By Jen Wardrop
So now I’ve hit the thirties I can officially say I made it through my twenties!
Mike and I were talking last night about how hard it is to be a Christian through your 20’s (not to mention your teens). I was going to say how hard it is sometimes, but let’s be honest in today’s world it’s hard a lot of the time (of course there is heaps of joy and it’s most DEFINITELY worth it).
But I was thinking, “it’s hard…but I made it!” So I thought I’d share with you just a few quick tips so you too can make it through your 20’s a Christian.
Quick side note: I grew up in a Christian home and I have amazing Christian parents, but my parents have had their share of hard times and I’ve learnt a lot from them that I’m about to share.
Who are you going to do your 20’s with?
In my very early 20’s I hung out with an awesome bunch of Christian friends. They weren’t perfect, but a lot of them were newly saved and they were so passionate about God. I was going through the rebellious stage a bit and they challenged me to give it up. To change how I spent my Saturday nights and challenged me about who I spent them with. When I turned about 21 I realised that I needed to stop hanging out with some of my school friends. I loved them a lot (and still do!), but they were all into drinking and going out on the town and at the time I wasn’t strong enough to say no, to not drink with them, to not wear clothes that I knew I shouldn’t etc etc. So I stopped hanging out with them at clubs and started to find out what the other side of my friendship circle did outside Sundays. I also met an awesome Christian boy, but we’ll talk about that later.
So I challenge you are you serious about God and your faith?
If so will you give up those people who don’t bring you closer to him?
Another side note: I am now friends with many of my school friends who I love dearly and I can hang out with them regularly cos I’m not temped to get drunk with them…but I’m so grateful I took some time to work out who I was first and guess what – they still love me for me, it’s wonderful!!
Who’s supporting you in your faith?
While friends your own age are great and essential to a healthy life (Christian or not), it’s also important to have people older and maybe a little wiser who have done it before you to look up to. These people for me have changed over the years, but one thing that kept me on the right path was the relationship that I had with these Christian women. They encouraged me and also told me when to pull my head in. They let me complain about the church and how I felt God was treating me, but they always spoke the truth into my life. Maybe it’s why I’m now so honest with all the girls around me! Find one – or preferably a few – older girls who you can hang out with and learn from. Find one of them to be your mentor. Trust me, without one the devil will whisper things into your ears that are hard to ignore without help!
Are you invested?
As I said before, I grew up knowing God. I gave my life to Christ at the age of 4 and my parents raised me in the faith. Is that what kept me in the faith though? No (although I’m sure it helped). What kept me in the faith was I knew God beyond a feeling or a one-time camp experience. I did have that camp experience and it was amazing and if you can get yourself along to a church camp do it! But I knew God beyond that. I knew in the depths of my heart that God was real and even when I was far away from God in my teens I still knew he was real and he was my rock. How did I get that kind of faith? I drew near to God and I invested in my faith. I decided in my early teens that I wasn’t just going to attend church, I was going to live church. I was the first one at practice and the last one to leave at the end of the night service. I was the kid down the front on my hands and knees every week (actually I’m still that kid when I’m not holding a baby in my arms)! I became invested in God and he became the centre of my world. This helped it shift from a ‘moment’ to a life calling. God would fill me and I would give it out to the church and as I got older to the community. Where are you positioned? Are you giving God your all or simply rocking up to church every other week expecting God to do the rest and never being willing to put yourself on the line for him? Get along to young adult ministry or youth ministry or small group, you NEED it! I did warn you I’m honest these days!
Is HE worth it?
Ok so this is for the girls mostly, but also for the boys.
I dated a great guy in my teens. He was really nice and good-looking (my hubby now is better looking though!). He didn’t love God but he didn’t hate him. He would come to church with me sometimes and read his bible with me sometimes. He kinda wanted to love God, but he didn’t want to give up the things in life he enjoyed for the freedom of following God.
We dated for 2 years. It was a fun time, but the whole time he never brought me closer to God. I knew he wasn’t who God wanted for me and this half in half out life was bringing me so much hurt and not joy or freedom.
I got through my 20’s a Christian because we broke up – a hard decision at the time – and God brought into my life a sold out Christian boy. He brought me closer to God, we prayed together and we followed God’s calling on our life – together. We were, as some people would say, evenly yoked. There is nothing like sitting under the stars with someone talking about God and what is going on in the church and in your life and having them understand COMPLETELY. If God is a big part of your life he needs to be a big part of their life as well. If you want to stay close to God, make sure you’re with the right person!!
5 Are you listening to God?
So this is a big one for me cos in my early 20’s I found listening to God easy; I heard his voice and I followed him closely. As my life became busy and I was working in my mid 20’s (also with kids as well) it became A LOT harder to listen to God.
The noises of the world grew louder and I felt God grew quieter. I probably went through some of my hardest times in my mid 20’s cause I honestly couldn’t tell you what I felt God was saying to me.
What I did do tho is still make time for him. I made time for prayer – it was how I got through – and I made time for church. I didn’t read my bible enough till my late 20’s, but I sure did try. Like point 3, position yourself right now to hear his voice.
You NEED to spend time with him so that when these hard times come you are so strong you can push through the harder seasons. When you have kids screaming all around you it’s hard to hear God, but when you know him from spending time in his presence you can feel that peace even with them screaming (or at least more peace, who seriously finds peace in screaming-kid land)!!
So remember, choose your friends wisely, find support (you’re not meant to do it alone), invest in your faith, be equally yoked when you choose to date and listen to God daily!!
Love and prayers go out to you as you manage the 20’s. I’ve only been 30 for 2 1/2 months, but it seems good so far.
Jenny Wardrop is a video editor, wife, mother of three and all-around stunner who happens to be married to this blogger.