's Word in your mind and heart now—so you can retrieve more later.
9. The wise financial habits you develop now will be a safeguard for you as you get older.
10. Purity is in rare commodity. Guard it with your life. (And regardless of what the tabloids say, righteousness will never go out of style.)
I’m sure this list could be expanded with another 10 suggestions or reminders, so if you have one or two to offer, please include them in the comment section below.
Publication date: June 2, 2015
Cindi McMenamin is a pastor’s wife, award-winning writer, national speaker, and the author of several books to help women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and one another. She and her husband, Hugh, co-authored the book When Couples Walk Together: 31 Days to a Closer Connection. Some of her books to help you combat fear and strengthen your trust in God include When Women Walk Alone (more than 145,000 copies sold), Women on the Edge, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You and When Women Long for Rest. You can find out more about her ministry, books, and free resources at www.StrengthForTheSoul.com .