At TCX — our annual Cru winter conference that takes place right after Christmas — we had the privilege of presenting a seminar. Specifically, we were asked to lead the session on Dating and Relationships.
To be perfectly honest with you, while we were super honored and excited to be asked to lead a session, we felt a little hesitant saying yes because we weren’t the biggest fans of Dating seminars. (yikes, totally just wrote that…)
Let me explain.
Seminars with themes around dating, relationships, marriage, etc. are always really popular at conferences. This is obviously why we have one at TCX each year — students have expressed a desire to learn about how to date well, and that’s a good thing. But so often, Erick and I have felt that people miss out on the breadth of information they could get from a session on Discipleship, Forgiveness, Evangelism, World Vision, insert whatever cooler spiritual topic you can think of here, because people choose to attend the ever-so-alluring relationship conversation. (This is a super jaded perspective to have, by the way.)
And to take it a step further, I (Courtney) have never personally attended a dating seminar and walked away with great vision on how to take-on the dating world well. I’d either leave seminars with a bitter heart toward whoever I was dating because I compared my current relationship to the presenter’s relationship — never a good thing to do — or, I’d leave feeling ashamed because I screwed up my relationships in the past and now had more questions than when I first came into the room. Neither of these are good outcomes. (but just to note here, these outcomes were my own fault.)
As Erick and I continued to talk about saying “yes” to lead the seminar, and begin to process why we felt the way we did about these sessions, we realized that our opinion on dating seminars were formed because of the sin we had in our own life and the unrealistic expectations we created. We were so totally jaded toward dating seminars and we needed to change our attitude. Praise the Lord for the creative ways He works to mold and develop our character.
The Lord changed our minds. Dating seminars are healthy, necessary, and fun. Dating needs to be discussed in safe environments by people who love the Lord and desire for others to see Him in everything — especially dating life. The world paints such a false picture on what dating is supposed to look like. If we don’t talk about it in Christian environments, someone is going to do the talking for us. Talking candidly about how the Lord desires dating and relationships to be is a really big deal.
I have to say that this was a really really hard seminar to prepare (we really didn’t want to screw up in front of 500 students), and it was a great challenge for us. We finished writing the content of our session 30 minutes before we presented it. It was honest, it was a joy to share, and we left the room feeling the presence of the Lord and thanked Him for the privilege of being a voice for Him.
We gave two sessions of our seminar to the students at TCX, with approximately 250 students at each one.
Here is our group in session 1:
And here is my cooler panorama shot of our group in session 2:
Thank you to the students who attended the session — you guys were a true joy and you made us feel loved and cared for through your gracious thanks and appreciation told to us in person and over Twitter :).
Also, thank you to the groups of students who waited patiently to ask your follow-up questions at the end of each session. Know that we’ve been praying for you and your relationships/future relationships.
Your desire to learn more about who God is, and the plan He has for you, help motivate us to do what we do each day. The Lord continually reminds us of His grace in our life through the privilege it is to spend time with, and learn from, you.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend our seminar — you can listen to it here: