By nature of what I do I spend a lot of time with college students. And with that comes a lot of time talking about relationships and counseling girls and guys alike on how to walk wisely through them (I know what you’re thinking…they let YOU do this?!)
I have benefited a great deal by reading a few articles on Boundless about singleness, dating, and marriage. They honor God’s Word, hold marriage in high regard, reject extended adulesence and protracted singleness, believe in the goodness of men and women being created differently, and cut through a lot of the cultural selfishness we believe about relationships. I would recommend the website for singles, those dating, or married folk. But I thought I’d post a few links to some of my favorites.
First for the women:
For the men:
“Stop Test Driving Your Girlfriend” (girls can read this too, but insert boyfriend)
For guys and girls alike:
What I end up telling girls is to let the guys hunt, but feel free to crack twigs and rustle the leaves so he knows you are there. Cultivate a selfless heart that thinks about how to communicate, respond to conflict, encourage, submit, serve, and watch football with a guy instead of fantasizing about getting flowers and whispering sweet nothings. Keep your heart at an appropriate level at all times and don’t run one direction or the other- cutting a guy out or craving something you don’t have, being discontent in singleness or rejecting the goodness of marriage.
I tell the guys to lead, initiate, have the heart of a protector and don’t make the girl risk getting hurt so you can be sure. Learn that women are complex creatures that you probably won’t understand, to hate your selfishness, cultivate a love for the Lord, desire true beauty, lower your expectations (read: Jessica Alba, Noel Piper, and Martha Stewart don’t exist in one person), don’t be afraid to fail in leadership, and mostly learn to communicate well and walk with integrity so that a young woman will be able to trust you. And respect you. And ultimately fall in love with you.
And I tell them both not to be selfish. To question their motives for why they do or don’t want to date someone. To learn to be spiritually attracted to someone and look for and pursue true beauty. To pursue purity and build that muscle that will benefit them both in singleness and marriage. And to trust the Lord and walk by the Spirit.
Alright, my pumpkin pies just finished baking for open door night. That’s my que to get off my soap box. I’ll let you know when I can actually live the things I tell these students to do!