During any Discipleship Training School, students are asked not to start new dating relationships so they can give their foremost effort and attention to Jesus as they grow and learn. It is, however, a great place to find your future spouse (wink wink), and a safe place to figure out what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like.
Tuesday night, Drew and I left Finn with a sitter to participate in a "relationship panel" evening with our class. We were totally the new kids on the block. Kenny and Tricia are wonderful and wise - the "Grown ups" with grown up kids; Jeff and Beth are sweet and sassy - the "10 years in" couple with three kids and a baby on the way, and then there's us. Like I said, clearly the new kids on the block, with a really really really new kid on the block.
The night was so fun, so hilariously real, and so encouraging....perhaps mostly for Drew and I! As the experienced couples started responding to questions like, "What do you do when you get irritated with each other," we felt a huge sigh of relief: "We're normal?? PHEW!" Somebody else's grass is always greener, and the world paints the oddest parts of relationships as the most sensational, when it's the normal day to day things that can be the funnest, and the more "minor" things that transform, sharpen, and make us look more like Jesus. I'm so thankful for couples who are older and wiser that Drew and I - that I can look ahead and find hope and excitement for what God has in store.
Generally, it takes guts to ask the tough questions that everyone is secretly thinking...but we had 50 students and staff with guts in the room. We were all challenged, encouraged, and stirred for what God had in mind when he made man and woman, and said, "It is good." This generation needs platforms and opportunity to ask hard questions about relationships, and find out what is truly pleasing to the Lord.
Let's make sharing the realities of life, the goodness of God, and ability to grow in wisdom a habit! It is so needed!