From classmates to soulmates?
In the fall of 1988, my brother Scott — a fellow Oklahoma Christian University student — celebrated his 20th birthday.
He took the station wagon we shared home to Texas that weekend, so I had to borrow my friend Steve Lackmeyer’s Hyundai — or was it a Honda? — for my first date with Tamie Dillard.
My friend David Hartman served as the chef for our romantic dinner at the home of journalism professor Philip Patterson and his wife, Linda.
Did you meet your husband or wife at a Christian university?
If so, you — like me — are not alone.
For anyone who has heard the old joke about going to a Christian college to get an “Mrs.” degree, the findings aren’t particularly surprising.
Clyde Slimp recalls meeting his future wife, Rachel, in a New Testament Greek class at Freed-Hardeman.
Slimp’s in-laws, minister Ward and Faye Jones of the Westside Church of Christ in Hermiston, Ore., have been married for 43 years.
Steve Sandifer, pastoral care minister for the Southwest Central Church of Christ in Houston, met his future wife, Jo, in a Genesis class at Abilene Christian.
When Brecheen asked the class why girls were hesitant to marry preachers, Steve’s future wife replied, “Gee, Dr. Brecheen, I don’t want to have to be good all the time.”
Sandifer was slow to ask her out, but four years later, they married — and Brecheen performed the wedding.
Matt Jones, a member of the Juneau Church of Christ in Alaska, sent his 19-year-old daughter Katie — the oldest of his six children — all the way to Oklahoma Christian this fall.
“She is not married yet, but I encouraged her to go there to be around other Christians as she starts out on her own walk for better support, environment and lifestyles of both students and teachers,” Jones said.
“It would have been cheaper for her to stay here in Alaska,” he added, “but I’m all too happy to make such a wise investment in her and her future.”
Of course, some point out — wisely — that finding a spouse at a Christian university does not guarantee eternal bliss.
“What we see in many couples who meet and marry at a Christian college is a surprising absence of seriously approached pre-marriage counseling or coaching,” Richard May said.
“Marrying a Christian from the same Christian college you attend does not guarantee marital success,” he added. “Serious preparation is vital.”
And not everyone meets a mate at a Christian college.