Self-Management- “taking responsibility for one’s behavior and handling of personal affairs”.

Typical boyhood to manhood transitions is a gradual gaining of independence with responsibility.  Financially, you start picking up more of the tab; weaning yourself off your parents’ payroll!  At least, that’s what they want, you might not be so readily willing to start paying more of your own life!  A young man’s personality and disposition play heavily into that transition.  Some jump at the opportunity to spread their wings and take on life.  In some cases, they are so eager, they need to be throttled back before they make some wild and foolish decisions that will send them into a crash and burn mode! Others, timider, reserved, hang back- lingering, slower to manage life on their own.  They usually need a push to leave the nest.

My senior year of high school was horrible.  A good friend was killed just before school started.  His death blew me away.  I found myself facing some serious struggles with depression; even suicidal thoughts.  For those reasons, my parents strongly suggested I stay at home after high school, at least for my freshman year of college, attend a local university where I could live at home. This meant my move to the large State University hours away was delayed at least one year.   I didn’t agree or understand at the time, but honestly, it didn’t take too many years after that to appreciate their wisdom.

Granted, a lot of factors play into a guy’s transition, including his parents’ control or lack thereof.  Paul advised, “to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands.”  In other words, have a healthy responsibility for your life.  Everything from how you organize your days to your room or apartment to finances and relationships, to what you are wearing when you head out for the day.  Without healthy boundaries that promote an increasing authentic walk with Christ, you will flounder from crisis to crisis.


Boys like to play.  They are more interested in recess and weekends.  Men step up to the plate.  They accept responsibility and move forward with life; even if it is painful, stretching or costly.  Every young warrior will make strides in this area of self-management.  Not perfectly, but hopefully, increasingly so.  I can attest to my own failures, but part of Christ living his life through you is maturing in self-management.  In fact, one of the evidences of the Spirit living through you is a broadening of self-control in your life. 

So, how’s it going?  Suggestion:  List out areas of your life that have the most tension.  Maybe it’s in finances, relationships, procrastination, time management.  You know your issues.  Write them down.  Talk to your mentor about them.  Don’t have a mentor?  That’s your first step towards greater self-management.  Finding one!

David Riffel © 2018

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.