Just this past Thursday I was talking to one of my students. For confidentiality purposes we will call him Daniel. Daniel is a student that I’ve really connected with this semester, and he often comes in and tells me about girls that are causing him trouble. We have this inside joke about DTR, which stands for “Define the relationship,” because Daniel always seemed to have girls who think they are more than just a friend. Because we have this little inside joke, I decided to tell him when I had to do some DTR of my own.
I said “Hey Daniel, you know I went on a date the other day”
And he said “Oooo Miss, tell me more” So I told him about the date and he of course asked “Did you DTR” and I said “Yes, he asked me to be his girlfriend.”
“Well I’m happy for you Miss.” Then he paused and said “Wait, but you be going to the Bronx, soon. Is he going too?”
“Nope he’ll stay here” I replied.
Looking cross he said “Miss how you gonna know he ain’t cheating?”
I smiled at him and said “You know Daniel that’s the thing. When you find somebody who’s is willing to value you as a whole person, and share common morals or values that’s not the kind of thing that crosses your mind as a concern.”
He looked down and then looked back up at me and said “I don’t got no good role models like that Miss. Would you believe me if I told you I’m one of ten kids”
I nodded my head.
“Okay Miss, would you believe me if I told you I was one of fifteen?”
Shrugging my shoulders I said “Yes I would, let me guess they are mostly half siblings?”
He cut me short and said “Every single one of them. I don’t have any full blood siblings”
“Miss this is my idea of relationships, they cheat and they end. But I am so happy to have you as my teacher Miss. You have given me a lot of good advice and you set a good example of how a relationship can be”
Then we talked more about door holding, and being a gentlemen. It was already 5 min after class at this point. So he headed out the door and looking back said “Make good choices Miss, be good and I’ll see you next week”
Which is the exact thing I tell all my students as they walk out the door, Daniel always just likes to beat me to saying it. But I love that. I love that he is picking up on those little things, and imitating them with sincerity. It shows me as a teacher that he values these good things.
I waved and said “I love you Daniel, and I’ll be good, but you better be good too.”
I share this little story with you because it highlights the reality of our culture. So many people do not have a role model to look up to for good relationships. Not even romantic ones, but just relationships with anyone in general. Our culture waves utilitarian relationships in the air like they are actually going to make you happy. Then people who are living in true happy relationships are hidden from the worlds eyes, for reasons I don’t know of. I think part of it is our culture does not want to accept the fact that people CAN be happy while being physically and emotionally chaste.
I watched a video this week called relationship memes and it created a heart breaking image. It’s not that these people were “loving” too much, rather they were loving to little. In one clip captioned “When bae says he’s having a guys night” the girl was spraying her perfume all over his groin and neck area. In another it said “First time watching netflix together” and showed people about to you know what, then it said “After one year” and they were chomping down snacks, with eyes glued to the TV screen, not even sitting next to each other”
I sat there and thought how sad. How sad is it that you have to mark your territory and you can’t actually trust him? And the places you’re spraying with perfume tell me that you think he values sex more than he values you. And in all honesty you have every good reason to think that. The other clip was just as sad. First time together and you take all you can get, and get tired of it one year later? If only you knew the depth and beauty of the soul you are spending time with it. One year in and you’ve seriously gotten bored of what they have to offer. Like ugh, there’s so much more to both of you. But you’re okay just engulfing in pleasures of food and entertainment, and acting like that other person isn’t even there. You just exist in each others lives for pleasure.
I look at these memes and get sad. My students and many other young people look at it and think that’s just how it’s supposed to be. They have no idea that there’s so much more to love. So they settle for relationships like this. And I can tell you from experience it doesn’t lead to happiness. In fact you feel more lonely in those relationships, then you did back when you scrolled past them on instagram wishing it could be you. Ladies and Gents have some standards and don’t settle. Because you are so precious in His eyes and you deserve to be with someone who values all of you, every square inch of your body and soul. And to my readers who are already very aware of that truth, get out there and speak it. And not only speak it, but live it, because young people like Daniel need to know what’s good. No cap. 😉
May the love of Christ be with you all this Easter season.