Dating at christian colleges

The intimate relationship God designed between a man and woman was meant to be an ALL or nothing proposition. When you as a man are prepared to take on a wife — meaning you can provide for her as the Lord expects of you, then you need to make the engagement period as short as possible.

If we are to truly avoid emotional cruelty toward men and men being placed in highly tempting positions then Christian dating needs to be approached in a very logical and methodical manner. Once compatibility has been established the wedding should be planned very quickly. During this short engagement period the couple should seek pre-marital counseling with a Pastor to make sure they both fully understand and agree upon the Biblical roles of a husband and wife in marriage. Often they will point to these translations of I Corinthians to bolster their claim:. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry ; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband … For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that…. Not dating and practicing self-control, no my friends the answer is marriage. In Genesis chapters 28 and 29 we see the story of Jacob and Rachel. The following passages from Genesis 29 are cited as evidences of pre-marital romance between Jacob and Rachel:.

And Jacob kissed Rachel , and lifted up his voice, and wept. So we are told this was a romantic gesture — love at first sight by Jacob and a passionate embrace between the two of them. What else could this be but romantic? And he told Laban all these things. The truth is that this was the custom of family members when greeting one another. What he did was not an act of pre-marital romance, but rather an act of greeting toward family. But advocates for pre-martial romance in the Bible point to this next part of the story as definitive proof for their position:. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

And Jacob loved Rachel ; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban said, it is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. BGR — if Jonathan in your story had truly loved Sarah he would have had no problem waiting those two meager years to have sex with her — Jacob waited seven years because of his love for Rachel! Jacob did not date Rachel during this time — there is absolutely no Biblical evidence that they spent any intimate time together and in fact the customs of the day would have prohibited any intimate contact or speech between them.

In fact this story illustrates something that infuriates many women. Why did Jacob love Rachel? Was it because she had a great personality? Was it because he got to know her and connected with her emotions and her soul? Jacob worked seven years to marry a beautiful girl whom he knew little about — only that she was a kin to him and she was hot! This would be the equivalent of a young 18 year old man today seeing a beautiful woman, finding out she was a Christian woman associated with a good church and then asking her father for her hand in marriage.

Her father tells him he must be able to support her first. So he goes out gets his degree, starts his career and then buys a house. Seven years later he returns and finally comes back to marry the woman after having NO intimate contact with her during that time.

This is a question that has been raised to me when I have discussed this subject in the past and my opposition to the invention of modern Christian dating. I agree that the relationship of Christ to his Church is pictured as a groom to be and his betrothed bride. But it is not an identical relationship to marriage here in this world. It is not a physical relationship. It is a spiritual relationship.

The relationship between Christ and the Church is emotional and spiritual. The relationship between a husband and wife is emotional, spiritual AND physical.

Marriage while being symbolic of a much great relationship between God and his people is a physical and temporary relationship for this world only. That is why many of the components of marriage also exist in the relationship between God and his people, but some of them do not and sex is a big one. There is no comparison between the two.

But most women will have a very hard time swallowing this pill. The reason is that women crave and love that pre-marital romance time that we now have in our culture. Songs, movies and books are written about it. In a Biblical model of marriage — physical intimacy is what generates emotional intimacy. The sad news is that today the majority of Christian young people are choosing option 3.

I know this first hand from talking to many teens and college students my teens tell me about their friends as well and I get emails from teens and college students all the time. A tiny fraction of teens and college students are choosing Biblical Dating and Courtship over our modern style of dating. We need to return to the Biblical model of full abstinence before marriage.

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As far as her relationship with her husband, I find it very hard that for 4 years, in those late-teenage years even, there was no sexual temptation or slip ups. BGR, There is definitely a debate on soft and hard impeccability. I did not make up those terms just to throw into the discussion. Jesus in Heaven could not be tempted, but I believe that that was part of what He gave up temporarily of course when He came to earth. He was still able to remain sinless thankfully, but He was able to be tempted. Else what would even be the point of His encounter with Satan in the wilderness?

Also, just because something happened in the Bible does not make it the Biblical model. There is way too much sin documented in the Bible for that to be true. God called Hosea to marry a prostitute…perhaps you should follow that same advice with your own son? I still hold that Jesus never commanded men and women to not have an emotional relationship prior to marriage. He definitely took the time and effort to state multiple times about sexual purity. The only time Tobias and I had a phone conversation that was more than minutes was when we were trying to solve a heated argument.

It is an unfortunately common Christian myth that sex is for men and emotions are for women. And that is definitely false. I would say that men in general have a greater sex drive and women have greater emotional needs, but they are not extreme opposites. To the extent that it is causing a man to stumble, they definitely need to pull back. A large part of emotional intimacy is just part of getting to know another person with the intent of marriage.

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There are essential conversations that must be had. That was an important thing for me to know before we got married. I also sensed that I might struggle with sexual performance at first and shared that with him later on in our relationship. Both of those conversations did not turn mushy emotional, but they did bind us closer together as a couple. It was a good and necessary thing. I have tried to be just as clear with my support of that. I do think this is a good opportunity for repentance and forgiveness. But the fact that Jonathan was taking something from Sarah that she can no longer give to him for the first time, is important.

If we as conservative Christians refuse to recognize issues like this as legitimate issues, we give ground to feminists and legitimize their existence by allowing them to be the sole occupants of reason on a particular issue. There are people that would love to agree with you in general ,but find that feminists are the only ones making arguments like that and that is a huge problem.

That is a few minutes too many. I will leave the Scripture passages in my previous comment to stake my position. If that example is presented in a negative sense than we certainly ought not to follow it. However we see in the Scriptures that some examples are to followed. The relationships between men and women as presented in the Old Testament are to be followed:. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: Did Sarah and Abraham have a perfect relationship?

There were many slip ups in their relationship and she was not always submissive to him or to God. You know what — you can learn more from a parent who has made mistakes and has children who made mistakes than you can from a parent whose presents themselves as the perfect parent and their children as perfect.

David is one of my favorite characters in Scripture because he demonstrates how frail of a human being he was yet God used him so powerfully. Aside from a man raping his girl friend I doubt any court in America would prosecute a boyfriend for touching his girl friends boob or butt because we all reject the utter absurdity of calling that assault. AnnaMS — even though I fully acknowledge that you reject much of feminist principles, there are some that you do embrace and this is one of them.

God did not mean for a man and woman to be embracing and kissing as they were before marriage. Sarah initiated the physical contact hand holding and kissing which naturally allowed embracing and then more sexual touching to occur. Jonathan bears culpability for not establishing clear boundaries in the beginning as well and not removing himself from this tempting situation with her earlier.

Eventually at the end of the relationship after touching her twice — he removed himself from the relationship as God would have him to do. Sarah did not understand why and would have continued the relationship despite his two failures of touching her as he should not have. In fact I would argue that their earlier embracing and passionate kissing was in fact the first failure the first sexual activity that they both consented to. The big problem with Sarah as with so many Christian young women is that they are raised in environments where their parents do not have frank discussions with them about the male sexual nature.

Sarah had her mind up in the romantic clouds rather than having her mind firmly based in reality. It never occurred to her to ask Jonathan if he might be struggling. She just assumed that because he said at the beginning of their relationship that he did not believe in sex before marriage that everything would magically be fine. Even after he slipped up the second time she still kidded herself that things would be fine — still in complete and utter denial about the male sexual nature.

So they both bear equal culpability in this sin that occurred as they clearly made an occasion to fulfill the lusts thereof. This is the truth that you miss. The sin occurred long before Jonathan ever touched her. I will give you the final word on this as you and I simply do not agree on this subject — but I think it has been a fruitful discussion for those watching this and for my teens as I have discussed with them your views and opened the Scriptures with them to show them why I believe based on the Scriptures that your position is based in emotion and not in the Scriptures.

BGR, I have enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to discuss issues like this and I am happy that they prompted meaningful discussions with your teenagers. No matter where on the issue we may fall, it is important to have these conversations with them because they will one day face similar issues and at least know that the Bible is the place to turn to even if some may interpret it differently than others.

I still do not see where in the Bible, God commanded men and women to not embrace, kiss, or share some level of emotional intimacy,etc. I do think it is important to recognize that this will look different for each person. Some people are best to abstain from alcohol entirely. Others can enjoy quite a bit before it has any effect on them. Most are somewhere in between. Seeing a person as an individual rather than a gender and letting them make the best choices for themselves i think is key here. What your son, Jonathan, Tobias, and my BIL can handle are likely to be 4 different things although they will probably overlap some.

I do believe that Sarah is responsible to help Jonathan remain sexually pure. She should wear modest clothes, not touch herself sexually in his presence, not make sexual advances, etc. Here, she is acting like Abraham and is leading their physical relationship. It was not a healthy way to start. Tobias led our physical relationship. Which for us meant that he was the one to state that he thought we were at a point where we could kiss.

As he shared things that made him struggle, I could help to avoid putting us in situations like that. Sarah would be wise to do the same if Jonathan were to share that information with her. I also doubt that Jonathan would be found guilty although again, I would not encourage Sarah to prosecute. So he would be let off on reasons that do not stem from the Bible. Not her job to keep it off. She should definitely not seek to entice him or tease him in that way prior to marriage. She has no Bible verse to tell her otherwise. A lot of men really can kiss a woman without feeling her up.

I see this pretty much whenever I leave the apartment. I think at this point, they should have a conversation over the phone or in a public place about boundaries, what makes Jonathan as an individual struggle, and how to move the wedding forward. Thanks again for an intelligent and polite conversation. I hope your family has a very Merry Christmas! Do you see a disconnect in your reasoning here? This gives her self-respect and even shows her boyfriend how valuable she is in that she respects herself more than that.

I now believe that the best way that a couple can act towards each other is like friends rather than like lovers before they get married. What BGR was saying is that the passionate romance should wait until after they are married. Our marriage was a product of an online romance. They say there is no fool like an old fool! Before I even met my wife in person, I asked her to be my girl friend.

We then began to be very romantic towards us each other before we even met each other in person, sending each other figures of hearts via Skype, romantic e-cards, etc. She was very cold towards me when she greeted me at the airport. Naturally, I was very disappointed in the way that she received me.

I even bought an engagement ring to give her before I left for this trip. I told her that I had something to give her, but only if she was interested in pursuing the relationship. She said she was, and I gave her the engagement ring. This was in July of In January of , she made a trip to visit me here in Mexico.

She stayed with my pastor and his wife and they approved of her. I wanted her to see what it was like here to make sure that she would be happy living here. She is from the Carribean coast of Colombia and I live in the central Mexican highlands about 6, feet above sea level. Even though it was the coldest day I had ever experienced after living here for over seven years when she visited me, she still agreed to marry me and live here. We got legally married the 30th of April of that year and had the church wedding on May the 2nd.

In January of last year she announced that she had lost all desire to have sex mainly because of her age — she is more than eight years younger than me. In August of this year, she told me that she never loved me with romantic love, that she married me because she felt pressured to do so. She said that we should have known each other better before we got married and I agreed with her. We have not had sexual relations since April of last year.

She is now in Colombia visiting her family there and plans on coming back here on March the 11th. I will not allow her to come back here to live with me until we are in complete agreement on having conjugal relations on a regular basis at least once a week and adhering to the Biblical gender roles BGR has mentioned. My point is this: We should have never started a romantic relationship online.

I blame myself for this. It would have been a lot better to just have had a friendship online. Her pastor did talk to me and her youngest son and two sisters met me during this first trip to Colombia. They approved of me, so there was no problem with that.

However, in addition to starting an online romance, I just assumed that since my future wife was not only a believer, but very active in ministry which was one of the main things that attracted me to her , that she understood these Biblical gender roles. Passionate romance should wait until the couple gets married. Otherwise at least one of these things could happen: That the man is tempted to go too far in the physical relationship as a product of the passionate romance as BGR has pointed out ; or one of them decides that the other one is really not for them and a breakup ensues, which could leave a deep emotional scar on the one who does not want the breakup.

As one youth pastor so aptly pointed out, the American practice of going steady for young people is really practice for divorce. So, it is my experience that anything beyond a friendship before getting married is very dangerous and should be avoided like the plague! Dragonfly, Thank you for pointing out areas of confusion where I should have been more clear. I do not think Jonathan would have been found guilty for a couple of reasons.

Which is not likely to meet the standard of beyond reasonable doubt. Because the courts recognize that they are not necessarily innocent, just that there is not enough proof to establish definite guilt. A lot of feminists would prefer that men be found guilty in he said she said situations, but you will not find that desire from me. You can argue that the law is stupid, but non-consensually touching a person sexually is sexual assault. Now not all instances of sexual assault are equal.

If Tobias had put his hand on my boob while we were dating, that would have been much easier to get over than a stranger ambushing me in a parking lot at night and feeling me up. However, legally speaking, they are both instances of sexual assault. Crimes are given a range of punishments for a reason. Had Sarah chosen to press charges and had Jonathan been found guitly, he would have likely received a much lighter punishment than the stranger who ambushed a woman in a parking lot.


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And I would definitely have agreed with that. I also think that just because someone commits a sexual sin does not mean that they have to be labeled as a terrible person for the rest of their life. I would also be encouraging Sarah to see his heart and to not judge his character over one action. I was sexually abused as a child and for me it was much more natural to forgive my abuser and to help him change, than it was for me to try to get a judge to throw the book at him.

So when I speak of forgiveness, I really do mean that. I have definitely heard that woman are gatekeepers of sexual behavior. I have also heard that premarital sex is okay. I do not believe either of those are true. Do you really think it is a good idea for woman to get the idea into their heads that when and whether sex happens is entirely up to them…is that nor perhaps part of why we hear so many stories of sexual denial?

But that is far different than saying that it is her job to keep it off in the first place. Although as I said earlier, she does have the responsibility to act honorably as a Christian woman who respects him. If it is clear that kissing is causing him to stumble, she should refrain from doing so. Which it is not. It will look different on different people. Sarah had every reason previously to think that people could kiss and not cop a feel. So now that she has learned that, they should not kiss again until they are married and even possibly not at the altar as that would get awkward in a hurry.

But previously, she had no such reason. If a guy felt my boob just to see whether I would be honorable or not in my response…. So yeah, he might find that a woman was honorable as she breaks up with him for pulling such a stunt. I think you have described my position well — that a courting couple should keep things at a friendship level and not allow it to move beyond that. Even then there needs to be boundaries set. But the main point that for all of this is — young people need to guard their hearts and their bodies before marriage. That is Scriptural principle 1 of Biblical dating and courtship.

I think the mistake you are making is that you are confusing the courtship period with marriage. So before marriage women definitely need to be the gatekeepers. We see this principle demonstrated in two ways — first in the Old Testament we see that women were to guard their virginity as they greatest possession. But we see another principle in the New Testament that the stronger brother or sister should help the weaker brother or sister:. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Men can be deceived by their sexual natures and women can be deceived by their emotional natures.

So since women are generally stronger when it comes to resisting their sexual natures they need to help men during the courtship period. Men in turn during courtship and for the remainder of the marriage are to be the emotional fortress for their wife to depend on.

But definitely I think the general principle of the stronger brother helping the weaker definitely teaches us that in most relationships the woman should be the gatekeeper UNTIL marriage. Then the gate is destroyed! It is a temporary duty — but a very important one. It still does not change the FACT that men are often more tempted sexually than women, therefore women will usually end up being the gatekeepers while dating as to how far their boyfriends will be allowed to go. It is not at all the same thing. BGR, there is no doubt in my mind that we must watch how close of a friendship that we have with our prospective mates.

It could very easily turn into a very romantic relationship during the courting period. It really does bother me, you know… as mother to two amazing boys… to think that Christian women will accuse them of sexual assault when they the girl is passionately kissing them and hugging them and creating an environment of extreme sexual tension on her part — and tension that gets worse the closer they are emotionally.

But this is a big part of why men are forgoing dating and women altogether!! Because they hate how much power women have in just being able to claim something horrible happened to them, and having everyone believe the man is at fault just because the claim was made. Labeling a Christian man who messed up with his girlfriend and touched her in a moment of passion when they were kissing as a sexual criminal implying he used violence or threat of violence or took advantage of her when she was unconscious , is dangerous to encourage.

The boyfriend is not a criminal, making him out to be by insisting this is sexual assault is false and viewing it this way can have serious consequences. Now, as well, the girl who would even make that ridiculous claim could be sued by the young man in return for defamation of character and slander. If it became a publicized case which these things tend to do , she could be publicly branded as someone who thinks sexual touching and minor mess-ups between Christians are sexual violence. This is a good, good man — and we were kissing probably more than we should have been this was in high school, I was 17 , but I would in NO way label his behavior as sexual assault.

Once I moved his hand, he never tried again. I have always heard that to mean that women have the sole power and responsibility to be sexually pure which God does not consider legitimate so we would be wise to do the same , and that men will naturally try to chip away at that wall all day and women must stand their ground. Basically, it was his job not to rape her or force other issues like a hand on the boob , but everything else was her responsibility.

What she was describing was not temptation or even the occasional slip-up. Based on the responses I got, that does not look like what either of you are advocating and I appreciate and respect that. If by gatekeeping you mean that a woman has an obligation to turn down the occasional slip-up, should remove his hand from a sexual body part, and should do all in her power to remove temptation dressing modestly, avoiding triggers, and not making her own advances are all things I have mentioned previously , than I have absolutely no problem with that and I think we should teach our daughters that.

I do think both people have a responsiblility here. Had I attempted to seduce Tobias prior to marriage, he would have had the responsibility to turn me down. Of course, most women will have it easier so they are less likely to slip up and should take that role seriously. A good woman will want to be a help to her man. What that help looks like will be different for each couple Sarah here has a harder burden than I did but is part of what she must deal with if she wants to marry Jonathan. On the issue of sexual assault, there is a difference between assault and assault with a deadly weapon.

Violence is definitely considered a factor in the latter and it receives a much stiffer sentence as it should. If I can see the difference as a hurting and confused pre-teen, than I would definitely expect Sarah to. Yes, some girls make false rape accusations and will claim that other things that did not happen, did.

Refusing to recognize that something did actually happen is not the answer to that problem. It is the opposite extreme. Please believe me when I say that I know that it does not take a guilty verdict to hurt a man. I realize you have the emotion of being a mother to two boys. For me, I can say that i do not want my husband to face this problem, that his family has a strong Y chromosome genetic link very likely most if not all of our children will be boys and we already are calling this baby by the name we have chosen for our first son, so I do consider myself to be a mother of a son in some sense , and perhaps most importantly, have seen this happen to my own brother.

He was accused of sexual abuse by a woman who obviously had emotional and psych issues and refused to deal with them. He took a polygraph and passed. He gave that to the authorities and told them that if they wanted to question him or even arrest him, that he would be glad to meet them at the police station and would turn himself in. They refused that even though he had no criminal record , and instead showed up at his work on the Friday afternoon of a Columbus Day weekend to arrest him with the fairly obvious motivation that he would spend the weekend and the Monday in jail before a magistrate would hear his case and release him.

He was released Tuesday morning on bail, went through the court system, and was found not guilty. He did lose his job pretty sure on the spot but my memory there is a tad fuzzy. I also watched my parents who had worked so hard to get out of debt and make it work as a one-paycheck, large family, get back in debt so he could afford a good lawyer. Believe me this made me angrier than any story from a Red Pill stranger will make you. Some things can be dealt with privately.

Even issues much much bigger than what happened with Jonathan and Sarah. Also, this unfairness towards men is a HUGE issue for my husband even though he has not dealt with it personally. Believe me, he would not have married me if he thought I was callous about it and definitely not if he thought I supported it.

This is not at all the same thing as encouraging someone to make false rape charges, or that changing your mind after sex removes the previously given consent either in or not in marriage. I respect the protective nature of a mother, but I think that your immersion in Red Pill blogs may be blinding you to reality a little bit here. I know you are smarter than that. I do not see a mass wave of MGTOW although I do see an unusually large percentage of such commenters on the Red Pill blogs I do read so I can see why that would mess with your perceptions a bit.

Every man I know is either married, trying to get married, or has stated a desire in the future like the freshmen I talked to at school who were wisely waiting a few years. There are crazy people on both sides and we can either live in fear of them or use that information wisely to ensure we make a good choice in marriage.

He is the one that said that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. A boyfriend touching in a moment of passion is not assault, period. I have no desire to argue legal semantics as that is not my area of expertise. I got my information from a friend in law school.

He said it was specific for our state. There is one general sexual assault law with several branches under it. The most specific way to describe what Jonathan did would be non-consensual fondling.

This is an act that is subject to arrest and legal prosecution. That reasoning only works until the handcuffs click behind them. I have already said I would advise Sarah not to press charges and to see Jonathan as a Godly man who slipped up. Obviously follow up actions must be taken to prevent this from happening again, but that does not require a legal setting. I do think there is a difference between a boyfriend doing it and a stranger doing it, but that does not mean that both actions are not illegal. That works both ways.

I get felt up all the time at work by various patients and I just roll my eyes and move on. But that is a choice that I make for myself. We have no business making that choice for other people. We definitely should not try to pretend it is not their choice to make.

Dear Christian College Girl . . .

I do think you have a very good point though about how feminists constantly have a need to always be a victim. But even back when I was a child, I was constantly pressured to see myself as a helpless victim that would be scarred for life. The worst offender was my childhood therapist who my parents luckily made sure was a short-term thing , so I think that says something about how off the deep end we have gone in that direction.

When women refuse to be victims, that is when they are cast aside like used kleenex. I saw it happen to me on a smaller scale. Many people do not even know that she had a change of heart because her desires and wishes were only important when they lined up with the feminist agenda. I definitely would not have you take time away from your home and family as those are your God-given priorities in life second only to Him.

Thank you for sharing your concerns and your heart for the Lord. I pray he blesses your family richly and that this is a very Merry Christmas for you guys. That is a very very good point, Anna. Criminal intent is an important element in these types of prosecutions. Yes, criminal intent is a necessary component to the assault charge. For example, Mike is pretty persistent with sex. His persistence is often, not always…maybe one time out of three, keep in mind we have sex a LOT a pretty integral part of my feeling desired.

Getting sucked back in real quick to make a clarification. I think that in marriage what Liz is describing , a baseline consent is given. That is included in most marriage vows. Therefore, his attempting to get intimate, or even attempting multiple times, is not an issue. And I agree, that feeling of being desired definitely helps. I am the same way. In fact, Sarah has told him that she wants to wait on that stuff.

Maybe she was secretly kidding, but that is what she said. A woman should know that if she wants a man to touch her she needs to give consent. Having it not be that way might be common as premarital sex is common , but it does a disservice to us when we accept it as good practice. Nowhere in this story, is his not knowing whether or not she is okay with it, a factor. He was not violent. Men can and have been arrested for this sort of thing, like it or not.

By the reasonable person standard, just going by the information above, this person failed the mens rea test. I think by contrast Jonathan did in this case. Jonathan passed the test because………. Sarah had expressly told him that they would not be engaging in activity before marriage and had been upset when he touched her butt shortly before that? Jonathan certainly never claimed confusion after the fact.

Are we perhaps trying too hard to avoid putting blame on a man simply because some women mostly but perhaps not exclusively feminists put too much blame on men for other things? This kinda smells like that. He has a short series on it. His latest is up…. There is no biblical mandate to date this way.

There is only a biblical mandate not to engage is premarital sex. Insisting this model of dating is biblically mandated is wrong. They agreed in the beginning not to engage in that type of physical intimacy. There was no agreement about emotional intimacy. So touching someone in a sexual manner that had been previously discussed as not acceptable is wrong. However, as BGR has said, our system of dating and romance is also wrong, because it puts the man in the path of too much temptation to do this.

A pastor that I once had in Houston said this: Give me a passage in the bible that specifically says what courtship should look like. Too emotionally close eventually progresses to too physically close, but I adamantly do not equate his touch as being labeled sexual assault. Campus ministries exist to connect with you and to connect you with Christ. The goal of a campus ministry is to grow your faith, give you opportunities to put your faith into action, offer you deep, life-giving friendships, and provide wisdom and advice throughout your college chapter and into the next. Odds are, whatever denominational background or style of worship you have come from, there will be an on-campus ministry that reflects that.

Go to the weekly Bible study. Plug in deeper through smaller groups. Being a student is now your job. You have prepared for this role for most of your life under the support and guidance of your parents. Your whole academic life has been leading up to this moment. Be a good student. Learn, grow, and set goals for the future. Do the best you can do to please God with your work. Someone once told me that college is more about learning how to think well than about getting good grades. The beauty of all of us being individuals is that each of us are invited to play a role in doing something to make the world a better place.

This invitation to do something is known as a calling. For example, I care deeply for orphans. At first, I had no idea what I could even do about it. But in college, I had the opportunity to begin sponsoring a child with Compassion International. Then, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Ghana, Africa, through the Wesley Foundation where I visited a specific orphanage.

Now, I am the executive director of a non-profit that raises support and care for that specific orphanage. All this came to be because I had passion for it. My campus minister quoted Frederick Buechner one night, and it changed my whole perspective on calling: What do you feel led to do? If soil represents life, then everything I do has the potential to plant seeds, which can produce fruit—both good fruit and bad fruit. What do I mean by this? Go to the gym. Limit social media use. Learn to argue well. Be a good friend.

This will produce good fruit in your life now and through the years to come. What kind of person do you want to be? These are important questions to ask yourself before going to college. Honor your values and choices ahead of time. Flee from morally compromising situations, and engage in life-giving things.

Protect your reputation and integrity. Select friends with similar values and lifestyles as yours. Every year at the Wesley Foundation, I give the same advice to freshmen over and over again: Instead, get to know people—all kinds of people. Dating is less than a century old, and the Scriptures were written thousands of years ago. What the Bible does talk about is sex, marriage, and relationships. Take this opportunity to learn skills in being a good listener and communicator.

Learn how to settle disagreements well.