Sunday night, Athletes in Action at the University of Regina invited students out to dig into some Valentine’s Day desserts while listening to a panel discussion on relationships.
Chelsa Budd, AIA staff at the U of R, and her husband Tim, Kaitlyn Krahn, and Jon and Danielle Maley made up the panel. Mick Panko, an AIA volunteer in Regina, facilitated the discussion.
While the Budds have been married for 3 years, Krahn is currently single. The Maleys married quite young and have been married for 9 years. 4 months ago, they welcomed their daughter Adelyn into their family. With all of these people being in very different stages of life, they offered wisdom regarding relationship experiences, boundaries, singleness, communication, grace, and forgiveness.
According to Chelsa, part of the aim in having this discussion “was to counter some of that [bad relationship advice out there] with honest talk about how relationships can be really tough — and that’s normal — and also how important it is to think through the purpose of the relationship, to know what you’re about in your life, and to set boundaries that can help both people in the relationships be healthier, wherever that relationship ends up going in the future.”
“University is a time where students are learning about themselves and the world around them, and what they believe about both,” Chelsa shared. “I think everyone, on some level, wants to talk about relationships because we all want them! These years are also a time when a lot of students are looking for answers to questions they have; answers about healthy relationships aren’t always evident or forthcoming, and yet it’s so important to have conversations with trustworthy people who can point us to truth. To give students the opportunity to hear about healthy relationships from people in different stages of life was awesome, especially from imperfect people who are seeking to live for Jesus.”
Kathleen Bruce, who plays for the Cougars women’s volleyball team, learned a lot from the panel discussion. One thing in particular that stood out to Bruce was the discussion about the difference between like and love.
“People believe love to be a feeling but it’s so much deeper than that,” Bruce stated. “Loving someone even when you want to choke them out. It’s not a feeling, it’s a decision.”
Over Christmas break, Bruce got engaged. As she prepares to move into married life, she plans to take what she has learned from the relationship panel, especially the importance of communication, and apply it to her marriage.
“There were moments last night where marriage just seemed so horrible and draining on a person and challenging to the point where you can’t overcome it,” said Bruce. “However, marriage is something God has given us: an opportunity to live life with another person. Yes, there are going to be huge challenges, and yes, some will feel impossible to get through. But, marriage is this beautiful thing some people have the opportunity to go through, and if God remains the focus of the relationship, then it will be amazing…What I would take from the meeting and bring into my own life and relationship is to communicate, be selfless, patient, loving, and grateful. Marriage is such a cool thing, with challenges that will seem impossible to overcome, but as a believer, I know God will equip me with what I need to overcome them.”
It’s no secret that people often think relationships will satisfy their needs, however, Jesus is the only one who can truly do that. With Him at the centre of a relationship, He can bring both partners closer to Him, closer to each other, and ultimately, through the trials that may come their way.