Friday, November 04, 2005

My friend Dani wondered in her blog post yesterday, "Why does everyone everywhere think that being with somebody is the way to be fulfilled? Even I think so sometimes. Is it because it's true, or because we have been trained to think that it's true?"

We at ACU are especially trained to think that you must be part of a couple to be happy. Everywhere we look, we see subtle and overt encouragements to get a date, find a significant other or find a spouse before we leave college. (From Sadies Week to club events requiring a date, to numerous "ring by spring" references in Freshman Follies - they're ubiquitous. For heaven's sake, the cover story of the current issue of ACU Today is called "Where We Fell in Love!") And yet - we are a Christian institution that preaches ultimate fulfillment in Christ! Where's the consistency here?

I'm all for Christian marriage, believe me. I hope to have a Christian marriage some day, and I'm thrilled for my friends (like the Carters, the Bishops and the soon-to-be pairs of Wilsons and Shavers and Lollars) who have found their lifelong loves at ACU. Lots of my professors and adult friends met and got married here. But when and why did the message of marriage become so pervasive that those of us who aren't on that road (at least not yet) feel suffocated by it?

I'm the alumni news person for the next issue of ACU Today, our alumni magazine, which goes to the printer in early December. I get to type up news items regarding moves, marriages, births, job changes, deaths and other life-altering events. Believe me, I smile at the marriage and birth announcements - because I know these are good things, and I believe absolutely in strong and happy Christian families. But there's a tiny part of me that cheers whenever we get a news item from someone who is still single, living out his or her dreams in the newspaper or the education or the business world. No, fulfillment is NOT found in another person. And they are living proof.

Even those of us who are in strong relationships soon discover that no other person can fill us up. The caverns and valleys in my heart and soul are too deep to be filled by any other mere human. That is, and always has been, the job of the One who calls us to Himself. He, and He alone, is big enough.

6 Comments:

Blogger rkw said...

First!

But that is only a sidenote to the comment I have. Allow me to challenge for a moment before I agree. As if you though I would do anything else. I see my empending marrige as another piece of the constant training ground I participate in every day. It will be, I hope, another piece of the puzzle that make me more completely human. Other than that I'm with you. Although I didn't come here to geet married or have I felt any undue pressure toward such, I do see that pressure seep out of the seams of our Dear Christian College. I hate it when I hear a faculty member ask a fellow ministry major if she is here to find a husband. NO! She's hear to learn how to do ministry! So amen on all of that.
Grace and Peace

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I see rkw's point...but on the other side of many years of marriage, I believe that the most unfair thing one can do to another is expect the other to "fill holes." Boy, that's a terribly unclear sentence - but it should make the point.

There's a difference between finding someone to share your life with and finding someone to complete you. The former is self-giving and beautiful - the latter will always be unsatisfying, and ultimately a difficult relationship.

Forgive the anonymity. Relationship talk is always touchy - at least for those of us who are IN a relationship :-)

8:34 PM  
Blogger Cole said...

I see RKW's point very clearly. This Tom Cruise/Renee Z. stuff about "you complete me" is BULL. No human completes me, but hopefully one day, one person will cause me to say, "I would like to spend my life on earth with you because you make me unbelievably happy." That's a different proposition altogether.

8:24 AM  
Blogger DISCOM said...

I THINK THE REASON WE BELIEVE THIS IS........ IF YOU FIND SOMEONE ELSE WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE THEN YOU HAVE A BETTER SHOT OF MAKING IT OUT ABILENE AND NOT GETTING SUCKED INTO THE BLACK HOLE.....

JUST A THOUGHT THOUGH.....

1:48 PM  
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Blogger Scott said...

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2:01 PM  

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