By Gordon Govier

Valentines Day on Campus

With Valentines Day approaching and a new book out on sex and dating, Mindy Meier is doing a lot of interviews. Her message is that God has designed us, and has given sex to us as a gift. “The more that people have a deeper understanding of the power of sexuality and the purpose of sexuality, the more they’ll realize how it can be good and life giving, or be very damaging and hurtful to people.”

InterVarsity Press has just released Mindy’s book, Sex and Dating: Questions you wish you had answers to. It’s based on 20 years of appointments with students in coffee shops as an InterVarsity campus staff worker, as well as dialoguing with students during panel presentations on sex and dating.

Many InterVarsity chapters seize the opportunity to schedule special events around Valentines Day. “If you’re ever going to have a talk on sex and dating, or on relationships, it’s certainly an appropriate time to do that,” Mindy said. Through television, music, and movies, students are bombarded by sexually charged messages. “They need to hear a Christian voice and a positive presentation of sexuality from God’s point of view,” she added.

One of the perennial questions that students have is, “How far can I go on my date, Saturday night?” Mindy said she can’t answer that question without a much deeper conversation about God’s purpose for sexuality and why God set up boundaries. Another common question is “How do I know if I should marry the person I’m dating?”

Although a lot of the questions, and the answers, have stayed the same over the past 20 years, there are some new ones that relate to technological innovations, for instance. “No one was meeting marriage partners on the internet 20 years ago,” she said. “That presents new issues.”

People who are matched by computer often have amazing compatibility. But that only goes so far, because relationships still take work. “It’s always merging two personalities, and that’s challenging,” she observed. But when inevitable problems surface the internet isn’t necessarily to blame. “Any two people that try to put together a relationship are going to run into some bumps in the road.”

Valentines Day is an important day on campus, because college students are interested in love and relationships. InterVarsity staff help students focus on healthy relationships that can stand the test of time.

Hear more about Sex and Dating and Valentine’s Day from Mindy Meier on this week’s InterVarsity podcast. The audio is posted on our audio resources page.