When I got to Oregon State University for my freshman year of college, I started out attending the meetings of Campus Crusade for Christ. But a guy across the hall was involved with a similar group called The Navigators, and that's the parachurch organization I ended up committing to. When I transferred to the University of Oregon the next year, I got involved with the Navs there. Then I worked for the Navs for three years in Eastern Europe, before returning to the U.S. for grad school and 2-1/2 more years of Nav campus involvement. All together, it's almost 10 years of direct involvement, and I've maintained a lot of contacts over the 24 years since I got out of grad school.
That may go a long ways toward explaining why I'm still single.
On campus, one of the taunts - or badges of honor, depending on your perspective - was "Navigator Neverdater." Unlike Crusade, we weren't known as a marriage factory. In fact, it was rather the opposite. Early in my college career, someone said that you only have 4 or so years in college, and it's an unparalleled time for growth in your Christian walk, so why not focus on that and save the dating/marriage stuff for later? Sounded good to me, so I made a commitment not to date until after college. Only when I started getting interested in someone during my missionary years did I remember that my commitment had expired. So we dated a couple times, but she married my friend, instead. They're now Navigator staff.
All of the above is simply to introduce this delightful video from a Navigator college student. It's clear that this part of the DNA of the Navs is still recognizable. Of course, the Navs are defined by something much different than collegiate dating practices, namely such things as Scripture Memory, Bible study, discipleship, and spiritual reproduction. And also of course, most people involved with the Navs do get married. Nevertheless, if you were involved with the Navs in college, you'll love this video, and if you weren't, you'll probably find it rather funny, too:
Friday, June 12, 2009
Why I'm Still Single
Labels: CCC, College, Dating, Marriage, Ministry, Missionary, Navigators, OSU, Parachurch, UofO, WSU
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I don't know, sometimes the Nav "neverdater" culture was helpful and sometimes it was confusing, and this video really captured the struggle.
As for me, I really did need those years to grow spiritually. I think developing the art and science of cultivating balanced friendships with men and learning how to be self-controlled actually was helpful, even though it was very hard. It was the battleground of the heart and dealing with distraction that I learned that God is my first love.
After I graduated, Dennis kept in touch. I think what helped me, through a lot of hard won lessons and a little trial and error from "neverdating", was appreciating him as a good friend even if it never led to a romance. I think I called it a privilege.
Before we entered a serious relationship, I accepted the possiblity that marriage may not be God's plan for me and I would still be blessed. This attitude after college helped me a lot to not make marriage and family an idol or push men I dated into a committed relationship with me.
Dennis found this maturity of trusting God and having patience instead of grasping irresistable, I've heard him say many times over the last 20 years.
And throughout marriage's ups and downs, Dennis and I still have that friendship. Pretty good for "neverdaters".
that's funny. It really captured a lot of the awkwardness that I've experienced as well in the dating world.ReplyDelete