This is my number one youth ministry rule. Why? Because it pretty much sums up how we should live.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
To fear God is to live out your reverence for Him. It also is sprinkled with the good old fashioned realization that God can be a God of wrath.
This is like when you avoid doing something wrong because you know your parents would kill you if you got caught. The fact they can absolutely ruin your life is important to note as well. Not that God can ruin your life, but you can by bad choices.
Know what you believe, and stick to it. Don’t bend your convictions for others, and don’t get manipulated into not living out your beliefs. In short, be wise how you live.
2. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23
You are about to have more freedom than you have ever had in your life. Just because you are able to do whatever you want, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
You can stay up until 3am, but should you?
You can go to that party, but should you?
You can make out with your honey in your dorm room, but should you?
Before you leave for college, get a sheet of paper and write down on it what you will and will not do. Once you have it, put it in your Bible. Be specific about the following:
Dating and physical boundaries
Class attendance (hint: GO TO CLASS!!!!!)
Drinking/ Bars/ Parties
How to resolve conflict with your roommate
Keep this in your Bible for the next four years, and don’t waver from it. If you feel bad about what you are planning of doing or not doing and have a problem with putting it in your Bible, then maybe you need to go with a plan B that is more Christ-like.
3. Know that loneliness is part of the experience.
Up until now, you have friends you’ve known most of your life. You’ll make new friends in college, but it is different.
Your family isn’t around the dorm room when you need them.
You’re going to feel lonely at times. Learn how to handle loneliness now, because you will have lonely times in your life.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. Psalm 25:15-18
Don’t lean heavily on texting old friends, facebook, or facetime.
Cling to God and His Word. Rely on His strength. Let Him meet your need and He will take away your loneliness. Sometimes He will be enough. Sometimes, He will provide friends to walk with you.
4. Don’t rebel against what you know is right.
They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength.’” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. Isaiah 45:24
Raging against God with the way you live your life will only bring you shame.
You know what the Bible says about how you should live. Don’t act like you don’t.
You have a brand new chance to make a first impression. If you’ve messed up in the past here’s your re-do. If you’ve played it straight, keep it up.
You’ve got nothing to prove, and everything to gain by being a person of integrity, honesty, purity, and faith.
5. Stay involved in Church.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
This is key to keeping you on track.
Don’t just go to worship. Find a college ministry that is awesome.
Campus ministry is not enough. You need a faith family to help you grow, and you don’t need to get out of the habit of going to church.
If the church offers adopt-a-student be the first to sign up. This is free food and laundry people, plus you’ll have a family away from home.
Keep up your quiet times, and develop Christian friends. Stay on the track you are on in your faith, and you will continue to grow and mature in Christ.