Monday, July 27, 2009

What is Maturity?

The American Heritage dictionary defines "maturity" as The state or quality of being fully grown or developed. Lately I have been thinking about what it truly means to be emotionally and mentally mature. We are constantly learning new things and adding to our knowledge and range of emotional experiences. At what point are the mind and emotions "fully developed"?

I was talking with a friend of mine who is in her early teens recently, and as we talked I was impressed by the range of topics that she was able to talk about. I thought she was really mature. But as we continued to talk, I started actually listening to what she was saying, and I realized that she hadn't really thought through what she was saying. More than likely, she was just repeating what she had just heard other people say. I realized that she wasn't really as mature for her age as I though she was.

Then I started wondering-at what point is someone truly mature? Physical maturity is obvious. Mental and emotional maturity-not so much. As my experience illustrates, someone can seem mature without actually being mature. This is prevalent in our society. We have twelve and thirteen year olds dating when they're not even close to being ready for marriage.

As I started thinking about it, I started to reach the conclusion that emotional and mental maturity means being able to think for oneself, and then being able to to live out one's life in a productive and (especially for a Christian) God-honoring way. In other words, a mature person's opinions are their opinions because they have thought through the issues for themselves, taking into account facts, wisdom from elders, opinions of other people, and thinking critically through the issue to come to their own conclusions. And once they form their opinions or convictions, they are able to live them out in their daily life.

I searched for the word "mature" on, and the following verse came up:

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.-Hebrews 5:14

So, I think I was on the right track. A mature person is one who is able to know was is good and distinguish it from what is evil (requiring the ability to think for oneself-the mature have "trained themselves", they don't rely on others to distinguish good from evil for them), and applies it-"who by constant use".

I realized after thinking about all this that I am not as mature as I once thought I was. A lot of my opinions are mine only because I have heard other people talk about them, not because I have taken time to think through the issues for myself. And just because I "know" good from evil doesn't mean I always utilize this knowledge.

Maturity is a lot more than just being able to talk about a range of "grown-up" subjects. Unless one is thinking for oneself and acting upon their knowledge, one is only feigning maturity.

Obviously, a big part of maturity is listening to the wisdom and counsel of others-"thinking for oneself" does not mean completely shutting out other's input (a very immature thing to do, actually). But it does mean having the ability to compare other's counsel against the Bible and sometimes, quite frankly, logic, to determine what truly is good counsel and what is not.

I definitely need to work on becoming more mature.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Davis

This past week I had the honor and privilege of helping with the preparation of, attending the ceremony of, and running the reception for, the union of Mr. Bryan and Mrs. Samantha Davis (formerly Seagren). Despite a few curveballs thrown, both the wedding ceremony and the reception went beautifully.

When I drove to Prescott, AZ with Mr. and Mrs. Seagren, I knew that I would be helping out with the wedding, but I had absolutely no clue just how much I would end up doing. From accompanying Bryan and Sam to their engagement photo shoot, to calling every nail salon in Prescott to set up an appointment for Sam and her bridesmaids, to visiting the country club to talk with the brand new event coordinator (the head chef and the event coordinator for the country club left two weeks before the wedding), I ended up being a lot more involved with the wedding than I realized I woud be. A couple people even dubbed me an "honorary member" or the wedding party, even though I didn't stand up with them at the wedding. Which I didn't mind at all, it was a lot of fun and I was glad I could help.

What I definitely didn't realize would happen was that, along with Bryan's longtime best friend Jody, I would basically be running the reception. Which, when the ceremony is at 4:30 and the country club has things scheduled until 3:30, is definite running-around-like-a-chicken-with-your-head-cut-off material. But, everything was in place by the time the bride and groom arrived, so everything worked out well. :)

The weather was perfect that day. Throughout the week that had been scattered thunderstorms throughout the Prescott area, but the sun shone strong all day on Saturday the 4th. :)

My favorite part of the week, though, was breakfast at a local bed and breakfast the morning of the wedding. The setting was amazing-eating on the front porch of a gorgeous house with beautiful, cool weather. The food was extremely delicious, and the dishes were beautiful. The best part, though, was when all the female members gave same a gift bag with several items inside. Each item symbolized a lesson they wanted to pass on to Samantha about marriage. They would have a couple verses to go with each item, and then explain the significance of the verses to marriage and what the item symbolized. Afterwards, there was a time of prayer for Samantha as she stepped into this new chapter of her life.
Bryan and Samantha Davis, I pray that God blesses the two of you immensely as you live in this new chapter of your life. May God be glorified through the two of you as a couple even more than He was glorified by the both of you as individuals!