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Highschoolers: Three Tips for Not Being an Adult in Poverty

If you are in high school you probably have some plans for  your life. This can mean a lot of things. No one in high school thinks, “Boy, I would love to be a poor adult.” But while no one strives for poverty, many people struggle financially  as they grow older.

First thing we need to know is that there are no guarantees in life. At the same time, there are things that can maximize your risk for being an adult who “makes it.” In fact, there are three things which you can do to help succeed financially in life, and they are not that hard.

What if I told you you could seriously reduce your chances of poverty as an adult? What if I told you that people who follow these three rules only have a 2% chance of falling below the poverty line? What if you followed these three rules, which would not only ensure financial security, but give  you a 75% chance of achieving middle class status of about $55,000 or more per year income?

I am going to give those three tips in a minute but I want you to think about something. In our current culture we are often told that Christianity, God, and the Bible are outdated. I want you to understand that the three tips that I’m going to give you come directly from the Christian ethic. In other words, God may actually know what He is talking about.

Recently, one of the largest think tanks in the country called the Brookings Institution, did a study which taught how people stay above  the poverty line. They found that there were three contributing factors that kept people out of poverty. I’m gonna give them one at a time to you and explain how they’re connected to the Christian ethic.

  1. Graduate From High School. Your chances of being a successful adult is directly tied to education. While I say that, notice what it does not say. It does not say that you have to go to college or get a Master’s Degree to get above the poverty line.

Education is important. Learning is important. Of course God wants us to learn about Him, but He also wants us to learn about the world and how things work. We even see in Luke 2:52 that while Jesus was perfect His entire life, He wasn’t born knowing everything. It says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom.” Knowledge of how to take care of yourself, how to work, and how to live life is important.

2. Get A Full Time Job. The second thing this study says is that you have to get a full time job. I’ve spent many years working  two jobs. But notice, to not fall under the poverty line, again, it doesn’t say you have to work 90 hours a week. It says you have to have a full time job (about 40 or so hours a week). Proverbs 12:11 says, “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.” There are a lot of things in life that are fun which God wants us to enjoy. Some of these things become distractions to our responsibilities, such as work. We need to make sure that our priorities are straight.

3. Wait until 21 to get married and have children. Now I will admit that my wife and I broke part of this rule. My wife was just shy of 20 when we got married. The rule here is first advocating marriage, and then advocating waiting until a responsible age to get married. When we got married I was 22, had a college degree and a full time job.

Too many people rush into relationships for relationship’s sake. Or they don’t take their relationship seriously, and end up with someone they never should have been with, this may set them back. God wants people to get married, and to take the covenant of marriage seriously.

I think the second part of that study suggesting one should wait to have children is important. Too many teenagers or young adults start backwards, according to the Christian ethic. God wants two people to get married first in commitment to each other, and then have children afterwords.

Teens, this means avoiding premarital sex. It’s hard to get pregnant as a teen unless you’re having sex. This has sent millions of teenagers over the last couple decades into poverty. This is one of God’s rules, and as we look at this study, it makes sense that God makes the rule for a reason.

Now of course there are many other factors in life which determine one’s financial gain. That being said, these three rules of graduating high school, getting a full time job out of high school, and getting married, instead of hooking up, and wanting to establish a marriage relationship and then have children, are something I think you can do.

Like I said earlier all three of these things, in general, are part of the Christian ethic. It happens that God, who created the universe, does know what He is talking about. So teenager, are you taking these three things seriously? What are you doing to make them happen? What do you need to change in your life to make sure that you meet these three criteria?

Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes  or Googleplay.