Daily Devotional

Time to Grow Up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Scripture:  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)

Observation:  Child. Gr. npios, literally, a “non-speaker,” an “infant.” Here the apostle uses the illustration of the differences between the experiences of childhood and those of manhood to emphasize the great difference that exists between the dim understanding of things possessed by men now, and the bright light of knowledge that will be theirs in heaven.
Spake. Or, “used to speak,” that is, it was my habit to speak. The meaningless sounds made by a child who is learning to talk are here compared with the wisdom that will replace earthly knowledge in the future, immortal state. When one reaches manhood he lays aside as of no value the ideas and feelings of childhood, which formerly seemed of such great importance. In a similar way, when heaven is reached, men will lay aside the ideas, views, and feelings that are cherished in this life and are considered so valuable and important.
Understood. Or, “used to think,” that is, it was my habit to think. This refers to the early, undeveloped exercise of the childish mind, a mode of thought that cannot be regarded as connected reasoning. The understanding was narrow and imperfect, and knowledge was meager. Things that occupied the attention then, lost their value as adulthood was reached.
Thought. Or, “used to reason,” that is, it was my habit to reason. The thinking and reasoning of childhood appear puerile, shortsighted, inconclusive, and erroneous to an adult. So it will be when God’s people are in the kingdom of glory; there will be as much difference between earthly plans, opinions, understanding, and reasoning powers and those of heaven as there is between those of childhood and those of manhood.[ The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (784). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application:  No one on the western world would consider marriage to a child normal, healthy, or proper.  Tat he same time, many think that once a youth turns eighteen they automatically and magically become mature enough to be married.  Much recent research has demonstrated that the frontal lobe of the brain, the seat of decisions and judgment, is not fully developed until about the age of twenty-five.  What this should tell us is that most people are really not mature enough to marry at least until that age.  It is no wonder that the younger a couple is before the age of twenty the higher their probabilities of divorce.  It is like marrying a child, not mature enough to make the serious decisions of married life.
What is the difference between emotional maturity and immaturity?  Here are a few signs of emotional immaturity:
-  Emotional Volatility, which is the tendency for your emotions to get out of your control.  This involve such things as temper tantrums, like screaming, yelling, breaking things or hitting others, or getting upset extremely easily, making a mountain out of a mole hill, inability to take criticism, extreme jealousy, unwillingness to forgive, unpredictable fluctuation of moods.
- Lack of Independence, which means such things as being too reliant on others for things you can do for yourself, needing someone around all the time, not having your own opinions, or being willing/able to express them, being very easily influenced by others.
- Seeking Constant Attention which is manifested by loyalty that lasts only as long as the person views the relationship as "useful", needing immediate gratification which may result in financial or personal problems, and thoughtless and impulsive behavior.
- Extreme self-centeredness displayed by making unreasonable demands, being constantly preoccupied with themselves, seeking out positive feedback or sympathy relentlessly, and tending to not accept responsibility for anything.
In short, the emotionally immature person can't understand the needs and feelings of others, and therefore have a difficult time being a partner or a parent.  In contrast, here are some of the characteristics of an emotionally mature person:
- The ability to give and receive love and affection.
- The ability to deal with reality.
- The ability to learn from experience and deal with frustration.
- The ability to accept constructive criticism constructively.
- Having optimism and self-confidence.
We all used to be children and therefor spoke like children, understood what children do, and thought as children do.  In order to have a successful marriage we need to have the emotional maturity to speak like adults, understand like adults, and think like adults.  Without that type of maturity, our marriage may experience greater difficulties or even face separation and divorce.

A Prayer You May Say:   Father God, help us to grow up into the mature adults we need to be to have a healthy, successful marriage.


Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


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