What would I, a 59-year-old man, say to a girl entering her teenage years and soon to be an adult, a mature woman?
Men and women, in general, experience the world around them differently. A young woman should not assume young men enter boy-girl relationships with the same expectations as young women. Just because a girl would do something for a guy does not mean a guy will do the same for a girl for the same reason. It is hard to describe these differences because I am a man; and still at my age I am discovering how little I understand women. Likewise, young ladies will find boys and men to be a mystery. Know ahead of time that this difference exists. Include this difference in your decisions about your relationships with boys and later with men.The nature of a boy-girl relationship is significantly different than the nature of a man-woman relationship. Many of the feelings are the same, but the appropriate ways to express those feelings are different. You will become biologically capable of performing sexual acts years before you will be ready to enter a man-woman relationship that has a balance between the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical components of that relationship. Be patient and give yourself plenty of time to develop fully the emotional, mental and spiritual components of your male and female friendships. These are important prerequisites to a wholesome sexual relationship within the context of marriage.
Properly managing your developing sexuality may be the most challenging task you will encounter during your teenage years. For some people, the addiction of drugs and alcohol will be just as difficult to manage. Often, you will be told: "Don't have sex. Don't do drugs. Don't drink alcohol." These admonitions alone will not empower you to obey them. A friend of mine used to say: "Find something worthwhile to do, and do it," like the Nike motto: "Just do it." Find joy in wholesome activities. Play soccer. Play the piano. Spend time with friends. Cry. Laugh. Get angry. Watch a beautiful sunset. Learn to be the authentic you, fully engaged with life and the people around you.
We all need friends. We all need to be valued. We all have unique gifts. We all yearn to know God is compassionate and gracious. Build your network of friends. Develop your gifts. Allow God to be a wholesome part of every dimension of your life. Know that you are a person of worth. Value the people of worth around you.
When you have something worthwhile to do (when you have people of worth in your life), sex, drugs and alcohol are less likely to lure you. As you develop your emotional, mental and spiritual components, you as an adult will be better prepared to enter a lifelong relationship with a man, with sex being a vital portion of that relationship.
Patience is important. To want to be grown up is normal, but allow yourself the joy of life as one who is not yet fully mature. Enjoy being a girl. As you grow older, enjoy being a young woman, a middle-aged woman, and eventually a woman reveling in her golden years. Each stage of life was meant to be enjoyed and undoubtedly will have its sorrows. As you go from one stage to the next, you will have opportunities that are not available to you just yet. As you look to the future, do not rush into that future. Increased opportunities bring increased responsibilities. Allow yourself enough time to learn the skills and insights needed to shoulder these increased responsibilities. Dream your dreams. Be excited about the new horizons before you, but remember we spend the first 25 years wishing we were older and the next 50 years wishing we were younger. Enjoy your youth.