rebelling against low expectations

Kidults: Choosing To Grow Up


In the late 90’s hit single, “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen),” Baz Luhrmann offers sage advice in a unique and catchy graduation-ceremony-put-to-music format. He begins by telling his listeners to wear sunscreen, because the benefits are “well-documented by scientists.” The rest of the advice, he tells us, “has no source more reliable” than his own “meandering experience.” (If you didn’t notice this guy has a sense of humor.)

I must admit that I love this song. It’s like a 5-minute version of Self-Improvement 101, and it’s catchy! Unfortunately, sandwiched in between his reminders to stretch and get plenty of calcium, Mr. Luhrmann throws in this piece of advice:

“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at twenty-two what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.”

My initial reaction to that would be: Ouch! This is exactly what we don’t need! We do not need to be encouraged to lack direction and purpose. That’s what we’re already doing! Rather, our generation needs a kick in the pants that says, “Wake up! The stakes are high! The time is now! Get going!”

But then I realized that while Mr. Luhrmann advice was bad, he was also responding to one of the other reasons that our generation is having trouble growing up: We are overwhelmed with the responsibility of figuring out what in the world we’re going to do with our lives.

After all, we already live in a world of overwhelming choice: there are 40 kinds of coffee beans at Whole Foods Market, 205 channels on DirecTV, and 15 million personal ads on And guess what? Unless you expect to find your life’s mate online those are all relatively insignificant choices!

What seems to trip many young people up are the 800,000+ career choices on It was all so much easier back when you were simply “destined” to be a blacksmith just like your father, and his father, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father, and his fath . . . you get the point.

But seriously, the question of life purpose weighs heavily on many young people and some of us just don’t want to deal with it. Marshall Herskovits, producer of the television show Thirtysomething, explains, “When you talk about this period of transition being extended, it’s not what people intended to do. But it’s a result of the world not being particularly welcoming when they come into it. Lots of people have a difficult time dealing with it, and they try to stay kids as long as they can because they don’t know how to make sense of all this.”

What is Mr. Herskovits referring to when he says “all this?” He talking about those questions: What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? Where are you going to go? How are you going to get there? Those questions that seem to jump you out of the blue and then plague your subconscious with their persistent nagging.

But don’t worry. I’ve been there too. I know the paralysis that comes with big decisions. However, I’ve also learned that the only way to avoid being overwhelmed with the big choices (and everybody has to make them) is to start moving. Just start putting one foot down after another.

Here’s why I say that: I think that the reason these 20+ year-olds are paralyzed by questions of direction and purpose is because they failed to start moving on these decisions when they were teenagers.

So here’s the practical application: Start planning now! Starting thinking about what you’re going to do after high school and after college. Start thinking about career paths and what you want in a marriage partner. Better yet, start praying about these things. You can’t cram on this test. The consequences are long-term.

Feel free to change your mind 200 times or even 200,000 times. But having a foggy idea of what the future holds does not bode well for you.

In closing, I know that we all get tired of people asking us, “So what are you doing after high school?” But the truth is, “There’s few better questions for them to ask!” The reason we are often unprepared for our future is that we haven’t spent enough time thinking about and planning our future.

Sorry, Mr. Luhrmann. We don’t want to be “interesting” 40-year-olds or even “interesting” 22-year-olds for that matter. We are called to a higher standard.

In the comment section I want each of you to answer to one or more of the following prompts, but please don’t limit yourselves to what I have provided.

1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .

If you are not planning on attending college don’t feel badly. College is not always necessary, advisable, or affordable.

2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .

Ladies, “wife” and “mother” are both suitable and admirable answers.

3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .

Please specify (if it is not already clear) whether you are describing a husband or wife.

Remember, the idea is simply to get you thinking about these things. Expect these answers to change over time, but if you don’t have an answer to one of the question it is likely that you lack direction in that area.

Also, you must realize that this is far from a complete list. Believe it or not, before you can start figuring out answers to purpose-related questions you must first figure out what all of those questions are! I would advise that you start developing a list of questions you want to have answers to.

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • 1. No college in my plans at this point. For myself, I don’t see any reason for it. My answer to number 2 is I just want to get married and have a family. College right now seems more like a waste of money to go learn stuff I’ll never use. It isn’t ruled out though.

    3. XY chromesomes, chasing after God kind of Christian, curiousity (WHY do we do that/think that way? as just one example), outgoing, adventurous, passionate, confident, humble…

    While waiting for the ‘perfect’ guy to come along, I want to get myself out of the Peter Pan part of life. I’m 19 almost 20, still live at home, but I have a job, pay rent and gas and pay for whatever else I want…like if I need new clothes or something. I’m hoping to move out in a year…I guess I got the city bug, but I want to live in the dodgy part of town and do volunteer work with homeless people. Realizing that this time of no big commitments is a gift from God, and hoping that it will only come once, I want to make the most of it. And I want to be ready when the time comes to marry and have kids.

  • First up, your link to this post from #3 is broken. I had to use the sidebar to nav here.

    Everybody’s Free is an awesome song. I have a copy somewhere around here; humour is required to get through just about everything. 🙂

    We can’t decide what to do with ourselves and we don’t know how to begin. People (our parents) tell us “Do something!” and leave it at that. Where do we start? What if we can’t live up to that? Should we try at all? Or should we just do what feels good now and pretend we are living and suceeding in our lives?

    You might be right about our failure to move being a direct result of not moving forward as teenagers. I don’t know. When I was 15, I was dating a 22 year old. At 17, I had a ring on my finger. At 18, I almost married him but decided I was sick of being abused and brainwashed. I missed out on most of the typical teenager stuff all my friends were doing at the time.

    Onto the questions…

    1) I have attended our local college for several years. I have completed enough units that if they fit together, I could recieve three associates degrees. The problem? I’ve failed my math requirement four times now.

    2) I have no idea. That seems to be the problem.

    3) Intelligence, patience, creativity, outgoingness… in a man.

  • 1) Past college age (kinda) and have no use for it.
    2) Already have a full-time career as a stay-at-hom mum and wife 🙂
    3) He’s gotta be my husband for me to want to marry him 😉

    I love these articles!

  • 2) already a wife and mother
    actually I could just copy Jezreel’s comment

    But I wanted to say, perhaps (I remember from my own teen years) the reason tha most people don’t know what they want until they are mid 20’s is that they spent the last 8 years (4years shelling out $$$$ for the “privilige”) being brainwashed er… rather, I mean, “completeing their education” and they simply didn’t have the time or energy to think their own thoughts. because they had to cram info into their brains long enough to be able to regurgitate it onto the appropriate page. (as you may be able to tell grammar was my “favorite” subject

    But that said, I’ve been having my DD15 write down her goals for 10 years out, then think backwards what has to be done in 5 yrs, 2.5yrs, 15months, 7 months, 3 months from now in order to reach that 10 year goal.
    Looking forward to hearing more ideas on goal setting/preparing for your futures.
    Mrs. Nehemiah

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .
    At the moment I’m not planning ona attending college, however I’ve been looking into it. Most likely, I’d like to do some sort of missions training program such as YWAM, or Christ for the Nations.
    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .
    One day, I would like to be a wife and mother. I believe that God has called me to missions work in other countries as well as ministering to others through music.
    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .
    In my future husband, I don’t want to “fall in love” with him. I want to “fall in love”
    with Jesus in him. He has to be completely sold out for God and willing to go to any extreme for Him. He has to have a heart for God’s Word, kids, and the lost. And he HAS to live with a higher standard. Instead of taking his standards from the world, he’ll get them from God’s Word. Also, it’d be great if he had a hilarious sense of humor, could sing and play an instrument, could at least cook decently (and healthy), and had SOME experience with kids. I could go on and on but I’ll leave it at that.

  • Hi. I thought I’d add some thoughts for you. But first to answer your questions:
    1. I hold a JD. I not only did college, but law school.
    2. Despite that (and the ceaseless pressure from “What if” types), I am on-track to become a stay-at-home mom before Christmas. Baby deserves a mommy.
    3. Having spent my entire life being betrayed by everyone I knew–and I mean EVERYONE–I needed someone I could trust. That meant his character had to be above reproach. I also needed a fair amount of brains in my husband. I got those in spades (through, a service for people ready to commit).

    The goofy thing I note about people who swear they “need more time” is that I started my college career, full-time, at 15. I graduated with a BA in English Literature at 19. I started law school at 21. If things had remained as the status quo–single and nobody suitable around for me to marry–then my course would have been set. It can be done. What’s their excuse?

    But then again, I had a healthy distrust and dislike for the foolishness of my fellow “adolescents.” I was never one of them–never ALLOWED to be one of them, and they made sure I understood that. Instead, I spent my time in the company of serious, responsible adults. Thus, I was prepared to start my adult life before I could drive.

    I suspect that this is the crux of it: In our cultural obsession with “socializing” children through public school, we invariably retard real growth. How can you learn to be an adult by hanging around with children? It’s a bit like being tutored in Calculus by third-graders…

    I’m enjoying this series, gentlemen. Good job.

  • I don’t have any of the questions answered as I am passed this age group. But as a 44 yr old lady, mom and wife. I think that this has been a problem for over twenty years. As I recall these questions going through my head. And getting quick pat answers in response.
    Hind sight is 20/20 but honestly those questions when you were young and in Elementary School should have been chased. “What are you going to be when you grow up.” Too much time is spend over things like going to the greatest party, being the most popular person in High School and the like. When the teenage years are a bridge between childhood and adulthood.
    As an adult, I have seen put downs on the media towards being an adult. And that adults have no fun. And yes adults have fun, but they know how to plan for it. So that things don’t pile up that need to be done at the cost of fun. Sure you can be single all your life, have nothing holding you down now, and the like. But think ahead, what will you be doing in your 50’s? Having goals is important. And making a difference in life beyond yourself is so important. As it is that legacy that will be here when you have gone. Not the latest and greatest cell phone addition.
    Just wisdom, that I wish was spoken over me at this age, that I am now passing onto you. Do something that matters and makes this world a little better in the end, and in it all glorify the Lord God.
    There is a story of a monk that did nothing in his monostary but wash dishes. But people of influence and wealth would sit beside him to listen to his wisdom. And what was his response for this happening? He said that he did all to glorify the Lord, including the small stuff.
    God Bless and keep each one of you in your life.

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .
    Olympic College (our community college) and possibly Frontier School of the Bible.

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .
    I am considering becoming a teacher, but am still in the process of deciding. However, I want to become a wife and mother also, and if that comes before becoming a teacher, then that’s wonderful!

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .
    -A Christian
    -My family and friends like him
    -Actively pursuing God
    -Gentle and kind
    -Likes children
    -Has a sense of humor (this would be nice!)
    -Sensible with money, time, etc.
    -Many other things…
    As Katelyn said, I don’t want to suddenly “fall in love”. I’d rather grow to love.

  • 1.) CPCC (community college)
    2.) I want to become a wife, mother and an author
    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a husband…
    ~On Fire for the Lord
    ~loves kids
    ~Gentle and humble
    ~sense of humor
    ~wise in descision making

  • 1.) I have alot of colleges I’m looking at. my firrst year will be part time community college, then full time at a specialized college after that.

    2.) I want to be a freelance author and work with horses in my free time, possibly give riding lessons or baord. I would really love to be a stay at home mom/ wife, but i am willing to work full time if i have to to support my family (especially if my husband has a low paying job.)

    3.) What would i look for in a husband? Definitely Christian.. on the conservative side. a guy truly willing to follow God to the end of the earth (yes, that means I’d be willing to marry a pastor or missionary), someone truly devoted to Him. someone honest and trustworthy. funny. respectful.

  • 1) I don’t have any plans for college. I don’t think I need to spend 4 years and alot of money at a college, gaining a career that I’ll never use. ie: I plan to be a homemaker, spending my time after marriage homeschooling my kids, and devoting myself to being a wife and mother. If I went to college, there’s a good chance, I’d end up saying to my husband, “Oh, and by the way, here’s a debt that I owe for going to college, and I don’t really plan to ever use my education, unless it’s really needed.” However, I do want to have some kind of a skill that I can use to get a better job than working at McDonalds. Something that may take a little school, but not years of it. I want to be prepared to support myself if I end up being single for a long time. I also want to be able to help my husband out if big financial problems ever arise.

    Well, that kind of explains #2 as well.

    3) The most important quality I want in a husband, is that he must love God more than me. He must be totally dedicated to God’s glory, and His will. Everything else stems off that.

  • I really like this one – thanks for encouraging us to truly think about these questions!

    1. If at all possible, I would like to attend Julliard & take dance I have no idea if this is even attainable, and probably the only way to attain that goal is to just keep dancing… which leads to question 2…

    2. I love dancing. It is one of those things, that if I can have a career in, I will never work another day of my life. Dance is my favorite way of relating to God, and it is when I feel truly close to him. The only other thing I have seriously considered is mission work. I have no idea what kind, but there are certain groups of people that God seems to be continually laying on my heart – most especially the children who are forced into prostitution. I don’t know if that is where God wants my life to go, and to be honest, it scares me. But I want him to have his way, because I’m not so good at driving.

    3. The qualities I would want in a husband, are first, and foremost, an abiding and deep love of God, love of others, compassion, dreams, curiosity, and, obviously, someone who understands me and loves me for who I am.

    Thank you guys so much for posting this – it helps to have to think seriously about this, & to attempt to order my thoughts.
    God bless!

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .
    There is a really neat school in Oregon called Canyonview Equestrian College. I have decided to stay home for at least a year to gain more experience in the horse industry.
    Time will tell if that is where God wants me to be or not.

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .
    Eventually, I would like to be a wife and mother. Until then, I would like to work with horses. I would like to also do something in visual arts, like photography and knitting, on the side.

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .
    Oh, man! Where do I start? Modest, intelligent, supportive, faithful, discerning, honest, humble, respectable, responsible, … I hope my husband will allow God to decide how many children we will have, and I would like to homeschool them. Obviously, my husband has to be a better person than I could ever deserve, but doesn’t make me feel inadequate. I know that God will provide me with my “perfect husband” in His perfect timing.

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .

    I am 17 and just finished my first year of college– once I get my A.A. I am considering three choices: go to a Christian colege and get a degree in pastoral counseling; go to a Christian college and get a degree in Psycology(did I spell that right?); and my third option is to go study abroad in Rwanda and get a degree in linguistics while doing missionary work.

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .

    Definitly a stay at home, homeschooling mom, with an emphasis on adoption and fostering.

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .

    He would have to be a spiritual leader, love kids, have a sense of humor, motivated, and the list could go on for a while. . .

  • 1) UCLA via my local community college.
    2) State or local politics with an emphasis on education.
    3) A woman who I could respect as a person, love as a sister, and sacrifice myself for as a husband.

  • Thanks for your article! I agree that way too many young people lack direction in their lives. I do want to point out however that even at 24, a college grad and married, I don’t consider my career to be my purpose in life. It’s a pretty uniquely American, or at least western, idea to define yourself by your job or work. At 18, I passionately pursued a career in music – I spent hours practicing, rehearsing, teaching, reading, and so on. But that’s not where my life has gone since then. So even though that desire gave me a sense of purpose at 18, I think that knowing what kind of person, Christian, spouse, witness you want to be is more important than knowing where you want to study or work, or what field or career you want to enter after high school.

  • 1: Collage, umm, I am interested in art collage? other than that Central (WA) ? but most of all (answer to question 2) I want to be a wife and mother (3) to a guy who loves God (the obvious) other people, especially me, and, by worldy standards, is as much like Laurie in “Little Women” as possible! Also, a sense of humour is great!(A popular one w/ the ladies!)


  • Great post!

    1) Collage. Is that like university in Australia? Well I don’t really want to attend University or Tafe. I am seriously considering going to a Christian mission training course though.

    2) I certainly want to be a homeschool mum. That is why I don’t think a further education is really worth the effort because getting some decree is not going to help me be a loving and patient wife and mother.

    3) Well the things I would admire in a future husband would be;
    a. This is THE most important- A sincere Christain- everything for God
    b. Responsible and a leader
    c. Repectful to his wife (I really hate it when married men joke about their wifes’ ways)
    d. Loves children
    e. Knows when to be serious and when to be funny

  • 1.) I am currently attending a nearby community college with my two siblings and I plan to begin attending a nearby university next semester, while still living at home under my parents’ authority and protection.

    2.) I am open to wherever God wants me to go, to whatever He wants me to do. I have always felt called to be a wife and mother and to homeschool my future children (if the Lord so blesses). I am interested in health and education. I want to help others and to point them to Christ.

    3.) If I marry, I want my husband to:
    *Truly love the Lord and desire to obey Him no matter what the cost
    *Have strong biblical convictions
    *Have mature wisdom and character
    *Be honest and responsible
    *Have both common sense and a sense of humor
    *Love and respect my parents and love and respect me
    *Be bibilically authoritative (as well as submissive to his authorities)
    *Love children and desire to have as many as the Lord so blesses

  • “2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .”
    I want to be a wife and stay-at-home mother – like my Mom. 🙂

    “3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .”
    -a real Christian who does his best to follow God
    -he should love children
    -he should be a ‘Real Man’

  • “3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .”
    -a real Christian who does his best to follow God
    -he should love children
    -he should be a ‘Real Man’
    -sense of humor

    I forgot sense of humor – very important. 🙂

  • 1. I am graduating from highschool this spring and hope to get a basic degree from a Christian college.

    2. At this point and time I have no clue about careers…of course I want to be married and raise a family, but I have no idea exactly how soon that will be. I’m strongly interested in evangelism and music, and I like languages a great deal also. Hopefully God will show me soon how all that will play out!

    3. I want my husband to be my spiritual leader who loves me like Christ loves the church, someone who holds to the same ideals and has the same desires, someone who will cherish me the rest of my life. ( Y’all ought to look up ‘cherish’ in an expanded dictionary, lol)

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .

    The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .

    wife/mother, and possibly an interior designer

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .

    a husband that is honorable, polite, saved, and will not just give me up.

  • A lot of the girls who wrote in have already said some things I want to say, but here’s my answers anyway…

    1) I don’t plan on college. I think it would mostly be a waste of time and money, and,
    depending on what it was, I might not use my degree because I want to be a wife and mother (2). (I am so glad many of the other girls said that they want to be those two things too. I believe they are very important 🙂 )

    3) Here I really don’t know what to say that wasn’t already mentioned above at least once. I know though that, if it’s God’s will that I get married, my husband will be my perfect mate. I pray that God will prepare me to be his. 🙂

    Thanks for the post!

  • 1. I plan on accelarated distance learning from several collages.

    2. First into the military and then on to be a stuntman/actor.

    3. Someone who will love me no matter what bonehead mistakes I make, and follow and support me through whatever God has in store for me. (I’m a visionary man, so she’ll be in for a ride.)

  • 1. I am planning on going on to collage but don’t know which one yet

    2. I’m not 100% sure, but for sure something to do with either horses or just plain animals, I just don’t know what I want to do with horses or animals because there are so many choices

    3. If it is God’s will that I get married, I want a husband who is a true christian, a strong believer, really loves the Lord, has a good sense of humor, is polite, considerate, who truly loves me, is honest, mature, and who is pure, not only with his sex life but also in his thinking and actions. I also want a husband who will stand up for what is right, no matter what it cost.

  • 1. I want to go to either the University of Michigan or Michigan State.

    2. I want to be a wife, mother, and a psychologist or elementary school teacher.

    3. In a husband, I would like a man who is hard-working, is a true believer, is kind, mature, honest and pure.

  • Many years ago, as a 16 year old, I made choices about these things. I know that God has used and continues to use those choices to shape my adult life. I am so pleased to read about the plans you are making to expand your ability to learn, your consideration of the work that God is calling you to, and your dreams for good marriages.

    I pray for you and for myself to continue to get to know Christ, to accept and submit to the truth of the Bible, and to pray for the Holy Spirit to continue to give you a desire for holiness, and the strength and courage you will need to live rightly. God has plans to use us for his glory–what an exciting adventure.


  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .

    At this point in time I don’t think I’ll attend college. I’m not against college but don’t think going just for the sake of going is cool.

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .

    EMT/First Responder.

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .

    It would take me too long to type all the characteristics I want in a fella! I have pretty high standards. Maybe too high.

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .

    I don’t know which college yet. Maybe Thomas Edison. I want to do it online though.

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .

    I plan to become an actress and singer but I will only star in movies that glorify my Lord who gave me these talents and I will only sing songs that will praise his name. I also am going to pursue a career in speech pathology (Therapy). But more than anything I just want to be a godly wife and mother.

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .

    ~He has to be a very strong Christian. Very important!
    ~He must firmly wish to homeschool his children.
    ~He must be respectful to his parents and elders.
    ~He has to LOVE little children.
    ~He must always look to the Bible for decisions.
    ~Must be wise in his use of money.
    ~Be able to control his temper.
    ~Very mature.
    ~He must be pure and wish to save our first kiss for our wedding. This may not be absolutly necessary (being pure is)but I have always thought it is a sweet idea and I really want it.
    ~Love me dearly. (Jesus first)
    ~And a lot, LOT more! 🙂


    You said, “I have pretty high standards. Maybe too high.” I just want to tell you to never lower your standards. Keep them high! My standards are very high as well and I do not intend to lower them for anyone! I know there may not seem to be many men with these ideals but they are out there, however hard to find. I know. I have an older brother with great ideals and he is not going to lower them either!

    God bless!

    Sarah 🙂

  • To all the young women who are not planning to go to college,

    After posting a comment a few days ago I decided to come back to this article and read some of the comments. I found that quite a few young ladies have basically said “I don’t think I will go to college because I just want to get married and have a family”. I agree with wanting to have a husband and family(I really want to get married someday) but I think you should still go to college and get a degree. Let me tell you why.

    First, what if you are suddenly widowed and have to support your children? You cannot bring enough money for a family buy working at, McDonalds for example. If you have a degree it is much easier to find a good payng job.

    Secondly, what if you don’t ever get married? Let’s face it, not everyone marries. I am not saying that you won’t be married, but it is a possilbity. You can’t depend on your parents to support you all your life.

    Thirdly, when God gives us talents he wants us to use them. If he has given you a great ability you need to use it for his glory. Also, God can use us much more powerfully if we are well prepared.

    And fourth. College is a very hard thing so…. Do a hard thing!!! That is Alex and Brett’s motto and we as Rebelutionaries ought to follow the leaders. 🙂


    Please, I do not want anyone to be offended by this. I only wish to state some reasons why I believe it is best to go to college.

    God bless!

    Sarah. 🙂

  • On number two: what happened to consecrated religious vocations? I am not a Catholic nor do I intend to become one, however there are some sound Protestant orders, and I know from experience that God calls at least temporarily to want that.
    It would be very interesting and informative to get the Harris brothers’ opinion on this whole way of serving God. “Wife and Mother” does not leave room for all His possible Plans.

  • At second thought, that requires some explanation; not just “a nun”, but a cloistered contemplative nun: acording to my home dictionary ‘a woman who devotes her life to God and religion and lives under the religious vows of Poverty, Chastity, ans Obedience (sometimes Enclosure and Silence, also) together with a group of women like her, giving up all worldly things’ and yet heaps more than that. I wish I had the words and space to explain it properly.

  • Wanting only God,

    I hope I do not sound mean or disrespectful in anyway but what do you think you could do in a cloister that you could not do outside of one? And I always thought that you had to be Catholic to be a nun. Could you please explain to me?

    God bless!

    Sarah. 🙂

  • To Sarah Pena: The point of being anything or anywhere should not be what one could do there that one couldn’t do elsewhere, but that one is there in answer and compliance with God’s call, to do whatever one does do completely for love of God.

    As to denominational restrictions, there are some quite biblically sound sister-hoods and brother-hoods under the auspices of the Lutheran church, the Anglican church, and a few others (though they are not numerous). Research it.

  • Wanting only God,

    Please don’t get me wrong, I think it is absolutely wonderful that you want to devote your life to Christ! But as a cloistered contemplative nun how can you spread the gospel to the unsaved? Do the “sister-hoods” go out to the world to reach unbelievers? Because bringing people to God’s saving grace is all that matters in this world. I am afraid I don’t know much about nuns, so could you help?

    God bless!

    Sarah. 🙂

  • To Sarah Pena:

    Don’t worry, not many people do know much about nuns! First of all re-read the first paragraph of my last reply. I appreciate your enthusiasm for outreach and direct ministry, but God does not make us all to be missionaries in the conventional sense of the word; our true purpose must be to love and obey God in all.

    All that matters in this world is doing what God wants us to, for love of Him. We should look to live the Christian life as prescribed by Christ which is the witness and apostolate of us all, and to live our specific callings and vocations; God makes some of us to go and seek the opportunity to evangelize, some of us to wait for Him to send the opportunity.

    It is totally possible for God to send opportunities to a nun. There are many ministries open for religious sisters that do not necessarily require leaving the cloister, counseling for example (which some nuns are uniquely equipped to handle from their life); there are even cloistered missionary nuns. Much of the contemplative vocation is intercession; Christendom can never have too much of this, and intercession is one of the most fundamental (but indirect) ministries.

  • 1. I’m almost 17 and I’ve been working on a music degree for 8 months with the program CollegePlus! I’m getting the degree because I want to learn the information, not hold a piece of paper saying that I went to a school for four years and dished out bucket loads of cash. The way I’m doing it will take significantly less time and money, and I get to stay at home with my family. I also have a scholarship from my grandfather that will pay for almost, if not all of the degree so I will not be going into debt.
    2. I want to be a teacher (private lessons) and to have my own christian homeschool band and choir, someday orchestra. I know that I will probably have time to spend on developing that business before I find Mr. Right as I’m still very young.
    3. I don’t want to list all of the things that I would like in a husband because they have already been listed by others and I know that God will provide the one he wants for me. I will not go searching after him, but wait till God brings him to me.

  • 1. After I graduate from school (spring of 2010) I hope to go to Liberty University (the largest evangelical college in the U.S. with an EXCELLENT reputation and solid faith foundation). If this is something the Lord fulfills it will be very difficult (Virginia is a LONG way from the mountains of Colorado), but it’s a desire that I firmly believe God has put in my heart.
    2. My hearts deepest desire is to be a wife and mother, but I know full well that that may not be what God has in store for me soon or even ever.
    3. The qualities I desire in a husband have really all been listed except that I would like him to be a lot like my father and older brothers and to have a strong relationship with my dad and mom.

    Sarah Pena: I don’t know if you’re still tracking responses here or not, but I just wanted to say that I couldn’t agree with you more in your response to many of the girls’ responses to college. After reading all the responses I was about to say the very same thing before I saw what you posted. Ditto on all you said.


  • Amazing how many girls don’t plan on attending college! Not bad necessarily, just surprising to me. A college degree is good idea.
    Very good article.
    1. Bob Jones University. Great school, I’ve visited several times, almost positive that’s where God wants me.
    2. Wife/mother definitely (if in God’s will), possibly politics/law career.
    3. Almost all the characteristics in the “real man” article plus: a good sense of humor, smart, funny, there aren’t really too many others that the real man list doesn’t cover.

    To Sarah Pena & Hannah Peck,
    I entirely agree with what both of you posted. I looked through several of the beginning posts and thought the exact same thing. Here’s another one that agrees with you!

  • Thank you for this great post!
    1. I plan to take online college classes, but because I’m only 14 that could change.
    2. I want to dance for the glory of God, and I would also like to be a sign language interpreter.
    Of course I can’t forget about being a wife and mother, I would love to homeschool my children.
    3. This is a tough one, like many of other Christian girls I hold extremely high standards, but then so does God. The characteristics I look for in a husband are:
    -on fire for the Lord
    -someone who knows what they want to do with their life.
    -handles their finances well.
    -loves children
    -wants to homeschool his children
    -sense of humor
    -willing to admit when they are wrong
    -and loves me for who I am in Jesus Christ

  • 1. I plan to attend Bethel College this fall! :]

    2. I don’t know exactly where God is leading me in this aspect in my life. Right now I want to double major in Bible Studies & Humanities with a minor in Sign Language. We’ll see what I will be able to do with that! haha.

    3. The characteristics I desire for a husband are loving, caring, respectful, humble…basically living their life for Jesus & wanting someone to help them along the way. So we can grow in Christ TOGETHER! :] That sounds so me anyway!

  • 1. I don’t plan on attending college. I may take a few correspondence courses in herbalism, though.
    2. I would love to be a wife and mother, if the Lord allows. I also would like to serve on a mission team(s).
    3. Oh, goodness! The first thing is that he has to love God more than he loves me. That he would drop anything he was doing to be with me if I needed him. That he loves kids. That he is smart, resourceful, and FUN!!! I really want someone who loves to be around people. And most of all, the MAN GOD WANTS FOR ME. He’s gonna have to be really special, because I’m God’s princess.:)
    ~Kay Lynn

  • 1. I’m planning to go to uni in september, if i get my grades

    2. I’m hopefully going to be studying radiography, and so a career in that, but also, I’d love to be a wife and mother.
    reading all the comments on homeschooling really hit me, as its not something that happens so commonly here (uk) and if thats where God takes me i think teaching/working with children would be something I’d love to do, whether homeschooling my own kids, childminding or just regular teching

    3. he has to be a christian, but not a ‘i was brought up this way so i must be one’ one, one who actively wants to know god more each day, and studies his word diligently.
    and then also to be a guy who makes me laugh and supports me, helps me on my journey, and, lets me help in return.
    also i’d like him to be some one who i feel safe and comfortable with, and one i can share my past failings with without feeling a faliure or judged, and one who would do the same with me.
    and finally he’d have to be someone i felt god had led me to.

  • 1. I am currently working on my degree at home.

    2. If not wife and mother then preferably something to do with kids and (possibly) books. Unfortunately I don’t have something more definite. 🙁

    3. I haven’t really thought much about it since I’m only 15 (became it today!), but I can say that he definitely has to be a strong Christian.

    Thanks for the motivational post!

  • 1. I will be attending The University of North Texas this fall, for fashion merchandising. I’m planning on being there for a while- I want to get a master’s degree!
    2. After college I want to either move to New York or stay in the Dallas area and pursue a career in styling of some sort. I’m praying that God will show me a way to use fashion for him, so if he leads me somewhere else, I will definitely follow.
    3. I want to marry a man who is really living for God in every area of his life. He needs to be a gentleman, and good with kids, even though I’m not planning on having any (but that may change, too.) I just think it’s so amazing when guys like being around little kids. And as I’ve seen my best friend’s family get torn apart by an alcohol problem, he needs to not drink.

  • 1. I am planning on attending a local college, hopefully with a scholarship. I’m 15 so college plans may change. But thats my plans for now. 2. Eventually I would love to be a stay-at-home wife and homeschool mom. But before that (if its God’s will) I would like to be a teacher. I want to teach kindergarten-3rd grade. I love kids. 3. I would like to find the husband that God wants me to have. Here are some things I would like him to be though. 🙂
    -A Christian with a passion for God
    -Sense of humor 🙂
    -Loves kids
    -Fun 😀
    -Loves me for being me. Even if I am pretty weird. 😉

  • 1. I study at the University of Sheffield, although an older church friend basically picked it for me and I settled for it rather than shopping around. I love it though, so all is well 🙂

    2. Considering teaching, and I think I’d also like to get involved in (helping at) a church youth group. Also playing with the idea of working in a lab somewhere (I read chemistry with French). I think it would have to be as part of a team though, solitary confinement isn’t good for me in big doses. I do dream about being a mother, but it’s a lot of responsibility and right now it would probably hinder me significantly from looking beyond my own family- or I’d just drive myself nuts about all the stuff I don’t have time to help other people with. Not that I’m in any position to have kids right now anyway… but I agree with what someone waaaayyy up there ^ said about making the most of the lack of (family) commitment we have as singles. It’s a great thing.

    3. He’d have to be a guy I can be honest and open with, and who is honest and open with me. He would obviously have to be a Christian and serious about it- ready to listen and respond to challenges, not just wearing the label and stopping at a certain standard of holiness. He’d have to be a man who’s not afraid to challenge me about my walk with God, a man I can respect and follow rather than look back and wish he’d catch up. He’d have to be willing to lead but not as a stubborn dictator- he’d have to be willing to listen to me. Oh, and it would be cool if he’s a fan of NFP or open to giving it a shot.

  • 1. I am a student of Crown College. Not necessarily b/c I chose it–but b/c GOD chose it for me. I prayed and prayed and looked for a college, and God laid it on my heart to attend Crown.
    2. I am hoping to maybe be a church secretary after college, but other than that, it’s all going to be a surprise to me as to what actually happens in the future. God has a plan for me, and I am going to follow what He tells me to do.
    3. I want to marry the man God has for me. I know He will bring him to me at the right time. This man must be a born-again believer, pure, in God’s will, spiritually on the same level as me (or ahead of me), and he must love God more than me. I haven’t met this man yet, but I have faith that God will lead him to me in His time.

  • 1. I plan to attend college for a buisines degree
    2. Considering how well the auto companies are doing I think I’ll attempt to start one. Wish me luck. Otherwise if it is not God’s will that I marry, I’ll be a missionary of some sort.
    3. If I marry, my spouse (wife) will have to be totally devoted to God, want to homeschool children, be at least at my level of faith in God, and be a ‘real woman’. I haven’t thought about that enough.

  • I just discovered this post and WOW. You guys really hit the nail on the head. It would much better serve young people to be thinking through these things while teenagers rather than waiting until the last minute when they are seniors in high school.

    As for myself… 1. I did not attend college because neither my parents nor I felt that the time/money would be beneficial for me in the long run. During my senior year of high school, as my school workload became lighter, I did volunteer work at a local Christian radio station twice a week and led worship at my church at least once a month. After high school I continued on with those things and also worked in childcare once a week at one of the local churches and took advantage of different opportunities as they became available to me. So while I did not attend college, I was keeping very busy with things that both my parents and I felt would have long term value. 2. Towards the end of my senior year a young man at my church approached my dad about the possibility of entering into a relationship with me. My main “career” choice had always been to be a wife and mother so with our parents blessing I began a two year long courtship with the man who is now my husband. 3. While I was in my teens I wrote out a list of things I wanted to look for in a spouse and while some of those things were rather silly and completely negotiable (like ‘a tattoo’) others were more serious and absolute MUSTS.

    Some days I do get to feeling a little sad thinking that maybe I missed out on something by not attending college or working more before I got married, but this post was greatly encouraging. Thank you guys so much for your challenge to young people to “do hard things.” Even though now I am a married woman with a baby it is a message I still need to hear.

  • This probably is one of my favorite blogs by the Harris brothers. Mostly because i’m trying to decide right now what I want to do I’m a freshman in highschool and I really felt like I needed to know what I was going to do for college.. And it’s definately not as easy as one would guess it’s extremely hard!! And letting God decide is even harder at first I was thinking what do I want to do, And all of a sudden I realized why am I not praying about this? So now I’m praying about it and i’m letting God make the decision! I can say w/ total honesty that I don’t really care what I do just as long as i’m doing what God has called me to do and as long as i’m doing it all for God!! A couple of months ago I could have NEVER said that and really having been saying truthfully but sense then I have grown w/ God and it is the most INCREDIBLE feeling I have ever felt!!!
    Someone said to me Oh your only a freshman in highschool you have plenty of time! And i’m sure some of you have heard that too—but I want to truly know that what i’m doing truly is the calling God has for me! I think we all feel like that but because the world says your still young we let it get to are heads and before long were playing another playstation!
    God Bless

  • I really wish I would have heard of you guys in high school! I really needed to hear this then. However, there is no use thinking about what could have happened. I’m going to start moving forward. At least, now I know what I want to pursue in a career, it’s just how to go about it that is the question.

  • 1) i dont know where i want to go to college. theres instate out of state the military. this a cloudy area for me. I want to make the right decsions but i cant see how each will pan out

    2) Im interested in people. People are very much as beautiful and very much as ugly as can be. I had this idea of putting a portfolio or something just about people, different cultures different living situations, colors, languages, foods and the wonders inside everywhere. Id also like to be a missionary of some sort helping people building houses. Things i could definatley beworking towards now. But its out of my comfort zone. but like it said if icant do it now will i be able to do it in the future?

    3) I want a spouse that wants/is God fearing, willing to be honest and open. wants to have good communication. want to work at tasks with me.whether in the marriage inourselves something physical like a project. work together

  • 1) Probably U of Waterloo or Wilfred Laurier
    2) Writer and hopefully wife/mother, but if that’s not what God has in mind for me, that’s cool too 🙂
    3) I want a husband who is loves the Lord, is kind, humble, gentlemanly, who I can talk with about anything and everything. If he delights in the written word too that would be awesome.

  • 1.) Patrick Henry College. What’s it like guys?

    2.)Wife, linguist with the airforce, politician, possibly mother.

    3.) Husband. Wow. Where to begin? Passioantely in love with Jesus Christ, kind, honest, responsible, mature, excellent, respectful, gentle, manly, good with children, has a good relationship with his mother and sisters, chivalrous. Just to name a few.

  • 1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .
    After I’m done my AA at the community college, probably Northwest Untivesity

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .
    Advocate against Human Trafficking

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .
    He has to be a spiritual leader and my best friend. I could go into specifics, but I think that sums it up 🙂

  • 1) I plan to attend The University of Alabama as soon as I graduate High School
    2) I plan to either become a physist or eletrical engineer as soon as I start College ( i want to co-op so I can have a job immediately after college
    3) Some time in the middle of college AT LEAST, I want to marry a woman who is smarter than me, taller than me, beautiful, and can cook because I shure as CENSORED can’t.

  • 1. I Just graduated from Art Institute of Michigan, with a Baking and Pastry degree
    2. At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .
    Looking for a job with my major (breads), Though once I’m married and have kids want to be a stay at home mom and serve my husband, and not some other man.
    3. At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .
    He needs to be a Man, and I don’t just mean a guy, but a Man who loves and fears the Lord, and isn’t afraid to take the role as being a man as God intended. We need to be equally yoked, and respect each other, and each others roles. I’d prefer a Gentleman, who is kind, responsible, mature, wants to do God’s will, is good with kids, etc.. my list is kinda long 🙂

  • 1. I plan on going to VMI or USMA
    2. I plan on going into the military once I graduate from college.
    3. I have a girlfriend right now who is a christian, funny, crazy smart, pretty much everything I could ever hope for in a girl.

  • 1. IRSC (I think)
    2. Youth Pastor
    3. Honestly, I will look for whatever God has for me, but I won’t worry about that until I get a little closer to that stage of my life 🙂

  • 1.) I would like to Attend either Patrick Henry College or Johnson University (previously Johnson Bible College)

    2.) I’m not sure what career I want to pursue but I want to study either psychology or Literature.

    3.) Even when I was very young (4 or 5) I always saw myself going to college and having a career (of course God might have a different plan for me), never being married and having a family.

  • 1) I do not feel like God has called me to go to college.
    2) I want to be a wife and mother and Youth Pastor
    3) I want my husband to be a strong man of God, has an honorable character,is part of the ministry.

  • 1) I’m from Germany where we have a slightly different school-college-university system. While when being younger I always thought I need to get a university degree to lead a “good” life i recently realized I wanted to become a nurse, being able to serve God in whatever region he took me with these very practical skills being able to tell people about my faith and my salvation. He just really convicted me of my worldly thinking, wanting to suit the world and their expectatives of my life (my grandparents always had very very high stakes). So I kind of dropped out from school (which is okay here, you can get like three different diplomas depending on how long you stay in school and I got the second with which I’m able to get the nurse-training) and will now in september start like a “social year2 in a hospital iin southern germany hopefully being able to serve the Lord in many ways.
    2) Although as I said that I want to become a nurse, this is only my way of serving the Lord if the right husband does not cross my way. l want to marry and get children, showing in my marriage the relationship between Jesus and the Church as we ought to, fulfilling the biblical, not the wordly role as wife and mother.
    3) Well I won’t give an example of “the ideal man” for me here, because I think one is so tempted to bring in own expectatives which are not godly. So actually there is only one thing I really need to know about a man before I get interested in marrying him or even developing a friendship: He needs to have devoted his life to Jesus Christ fully and without compromises, using the bible as the guide through everything in life. i think everything else just solves out of that.

    As here near me i feel there are few young christians being serious about serving God I’d love to share with people who are. I’d like to get in touch with serious christians of my age that really want to lead a Christ-centered life. If you’d like to, feel free to email me to: A.Peters3@

  • Rattling wonderful info can be found on web blog . “Society produces rogues, and education makes one rogue more clever than another.” by Oscar Fingall O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.

  • I know I am a very, VERY late commenter, but I just wanted to say that this is AWESOME, guys! You totally hit the nail on the head with this one and part 3…actually, all of them. Totally agree with what you said about needing to start planning now, rather than later. I also really appreciate the bit about feeling free to change our minds about our plans. I feel that being open to changing our plans allows God to direct us more easily. (Just so long as we don’t carry that “changing plans” mentality over into college, continuing to change our minds (and majors) bunches of times, and wasting time and money doing so…)

    1.) At this point in time I plan to attend the following college . . .
    I’ve just about settled on a private college near us, though others are still in the running (for various reasons, the private college’s price tag being one). I’m a few years away, though, so plans could definitely change (God can do a lot of leading in a couple years!). Also, it depends on what I decide to study, though at this point, the majors I’m considering (Music/Music Ed., Literature, Education) are offered at that private college.

    2.) At this point in time I plan to pursue the following career . . .
    Definitely, definitely want to be a wife and mother. A violin teacher (just part-time…a few students on the side of whatever else I’m doing, whether it be a career or caring for my family). Other than that, I don’t know. Maybe a schoolteacher of some sort (English? Literature?)? Also, recently I’ve felt God calling me to something in the way of missions (whether it be out of the country or nearer home), so that will play a part too.

    3.) At this point in time I desire the following characteristics in a spouse . . .
    Oh, boy…I think I could pretty much just copy everybody else’s lists! But he would have a strong relationship with God, and daily seek to grow that relationship. He would have a love for the Word, and would be the spiritual leader of our home. He would have a real, ongoing love of learning, seeking to learn, even as an adult. He would have an apprectiation and love for books (REAL books, like by Dickens, John Bunyan, C.S. Lewis, and all the rest… not just novels!), and would love music –playing it, singing, etc. Gotta have a sense of humor, and a good work ethic, and diligence. Would love children, and be supportive of homeschooling ours. He would have to be someone that I could be completely open and honest with, and vice versa (in other words, someone worthy of trust). Will love even when it’s not easy, or when hard times hit. Would have a desire to reach those who have not heard of Christ. Would seek God’s will through prayer and scriptures in decisions. And, one of the most important things to me…will have kept himself as pure as he could, in body and mind.

    Whew, that was long! A high standard… but I believe that it’s possible, and I won’t lower my standards, at least on the major stuff…I guess love of books or something less crucial like that could go, if it had to…but it would be nice. :). Reading back over that list is kind of funny, because it is my dad, almost exactly. (I’ve heard that girls tend to marry people like their dads. I wonder if the same thing applies to guys, that they marry people like their moms? Digression. Sorry.) But anyway, if my guy is even half as good as Daddy, he’ll be awesome. 🙂

    By the way, I love it when you guys put questions or writing prompts on the posts. They always get me thinking…

    In Christ,

  • Cheers concerning the post and I find yourself being back to read much more! Just checking out some blogs, seems a fairly nice system you happen to become utilizing. Im currently making use of WordPress for some my blogs but Im not happy with it up to now. Im searching to change 1 of these a lot more than to a platform similar to yours (BlogEngine) as a trial operate. Anything in particular you would suggest?

  • 1. Planning on going to my community college for two years and becoming a physical therapist assistant.
    2. I will do whatever God wills, but I honestly really want to be a wife and mother!
    3. Okay, long list:
    Christian, honest, humble, responsible, charming, kind, gentle but strong, taller than me, respectful, loves children, be a man not a boy, loves me for who I am, wise in his decisions, someone who will lead me, faithful, my best friend and someone I can totally trust, spiritually strong, and someone I can laugh with but also someone who knows when to be serious.

  • 2.) I plan on becoming a librarian. I’m not sure what college I’ll attend, but this article made me want to do the research on that. I know I need a master’s degree in library science to become librarian, though.

rebelling against low expectations

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