Growing to the Next Stage in Life
God uses deliverance to change the lives of so many people. But deliverance is a tool that can change everything, while at the same time, changing nothing. As a believer, it’s important to understand that our ultimate goal for our freedom is to gradually grow in Christ.
Freedom is not the same thing as deliverance. Freedom consists of a new lifestyle and choices that lead to change.
Deliverance is an event, but freedom is a journey.
This Scripture in Exodus highlights this perfectly by saying,
I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.Exodus 23:29-30
God wants you to grow through life, not just go through it.
There are many things we get from coming to Jesus, but there are other things that we’ll only get when we learn to remain in Jesus.
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’John 8:31-31
If you’re desiring to grow in life, understanding these stages of life, and identifying where you might currently be will bring about growth in your personal life.
Growth Through the Stages of Life
1. Understanding the Truth of Your Identity
Nowadays, people do not know if they are male, female, both, or something else. We find confusion to be especially true in our younger generation. As a believer, our identity has to be clearly established early on in our relationship with Christ. Biology proves that there are only two genders, and Scripture reaffirms this truth to us. Your gender is not based on your feelings.
God created you to be male or female based on your biology.
You are not the gender you want or feel, you are the gender God created you to be.
If this is an area where you lack clarity, go to God in prayer, dive into the truth of Scripture, seek mentorship from godly men or women, and seek deliverance.
2. Growing out of Childhood
Nobody ever freaks out when they see a child crying, wearing a diaper, and wanting a pacifier, but the same wouldn’t be said if they saw a 25-year-old man acting in the same way. The childhood stage is normal, but when it begins the time to transition into the later stages of life, that’s when the behavior now becomes abnormal.
If someone who is legally considered an adult, still struggles with childish behavior, is often led by their emotions, is inconsistent with their commitments, pouty, and not desiring personal growth, then it is evident that that person has simply exchanged their “childhood toy” for another that is deemed more appropriate for their age, but they have never truly grown out of that childish stage in life. Childhood is a stage in life that everyone goes through, but we’re not meant to stay in it.
If you find yourself in this stage, I would encourage you to read books on different topics that you’re not yet knowledgeable on; and, find a mentor who can challenge you to grow personally and hold you accountable when you’re struggling with commitments or responsibilities.
3. Becoming a Man and a Woman
You are male by birth, but you become a man by choice. You are female by birth, but you become a woman by choice. You choose maturity and growth, it doesn’t just happen by accident.
You are not a man because you have a bulldog, a truck, a job, or even because you read the Bible. What determines manhood/womanhood is maturity. Maturity is not based on age, appearance, achievements, or academics. Maturity is the ability to take responsibility for your life. When a man or woman is mature, they are secure in their identity in Christ, and they are no longer ruled by their emotions.
Mature men and women can maintain a life of freedom.
Growth is a choice. Nothing will change if nothing changes. You must choose to take a step and grow, however uncomfortable it may feel.
4. Becoming a Husband or Wife
Marriage is supposed to be the stage that follows the development of manhood or womanhood. Unfortunately, many people skip from stage 2 right to stage 4. In fact, there are many cases in which “boys” and “girls” get married, only to run into issues in their marriage because they have not yet developed in maturity and responsibilities. Anybody can be a boyfriend, but it takes a man to be committed and become a husband.
If you’re in this stage, I would encourage you to read books on marriage and speak to other older, married couples. Let them truly evaluate you and help you to realize what areas you could benefit from growth in. Doing this will help you mature and help you to build a stronger marriage.
There are many cases in which the lines/stages are blurred. Men and women become parents before they are married, or boys and girls become parents before they mature to be men and women.
However, one thing is true, there is growth and maturity to be achieved in parenthood. When you become a father or a mother, you experience a different level of selflessness and sacrifice that you did not know was possible.
If you’re in this stage or prepping to be here, these are the 5 L’s to keep in mind while raising kids.
- Love them
If you give your kids more love, you will satisfy the vacuum for what society offers them. If you give your kids more hugs, they won’t need drugs. What children need first and foremost is to be loved.
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.Ephesians 6:4
- Lift them
Praising your kids is good, it boosts their egos. When you uplift your children, you’re encouraging them, it builds their self-esteem and strengthens them. It’s not “You did something great,” but “It is great that you did something.”
- Limit them
One of the worst things you can do to a kid is to make them the king of the house. It is okay for them to have tantrums when they are upset. Set rules, limits, and consequences for disobedience. It is as simple as changing the Wi-Fi password or taking away their privilege to use technology.
- Lead them
Children will not do as you tell them to do, they will do as they see you do. I know more about marriage, not because my parents talked to us about it, but because I saw my parent’s marriage and how they treated one another. Your children will learn more from your example than from your words.
- Laugh with them
I believe that a holy home is a happy home. Holiness does not consist of your children watching sermon videos. If there is no happiness in your home, only depression, that is not a holy home. Keep in mind that your children determine your success as a parent.
Your growth and maturity do not depend entirely on God. You play a critical role in changing your life. Choose to seek God’s presence, decide to be responsible, and your life will follow the typical stages of life as God designed them.
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