I am the Gardner RA who so inexcusably decorated my hall with a “Brides of Christ” theme. I apparently failed to communicate well what my actual intentions were for the decorations, although most seem to understand when they read the Bible verses on the wall and realize who decorated it. With all due respect to the author of the original letter, I am not sure that she accurately examined the decorations in the hall.Â Admittedly, the hall is complete with tulle, rose petals, and wedding cake-shaped nameplates. However, the hall is themed “Brides of Christ,” promoting the Biblical idea of Christ being the center and love of an individual’s life, as well as the groom of the church as a whole. There are numerous scriptures on the wall pertaining to the love Christ has for His church and His people. The decorations are meant to be uplifting to the girls, reminding them that their Creator loves each one of them dearly.
I am a sophomore family studies major, and I was engaged this summer to my boyfriend of two-and-a-half years. As the year began, I was actually very concerned that the girls on my hall would think that my engagement fell under the outrageous “Ring by Spring” philosophy. I do not believe that it is a wise way to go about relationships, because it creates a lot of unwanted pressure for both parties and develops the mindset that an engagement is necessary after a very short courtship.
What amuses me is that I agree with the principles behind what the original author is saying. There are a lot of dangers in the “Ring by Spring” philosophy. In reality, I was trying to address these dangers in a tongue-in-cheek way through my hall decorations to get my girls talking and open up discussions about what’s actually important in this vulnerable time of their lives. I concur entirely with the letter writer’s statement: “Students come to college to get an education.” Agreed. Not an “Mrs. degree.” Not to find a husband or wife, despite the number of amazing men and women God has placed in this institution that, by His will, will find each other. However, I have witnessed too many times precious men and women of God coming to college and being heartbroken because they are seeking their identities in a soul mate. I believe that identity should only be found in our Lord, and that we should be reminded that as the church, we are the bride of Christ. Earthly satisfaction will not be found in a soul mate.
She is also correct when she voices that, as a Christian university, ACU should be promoting Christian and Biblical values. The ResLife staff members who dedicate so much of their lives to the ministry of working in the residence halls also seek to uphold these values. In no way do the decorations even suggest “Ring by Spring,” let alone encourage the idea. I would have appreciated it if the original author had confronted me about my decorations, so that I could have explained my reasoning in a less public forum. If she or anyone else would like to discuss these issues with me, I would be glad to speak with them on an individual basis.