Now that you've finished high school (or college), it's time to begin preparing for life after high school--for all the things that make life truly meaningful. There's nothing wrong with having a great career and making lots of money; but remember that many rich people have lost their families, and even their own lives, because they lived their whole lives in pursuit of temporal things, such as money, power, pleasure, or fame rather than things that have eternal value. Matthew 6:19-21 says, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Life is short. The day will come when each of us will have to give an account for what we have done with our lives. Remember--the best investments are eternal ones. Money, possessions, pleasure, and fame are all temporal things. Even this world is temporary; but our relationship with God and other people are eternal; these are the things that really matter. Temporal things don't deserve so much of our time and attention. They come and go so quickly; so why spend the majority of our lives seeking for them?
Are you preparing for marriage?
Life after high school can proceed, for some, directly into marriage; but many people today don't realize that a successful marriage requires a great deal of advance preparation in a number of different areas such as: social skills, home ownership skills, time management, investment strategies, budgeting and debt elimination strategies, communication skills, home organization, good health habits, and spiritual growth. The purpose of Stewardship to Romance LLC is to assist you in developing the life skills that will make you a blessing to others. Here's where you'll discover where you're at, where you need to be, and the pathway to get there. You'll be introduced to a number of practical and powerful tools -- ones that have contributed to our own success as a family.
The time to start preparing for marriage is . . .now! Don’t wait until you’re in a serious relationship with someone to begin preparation; that's too late. My own preparation for marriage started in earnest in my teen years. When I was 12 years old my dad, a Korean War veteran, became a paranoid schizophrenic and left home to be with another woman. My mother then began raising 4 children on her own. In time, things became so stressful that she could no longer manage the family's finances--so when I was 13 she asked me if I would be willing to do it. This is when I learned how to set up a budget, balance a checkbook, pay bills, and file a yearly tax return. (I continued managing my mother's estate until the day of her death.) No, I wasn't a gifted child. Actually, I was dyslexic and had difficulty in elementary school--but that's another story! The point is--life skills training can begin as soon as the desire and opportunity is there. Again—don’t wait until you are almost married to start learning and applying these things. I can remember having lots of questions about marriage and family issues in my preteen years.
Why is early training in marriage matters important?
First, mature attitudes and life skills take time to develop—lots of time. They don’t just kick in automatically after marriage, as many have discovered the hard way. The time spent in preparation is always well worth the effort because you are much more likely to attract a prepared life partner if you are already well-prepared yourself! Secondly, it takes a lot more than romance to launch a successful marriage. During that feeling of “being in love” the neurons in your brain are releasing dopamine, a feel-good hormone associated with euphoria. This can become quite habit-forming—and those who are hooked nearly always ignore things about their boy or girl friend that could be detrimental to a future marriage. (That’s why they say, “Love is blind”.) For these reasons, we recommend that you prepare for marriage well in advance of forming a relationship—and that you start as early as possible. That age is different for everyone, but for most it starts at around 11 or 12 years old, usually earlier for girls than for boys. Your life after high school should be a time when you focus on the life principles and habits you will depend in the years ahead. These need to become engrained through instruction and practice, your life will change for the better, making you a more desirable marriage partner and strengthening you to endure the rough patches that all marriages will eventually experience.
It's time to take action
If you're already way past high school; it's not too late to get started. Even if you're presently married, this instruction will take your marriage to another level! Subscribe to our free newsletter, and we'll lead you step by step through all of the basics of life after high school and college. You’ll discover which aspects of your life need the most work, then you’ll be given some powerful tools to help you succeed in each of those areas. We'll provide you with some practical keys we have discovered over the past 36 years--principles and practices that work-- whether you are married or not. Most importantly, we recommend that you don’t go through this process alone. Life’s greatest hurdles require great coaches. We all have blind-spots--areas where we’re weak, but don’t know it yet. You need a life coach to help you see those blind areas and provide you with wise counsel. This person might be a parent, a pastor or elder, or just a wise friend. Ecclesiastes [4:12] says, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Whoever you choose as your coach, pick someone who presently has a strong, proven, long-lasting marriage.
You can't go wrong when you are basing your life on God's Word. Jesus said, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25) As you experience life after high school, build your life on the strong foundation of God’s Word, then you can have certainty even in the midst of life's storms. These practical truths have helped my wife and I weather our own storms as a married couple. We have successfully raised five children and trained them using these same principles. All of our children are now happily married and are raising wonderful families of their own. (At the time of this writing, we have nine grandchildren.) Though this course was never meant to address every issue about life or answer every question about preparing for a relationship, our hope is that it will help you establish a solid foundation for your marriage and family.
As you're going through this material, please reach out to us and let us know how you are doing. What principles and strategies are making the greatest difference in your life? Where do you still need more help? This feedback will help us make this course even better. We look forward to hearing from you!
For more information on this and other topics related to marriage and family, visit our home page.