Monday, May 14, 2012

"Talking to College Students About Marriage"

A couple of years back I heard a college minister say he could not talk to students about getting married because he had never been married. That's sort of like saying you can't talk to students about drugs, alcohol use, or unhealthy sexual relationships because you have never been there.

Some Surveys today indicate that Christians divorce at the same rate as non-Christians. Others say that depends on how active a Christian is changes those figures. But,obviously, we need to do a better job of helping Christian students prepare for marriage. Roger Bear, one of the legends of campus based ministry, has done 91 student weddings! That may be close to a record. One of the things he does is meet 6 times with each couple he marries. That is way more than, "So, what do you want included in your ceremony?".

I don't know what all Roger covers, but here are some good areas to start with in working with a couple who has gotten engaged.

1. What are your life goals and how do those fit together?

2. How similar or different are your families? (Students often tend to assume that his/her family is just like mine. Bad assumption!) Someone has said, "Can you picture your two families sitting down together for Thanksgiving?".

3. Is there as much friendship as passion (things in common, etc).

4. Is there mutual respect (emotion, infatuation, attraction is not enough)? Lack of respect is a deal breaker!

5. What are each of you like as a result of being together? Do you like who it makes you?

6. How similar or different are your levels of commitment to the Lord and His church? (A couple may have similar beliefs but not a similar commitment level to those beliefs.)

7. Have you dated long enough to Know what each other is REALLy like?

I highly recommend the book "Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts" by Les and Leslie Parrott. I've literally given away dozens to students who get engaged. If nothing else, that is a blessing you can give to students....many who are reluctant to or don't do pre-marital counseling.

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