Build a solid biblical foundation for your life: As you are already discovering, life is no cake walk. It can be tough. There will be severe challenges along the way. But if you build in the practice of spending regular time alone with God and His word, in order to develop intimacy with Christ, life will work. In fact, it will be an adventure! Without this foundation, however, life will become a tragedy.
Jesus: "These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hitbut nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. "But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards." (Matt. 7:24-27 Msg.)
Stay pure:America is a candy store of titillating delights close to irresistible for a healthy young man. And America is also on a downward spiral that is frightening in its long term implications. The sacred mantra today seems to be, Hey, everyone is doing it, which of course makes engaging in most anything ok. The idea of tolerance for whatever now takes precedence over the long established Judeo-Christian values upon which this Country was established and made it the great nation we all enjoy. Wise old King Solomon sagaciously cautioned: If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?…There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look againit leads straight to hell. (Psalm 121:3 KJV; Proverbs 14:12 Msg.)
I have observed a number of exceptional men who have ruined their lives through sexual immorality. Again, Solomon is warning us that immorality will reduce a man to a loaf of bread, costing him his very life. (Proverbs 6:26 ; 7:23 ) So become a student of the trigger points that begin the process of running you down the wrong path, and learn how to stop the progression before it even gets started. Also, having a buddy with whom you can share and be accountable to is invaluable. Few men win in this vital area of life who try to go it alone.
It is possible to live a pure life. Ruth and I both were both virgins when we got marriedand I had spent 3 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and years at the university, with every temptation imaginable in front of me. How is it possible? Psalm 119:9,11 gives us the answer: By living according to your wordI have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Learn to draw on the grace of God: If you blow it, remember: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousnessIf you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. (1 John 1:9; Psalm 130:3, 4) If real men err, they get up, dust themselves off and go at it again: For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again (Proverbs 24:16)
Marry an emotionally healthy woman: By that I mean marry someone without a lot of hang ups and emotional baggage. A low maintenance type. Someone with a funny bone, a bit of spunk, and a real zest for life. There are a lot of wounded pups floating around who will want to glom on to you. Be careful. Marry someone who possess a bit of healthy independence, and who doesnt have to be married, or have to have you. And of course, choose a woman who totally loves God! A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. (Prov. 31:10)
Understand Gods grand purpose and choose to join Him in it: Living solely for yourself will become a bore. Its too small. Life will close in on you. Here, I believe, is one of the most profound truths in all of Scripture: Jesus: "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. (Luke 9:23,24)
Life can be boiled down to this: (1) "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ And, (2) Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37, 39) If you choose to give your lives away to others in helping them know God/Christ, life becomes a grand adventure. If you reduce your life to focusing on the holy trinity of Me, Myself, and I, you will become pretty small potatoes. Decide to write history rather than indulge in it. And that history is to be written in the lives of people who are children of the Kingdom because you showed up and made the eternal difference to them.