Friday, July 27, 2007

The first year of college challenge

You may or may not know, I and my husband work with my church youth group. We had youth meeting on Saturday and the lesson was on the covenant of marriage.

It’s kind of cool to be a married person in youth group with my spouse also working with me. I feel like the high schoolers trust us because we’ve been with the youth group since before they started attending, and we’re also down to earth enough that they can ask us tough questions. Plus we won’t blab to their parents about what we talked about.

So we went over the whole “be faithful” and “oneness of marriage,” but my youth pastor added something that I thought was pretty insightful.

He said, “I want to challenge you all to not get into a dating relationship in your first year of college.”

We were all like, “Whaaaaat? Why not?” I mean, let’s face it—that’s when homework is the lightest.

His reason actually made a lot of sense. This is more true for girls than for guys, but it’s still good for a guy to take up this challenge. If a girl gets involved with a guy in her Freshman year in college, she usually spends a lot of her time with him—especially if she’s dorming and away from home.

She doesn’t have the time to develop real, deep relationships with other girls, and the first year in college is the most important year for doing this.

If they break up later in the year, or even in her second year, she doesn’t have a lot of close, intimate girlfriends to fall back on. It’s also much more difficult to form close friendships with other women in your second year in college, because they’ve all gathered in their own circles in their first year.

The distraught girl will usually end up finding another boyfriend. That’s not necessarily a good thing, because dating around isn’t as positive a social experience as bonding with other sisters in Christ.

Also, if a guy really likes you, and if he really wants what’s best for you, he’ll be willing to wait until your second year to enter into a dating relationship. No cheating by hanging out each night, driving you places, etc. If he’s not willing to wait, he’s frankly too selfish to care about anybody but himself.

I want to challenge you to this “no dating in my first year in college” vow. Well, pray about it first, obviously.

But consider devoting that first year in college to building female friendships, learning from each other, maturing with each other, praying for each other.

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