In first coming to CBU, I was aware of the (in)famous concept of “Ring by Spring.” The topic of dating and the thought behind this phrase definitely rings true on this campus (no pun intended). The reality of this topic surrounds us – couples abound, and dating is discussed in any circle of friends gathered for lunch at Brisco’s. Several of our on campus events address this idea, and rightfully so. We find this topic relevant at this time of life, and it is so vastly important to discuss them in the community available to us. In the experience I’ve gathered here, a few elements on the topic of relationships prove important to address. So buckle up, readers, and let’s talk dating.
- Perspective: Everything to be said about relationships should be looked at with a Biblical perspective. As Christians, it is our joy and our goal to honor Christ and to achieve His purposes in everything that we do. This, of course, includes pursuing relationships with other people. It’s true that on a Christian campus, innumerable awesome and Christ-loving individuals surround us, which honestly makes it difficult not to start crushing on one of them at one time or another. That being said, it’s important to keep your primary focus on advancing the Kingdom of God. Focus on your love for Him, and know that relationships serve as a picture of a selfless love that reflects the Creator.
- Contentment: While the idea of dating is one that will cross your mind at some point, know that it shouldn’t dominate your thoughts. Regardless of whether you are single, in a relationship or beginning to date, your worth is not affected by changes to come. You are so much more than your relationship status, and it is important to focus on the qualities that matter most. Cultivate genuineness, humor, kindness, confidence, thoughtfulness, humility, and passion that exudes from every pore. Your personal journey will play out wonderfully, and those who join you in it will be encouraged by your dedication and passion to live fully and honor the Creator.
- Motive: If you are at a point where you are dating someone, or you’re in a serious relationship, always remember to seek the best for both yourself and the other person. The best experience in this life is a reckless pursuit of the God of all things, and when you play a part in someone else’s story, push and be pushed toward advancing the Gospel. This will be played out in your relationship through the way you respect each other, care for the other’s goals and well-being, and are willing to join in on their spiritual walk. Make time for the important conversations as well as for fun, and listen to each other’s insight. Make a point to seek accountability from other people as you move forward. It’s important to work on your identity as a couple, and including other trusted people in that can be instrumental in further shaping your Christ-centered relationship.
Relationships, as with everything else in life, are a way to seek growth. Regardless of whether you’re single or dating, remember that everything in life should be done seeking the Kingdom of God. In college, the “Ring by Spring” idea will bounce around the conversation, but should not be an end goal. Look for wisdom from others when addressing this, and remember that the goal, as always, is to honor God and be blessed to grow immensely.