I’m in college, but more specifically, I’m a private, Christian college. Maybe this doesn’t apply to all Christian colleges, but I’ve noticed one really big theme here: the Ring by Spring mentality. You know what I mean. You meet the love of your life in the fall and by the spring, you’re engaged and planning your wedding. It’s a big thing here. Some people come here and are in a “committed relationship” within a few days, and some people don’t hop right into a relationship, but the whole time, they’re surveying the room and analyzing each person they meet to see if they would be a good spouse. I’m not saying that that’s how everyone is, or even the majority of people, but it’s definitely a fairly common occurrence.
The whole Ring by Spring thing isn’t just a college thing. Heck, in high school, I knew people who ALWAYS had to be in a relationship. And I mean ALWAYS. They wouldn’t even be happy if they weren’t. They would feel incomplete.
I’m not hating. I get it. To any girl who grew up with the classic Disney princess franchise, countless hilarious rom-coms, and Nicholas Sparks books, it’s easy to get really caught up in the idea that “someday my prince will come.” I’m not hating because in this culture, it’s hard to not have this mentality. And guys have a lot of pressure on them, too. I just can’t speak as much on that because I’m not a guy soooo…
What do we find our identities in? If you asked me 4 years ago, I probably would’ve said that you’re supposed to grow up and get married and have a ton of children, and that’s #goals. Now, I’ve changed my mind. Our identities need to be found in Christ first.
In my last blog, I talked about El-kana, which means “jealous God.” It’s a name for God that says that he is jealous of anything that gets in the way of our relationship with Him. It’s not a malicious thing. He loves us and he wants us to pursue truth and goodness, and God is ultimate truth and goodness. I’m not hating on marriage by ANY means. Marriage is a beautiful institution that is talked about throughout Scripture. The problem isn’t getting hitched. The problem is when we get so obsessed with finding “the one” or with the idea of being married that we get caught up in a search for a spouse and stop focusing on God.
Even seemingly harmless things can be distractions. Even things that look really good can be distractions.
Now let me be clear. I’m not saying, “Do what God commands and he’ll give you the perfect husband!” We shouldn’t be doing things that God tells us to in order to get what we want out of it. If we’re doing what God commands just to get what we want, then our focus is still on things other than God. And sometimes, our plan isn’t God’s plan. What I’m saying is we should love God with everything in us. We should pursue God with heart abandoned. We should be chasing so hard after God that we count everything else as rubbish.
We need to find our identities in Christ before we get in relationships. Finding our identities in Christ help us to see ourselves the way God sees us, to see others the the way God sees them, and to want to walk in the truth. We will save ourselves so much heartache if we stop investing our entire hearts and minds to a person who may or may not be the person we end up with, and we start loving God, who will never leave us, with all of our hearts, souls, and minds.