In this message, Judy Moseman gives advice to a parent who is concerned that her daughter will fall in love in college.
Q: The pastor of my church said there's a good chance my daughter will "meet the man of her dreams" when she goes off to a Christian college next year. He said it to be reassuring, since some kids who go off to secular schools end up getting involved in unhealthy relationships with non-Christians. But I'm not really that reassured. My daughter has rarely dated in high school, and the thought of her dating and maybe falling in love with a complete stranger (Christian or not) scares me to death! How can I prepare her (and myself) for college dating?
A: One of the joys of my job is seeing Christian college students develop rich friendships with both genders, some of which result in dating and even marriage. A reality is, though, that there are more women in college nationwide than males. So, even in a perfect one-to-one matching scenario some would not "find someone" in college. Unfortunately, many parents put tremendous pressure on their students—daughters, in particular—to "keep looking," or ask "have you met anyone yet?"
It doesn't sound like that's the problem you're dealing with, though! I hope you will have an honest discussion with your daughter about your concerns, even as you express your confidence in her that she will hold to her Christian values. Assure her that you're praying for the friendships she'll develop at school, including friendships that may lead to dating. Encourage her to be a good friend to others and to participate in activities where she'll have many opportunities to meet people—not for the purpose of marrying someone, but so she can develop respectful and meaningful relationships. And since she hasn't dated much, it will help her to have a variety of places where she can get to know the young men on campus and increase her comfort level with them. These interactions can help her gain insight about what kind of person she would want to marry, if that's what God has for her. Help her set high yet reasonable standards for her future mate. The guys on campus will be growing and maturing in faith, just as she is.
If your daughter does start dating, encourage her to have an accountability relationship with a close girlfriend. This person should be someone who can help her set and keep God-honoring standards with her boyfriend so that they can build a relationship that is pure and healthy. Who knows what fine son-in-law may be in your future? All of my children are married now and I thank God for each of my "in-law" children. They are gifts to our family. That's something to look forward to!
Written by Judy Moseman