In the previous post, I explained how many young people are expecting the perfect marriage, meaning the perfect partner, the perfect wedding day and a perfect life. My conclusion was that we need to help our students become more realistic about marriage so that they are better equipped to make their marriages last. But how do we do that?
I think that if we want our students to develop a more realistic vision about marriage, we need to do three things:
Give them a vision for serving, not being served.
Give them a vision for suffering, not perfection.
Give them a vision for fixing, not quitting.
If we want our students to have healthy, lasting marriages, we need to help them develop a more realistic vision of marriage.
Serving, not being served
This is a big one and not just for marriage. We need to get the ‘it’s not about me’ message across to our students. This is the iGeneration, the generation that is very focused on making themselves happy. We can blame them for it, but that doesn’t help. What we need to do is teach them and model servanthood for them.
That starts with putting Jesus front and center as the Servant King. Time and again we need to stress how Jesus came to serve, not to be served. That He gave Himself willingly as a sacrifice, instead of making people do His will.
We also need to model servanthood ourselves, and this is not always easy. If we want our students to learn to put others before themselves, that’s what we need to model to them.
My husband got a call from one of our students who had a crisis and he really needed him. The problem was that my husband had a deadline in his job the next day and he wasn’t done with his work yet. Still, he made time for the student and pulled an all-nighter to then finish his work. It made an incredible impression on that young man, and years later, he still talked about it.
But it’s also about teaching students to serve themselves. Get them ‘out there,’ take them to projects where they can actually serve. It could be a mission trip, but it doesn’t even have to be that big. A group of my former students consistently served in a homeless shelter and it changed their perspective completely.