are you teaching your students about relationships like…?

Are you teaching your students about relationships like…

…a large number of them will be single for another decade?

If we’re stuck in a past when college ministry mostly shepherded students who were likely to be married within a few years, we’re doing it wrong! (Right?)

While it depends on the city and the region and even (or perhaps mostly!) the campus, the truth is that raising up students who are great at being single is our job, and will deeply impact many of our collegians – both now and for years to come.

Ten years ago, many of us expected to be married immediately or soon after college. But that didn’t happen for lots of us late Gen Xers and now Millennials – and now Singles (or better, Young Adult) Ministries are populated by many people who are simply still “Single for a Season,” not only those “Single for a Reason.”

So if you’re only teaching on Dating or Preparing for Marriage, you’d better hope your students have excellent filing systems for your notes. What many of them will need far more (and far more often) between now and Age 28 is instruction on being awesome Singles.

I got to thinking about this because Christianity Today posted some thoughts from the recently deceased John Stott, a lifelong bachelor. At the end of the article are several links to discussions of singleness from CT. I hope you’ll take a look.

We must never exalt singleness (as some early church fathers did, notably Tertullian) as if it were a higher and holier vocation than marriage. We must reject the ascetic tradition which disparages sex as legalized lust, and marriage as legalized fornication. No, no. Sex is the good gift of a good Creator, and marriage is his own institution.

If marriage is good, singleness is also good. It’s an example of the balance of Scripture that, although Genesis 2:18 indicates that it is good to marry, 1 Corinthians 7:1 (in answer to a question posed by the Corinthians) says that “it is good for a man not to marry.” So both the married and the single states are “good”; neither is in itself better or worse than the other. [Read the full 2-page article and find those other links here.]

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One Comment

  1. PC

    Wow! Thank you for this post. This is a great thought toward this topic as it relates currently. It is easy to go back to the notes you have always used for your relationship series, but its easy for a reason; because it sucks and it no longer applies.

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately. When I look at my group, it no longer has the feel of developing relationships as fast as rabbits mate (like it did when I was in college and when I first got into student ministry). So it is easy to think that a relationship series is not as important if they aren’t developing relationships…but I was (admittedly) not paying attention to the reality that then brings up.

    Of course they’re not in relationships. Why start a real relationship when they can do all the ‘fun’ enjoyable things of a relationship without the real commitment and binding that a relationship would mean?

    Hmmmmm, my brain is thinking about a lot now. Thank you again for this post.

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