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I can remember when I was 18, like it was only yesterday (give or take 30+ years or so).

Amongst other recollections, I had quite the hairstyle. Short and spiked on top, shaved on the side, and long in the back.

Of course, today they call that a mullet, but back then we called it rad.

For the most part, I thought I had it all together. Even though evidence showed otherwise. Like my hair.

Which leads me to the point of this post. Here are 19 truths I wish I had known before I turned 19.

It’s the perfect gift for the 18-year-old in your life. Whether they sport a mullet or a more permanent fashion statement like gauged ears, facial piercings or tattoos.

Maybe that 18-year-old is YOU!

Some of these truths may make sense to you right away. If so, write them on your heart, and share them with others.

Some of these truths may seem opaque, or even raise new questions. In that case, remember true understanding lies in committing to knowing God’s word, pursuing community with believers, and seeking His face in prayer. (Also know, that clicking on any of the hyperlinks will hopefully grow your understanding as well.)

That said, let’s get to it…

19 truths I wish I had known before I turned 19

#1: It would be impossible to overestimate the impact of the media on your beliefs.

#2: Belonging is only something you feel when you believe it.

#3: Romantic love should not be pursued until you are mature enough to handle it.

#4: Love is not something you can find, earn or lose.

#5: Maintaining sexual purity may never be easy, but doesn’t have to be complicated.

#6: Your biggest enemy is in the mirror. That’s why you need a Savior.

#7: Sex is a conversation. Which is why, “How far is too far?” is the wrong question.

Incidentally, we tackle the question of “How far is too far?” in this episode of our LoveEd series, Hot Topics Handled with Care, on our FMU YouTube channel.

#8: Rejection is not the end of the world, so any feelings that say otherwise are misinformed. Hold to the truth.

#9: Trying to impress a girl is selfish. And it’s immature. Seek to bless. Not impress.

#10: Contentment is not a destination you reach or a prize you earn. It’s a discipline you have to learn.

#11: Sex isn’t bad, but it is dangerous. And because of this, God’s rules about human sexuality are meant to promote our flourishing not hinder our fun.

#12: Trusting that if you do what God wants, then He’ll do what you want isn’t really trusting God. It’s trusting you know better than Him. And that’s the opposite of trusting God.

#13: Forgiveness is the single most important relational skill. So important you simply can’t thrive in long-term, sacrificial relationships without it. And you were designed by God for those kinds of relationships.

Want to grow in forgiveness? Check out this live presentation shared at LeTourneau University, from our LoveEd playlist, Forgiveness: The Single Most Important Relational Skill, on our FMU YouTube channel.

#14: If you actually know what you’re looking for out of relationships you’re far more likely to find it.

#15: Waiting for marriage to have sex is the wrong way to look at both sex and marriage.

#16: Marriage should not be the purpose of dating. It should be the goal. And there’s a HUGE difference between the two.

What’s the difference between the purpose and goal of dating? We clearly explain in this episode from our LoveEd series, Purpose Driven Dating, on our FMU YouTube channel.

#17: Ultimately God’s will isn’t to give you His will. It’s to give you something infinitely better. And when you understand this. You will never miss His will.

#18: If God isn’t enough for you. Nothing else will be enough for you. At least not for long.

#19: God is always near, but He is not always easy to find. However, He’s worth seeking!

That’s it, my friend! Whether you are 18 or 80, I invite you to join me in embracing these 19 truths I wish I had known before I turned 19!

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s Date Night Advice (DNA)? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

Want to grow beyond our DNA blog?

Our LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to grow spiritually and date wisely, so you can marry well.

This discipleship series is NOT for couples, but for the wise individual who wants to prepare for their future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

This discipleship series is NOT about dos and don’ts. It’s about learning the life lessons, mastering the life disciplines, and making the life decisions necessary for relational success.

Check out all three study guides. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!