When young people finally leave home for good.

Young people leave home for a variety of reasons. The most usual is that they grow up and leave their parents to be on their own, and to start a home of their own. Sometimes children leave because of conflict within the home. Whatever the reason, when you leave home, time should be taken for deep consideration and for prayers for guidance. Take full advantage of this golden opportunity to improve the direction of your life toward the higher and the better. You should, at this time, review the goals of your life thoroughly, I suggest that you study the message, "What Youth Can Do". If you judge your life to be lacking in goal and purpose, or headed in a direction away from these desirable ends, re-evaluate your attitude and prepare yourself for changed ideas and standards. If you are already aligned with Godly goals and intent, your job is to reinforce and continue to develop these attitudes and to take all precautions not to lose ground through development of slovenly habits or ways of thinking.

Now, when you are starting your new life, you will have two major obstacles to overcome if you are to maintain a high moral standard or to improve a lower one. The greatest obstacle is yourself for the Bible tells us that, "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38). With no one to awaken you and make you get up and attend worship, it is all too easy to neglect this duty. Without outside guidance, you will often be tempted to neglect your studies or fail to report to work. A mature person has the initiative to stick to a job until it is finished.

Your first conflict will probably be between what a friend suggests and what your conscience requires. Here are two basic rules:

(1) Never violate your own conscience.

(2) Never hesitate to seek advice from your parents, elders, or minister of the church.

Once you have established a path to follow through careful thought, prayer, and counsel, do not allow your friends to become an obstacle. Do not let them do your thinking for you; do your own thinking.

Friends are people with likes and dislikes similar to those of your own. You share your deeper thoughts with them and you care about them and they care about you. Obviously, they way they think and the things they do greatly influence your outlook and activities. If you choose friends of good moral and spiritual outlook they will help strengthen you. If your friends are people who disrespect God, their parents, and the law, it will be exceedingly difficult for you to avoid a disgraceful, a sad, and a turbulent life. For this reason God has warned, in I Corinthians 15:33 ASV, "Evil companions corrupt good morals". A true friend really cares for your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. One who calls himself a friend but who would influence you into evil thoughts and actions is really a selfish person wanting only to find someone who will condone his sinful life. Seek true friends.

As a last and most important point, I ask, indeed request, that you who are Christians go to the Elders of the Lord's congregation nearest to your new location and place yourself under their spiritual care and oversight. Make yourself known to them as a Christian for the scripture says: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: For they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief . . ." (Hebrews 13:17).

May it be that your new life will always be in line with God's intent and purpose; be sure you know what God's will is - study your Bible regularly. May God richly bless you in the days and years to come.

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