Most young people (and even older adults) run from things that might tie them down. A full time job, buying a house, marriage, etc. They want to live a life that’s free. A life where if their desires change, there’s nothing holding them back from following through on them. At a quick glance, people might say that independence is the simpler life. There’s less responsibility and therefore more joy (after all, that’s what this blog is about, getting the most out of life through simplicity).
However, I’m going to argue against that premise and lay out 5 reasons why having commitment and responsibility are more freeing and enjoyable.
1. In order to build a life of substance, there needs to be a solid foundation. You can’t build a skyscraper on sand, neither can you move up in life if you never settle down and take on responsibility. I’m not speaking of only moving up financially. In all areas of life, there’s room to grow, and growth requires a firm foundation (physically and emotionally).
2. Permanence allows for you to invest. Whether it’s investing in relationships, the community, your church, etc. Not that you can’t make a difference in a person’s life in a short time period, but some of the most rewarding moments in life are seeing your hard work and investments grow and mature over time.
3. Routine takes away the stress of the unknown. Some could argue that having bills, a family, and a full time job can be stressful. On the other hand, it can be just as stressful when you’re always wondering if you’ll get enough hours this week or if the you’ll have enough freelance projects, your retirement, when that special someone is going to come into your life, and living pay check to pay check can be rough when your car unexpectedly dies.
4. Stability and regularity build credibility. As you invest in those relationships, your network grows, and assuming you’re a person of character, so does your reputation. This is another aspect of moving up (from point 1). A good name is to be more desired than precious metals (that’s what the Bible says). And as a Christian, a good name is what you want because it implies an ability to more effectively minister to other people and have influence in their lives.
5. Permanence in the beginning allows for more independence in the long run. As you work that full time job, as you put in the years in one place, and as you build your savings account, the opportunities abound. Perhaps you can’t take weekend road trips all the time in the beginning, and maybe you can’t spend the summer backpacking through Europe, but a well planned and invested life will give you more opportunities in the long run to do just as many, if not more, amazing things that your friends did in the first few years of their young adulthood. Because when you reach your 30s and you find yourself well established, your friends who didn’t want to settle will find themselves facing a harsh reality that they’re 10yr behind the eight ball having to start a career, and their days of independence will for the most part have ended, while yours are just beginning.
*Side note: If God’s called you to live a life as a missionary, evangelist, or military personnel, that’s a different story. I’m talking about the people who aren’t necessarily looking to God’s leading.