I have come to know the most amazing group of young women. They are Ethiopian Evangelical women from across the globe. They are the most gorgeous women I have ever seen...flawless skin, bright eyes, brilliant with drive and determination. They have spunk! Being a lifelong Texas woman, I know spunk when I see it. ("Spunk calls to spunk"?---nah)
They have names that are unfamiliar to me, like Radiat, Yore, and Bemnet. And each stands out to me, as I have linked their beautiful faces to their unusual names.
In their culture, you are a child until 18; then, at 18, you become a youth. You are a youth until you are 30! Great importance is placed on higher education, so accepting that you are a youth until you have finished those critical transitional years is quite freeing. You can formulate your own faith, be kept on track through college without feeling like your personal freedom is being imposed upon, and view the next phase...adulthood... with the seriousness it deserves.
I married at 18 and instantly became a pastor's wife. I balanced going to college with being married and partnering with my husband at church. I would not change that for anything! But that was my culture. Then, you left home at 18 and either got married, went to college, or both. Or you got a job, because at that time, you could get a good job without going to college. A tremendous amount of responsibility was placed on you at 18. And the choices were fewer.
I wish American teenagers today could realize that they are still children until they are 18, because so many choices require supervision in their still-forming minds. And they are youths through college and, what we call, young adulthood; because they need gentle direction and a watchful eye to keep them from making life-altering mistakes.
Instead, we continue in our past cultural patterns......at 18, we throw them in the deep end and tell them to swim!
........some of them drown........