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Ring by Spring

We’ve all seen it. It starts freshman year in color groups, INST 150 classes and residence hall gatherings. It grows from there, becoming innocent coffee dates at Jammin Java and trips to So Fun! Yogurt. Eventually, it blooms into cuddling in dorm rooms under the watchful eye of an RA, ultimately resulting in a sparkling diamond upon a girl’s left finger.
What is this phenomenon, you ask? Sweeping Eastern’s campus yearly, it’s Ring by Spring. No, it’s not a myth. It’s a reality.
As the stories go, a couple meets as freshmen and by the time junior year rolls around, the female will have been proposed to, giving her time to plan a wedding for after graduation in the following spring. During this past Christmas break, I can personally attest to seeing at least 5 of my friends on Facebook change their relationship status to “engaged.” They followed up with an album full of engagement photos. But not all of these friends go to Eastern. They are all, however, Christians.
Statistically, Christians account for one of the largest pieces of the marriage population-according to cbn.com, about 84% of Christians get married. As I see more and more of my friends getting engaged, this percentage is becoming more realistic to me. Christians marrying young today is not a minor phenomenon, and it seems to be widely accepted. I feel there’s a negative stigma that comes with these marriages. One of the most popular comments I’ve heard is “they just want to get married to have sex.” I don’t believe this prospect to be a driving force behind young Christian marriages. However, I feel that non-Christians often forget that Christians are still people, too. We’re going to have the same desires to be with others as anyone else-not just sexually, but physically and emotionally.
We’re not some superior race, we’re human. Just putting that out there. Who’s to say that these early Christian marriages are bad? Christ calls us to be together, especially as husband and wife. Mark 10: 6-9 says, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
If God calls one to be with their significant other, why should they not answer that call? Of course, being properly prepared and aware of the commitment of marriage is necessary before walking down the aisle, and with that, who can judge whether or not a couple is “ready?” I dare say that no one is ever fully ready for marriage and the hardships that come with it. As Christians, we have a rock to cling to in those times. God’s guidance and love is never-ending and never-failing, and at all times we have Him, as well as each other, to lean on for those things.
Ring by Spring is indeed alive and well. Marriages sought at our young ages can be trying, but so can marriages at thirty or forty. When done with the realities of marriage in mind and in God’s timing, a young Christian marriage has every chance of flourishing and thriving as any other marriage. It’s happening, so be prepared for the endless wedding albums to hit Facebook in the coming summer months.

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