Since it happens to be my anniversary (but now I’m sitting down to blog), I’m pondering ways in which my own college ministry experience (as a student) prepared me for the past two years. I’m sure it did affect my road ahead – definitely by being exposed to Tommy Nelson’s Song of Solomon series, and I’m sure I heard talks about dating at church and during the big Breakaway on-campus gathering. Probably in the other places where I was impacted, too, like my Christian fraternity and the freshman Bible studies I was in.
But I’m part of that crowd – not a small crowd anymore – that didn’t get married until my 30s. I have no idea if all those college ministers saw “the Great Marriage Wait” coming or not. But I’m a little doubtful their talks discussed dating and marriage as though it could be a decade or more away for many (most?) of us.
We shouldn’t make that mistake these days, but I fear we might.
Instead, there has to be a long view taken here – preparing students for romance and friendships with the opposite sex; helping them understand wisdom for finding someone when you’re not around awesome people all the time; spending your single years (or decades) really, really well; understanding what role physical attraction should or shouldn’t play; forming attitudes and theology now that won’t change if “desperation” comes; truly understanding the why and what behind sexual purity and wisdom… even knowing how (and when) to break up. And much more, I’m sure.
Are you raising up students who will be awesome in regards to the opposite sex and their own sexuality for the next decade, even if they don’t get married during that time?