Chances are, some of your students are in – or will soon be in – that “seriously dating” stage of their romantic relationships. Even though many people are getting married far past college, plenty of collegians are still on the threshold of engagement or marriage as they approach graduation.
While I know that the Dating & Relationships topic is often one of the most-used arrows within a college ministry’s quiver, those messages (at least in Large Group Meetings) are usually presented for a variety of audiences:
- those who have dated very little (or none)
- those not presently dating,
- those presently dating,
- and/or those seriously dating or engaged.
But most of our “Dating & Relationships” series likely focus more on the first three groups. So it’s that last group I’ve been wondering about: Are you facilitating the deeper training of those seriously dating or engaged?
Are you providing (or pointing them to) training on conflict and communication, household finances, purity and (eventually) sexual intimacy, handling each others’ families, and so on? Are they hearing marriage theology and not only dating theology?
If this sounds like the classic “Pre-marital Class,” then you’re right – except that it’s vital that we recognize that much of this discussion happens best before engagement. (And some would argue that such topics should be shared with singles and the newly dating, too!)
The other thing to note is that WE don’t necessarily have to provide all of this. Maybe there’s a church in town, or married couples who could mentor student couples, or… something. But don’t we have to help this group, too?
How are students in your ministry finding training beyond the three-week series you offered last semester?