When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
(I Corinthians 13:11, NLT)
As we grow in our Christian journey, God expects us to become mature people and act like adults instead of children. He wants our faith to be childlike but not childish. The word childlike indicates good qualities of a child, such as honesty, sweetness, purity etc. Childish refers to a behavior in which a person acts in a foolish and annoying way. I want to particularly tackle the area of maturity in our marriages. How many times have you wanted to (and maybe even did) say to your mate, “Could you just grow up, already?”
Growing in maturity takes a lifetime. I’m sure you know people, personally, who are a good number of years up in age but have the mentality of someone much younger. I’m not talking about someone who has an intellectual disability. I mean someone who is operating without such a disability but is just plain immature.
You can determine your personal level of maturity by looking at some of the characteristics of a childish person. See if you fall into any one of these descriptions:
- A childish person Is the center of his own universe.
The mature couple wants to share their lives and makes every effort to make each other feel special and validated.
- A childish person can be very insensitive to others.
Maturity causes you to want to be sensitive to your spouse’s feelings and make adjustments where necessary.
- A childish person is prone to throw a temper tantrum now and then.
Being mature means that you don’t allow your temper to run away with you. Remember, the scripture in Ephesians 4:26 (NLT) tells us, And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.
- A childish person is at times non-communicative as a form of punishment.
When you are mature, you realize that the only way to resolve issues is to talk and share your heart.
- A childish person will demand his way.
Mature people look for ways to bless their mates and are very willing to acquiesce to the desires of their mates.
My list could go on and on but suffice it to say that God expects better of us as we grow up; and we should expect better of ourselves. 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) says, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby. We start as babies and have limited knowledge (and are expected to do so), but as we drink of the word of God, we will develop into healthy, mature individuals who love our spouses and only want God’s very best for them.